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HeartSong collegians say Southern gospel ‘starting to appeal to younger audiences’


LOUISVILLE, Ky. (BP)–HeartSong is on the cutting edge in Southern gospel music. Traditionally dominated by the male quartet and, more recently, by mixed groups, Southern gospel music is making way for the female quartet.

HeartSong — an all-female quartet of Southwest Baptist University students — formed a year ago under the leadership of Laura Bradley of Central Baptist Church, Eureka, Mo.

“Singing in a Southern gospel group is what I’ve always wanted to do,” Bradley said.

But finding other young people who shared her dream wasn’t easy. In fact, the three other women in HeartSong either had not heard much Southern gospel music, or what they had heard was negatively stereotyped. “The music has totally changed,” said Nicolette Cox of Olney Southern Baptist Church, Olney, Ill. “It’s good music, and it’s starting to appeal to younger audiences.”

Charity Horine of First Baptist Church, Raytown, Mo., admitted she didn’t like Southern gospel at first. “But as I sang it, I began to like it more, and being here [at the recent National Quartet Convention in Louisville, Ky.] and hearing the quartets, I’ve grown to like the music even more.”

HeartSong participated in a talent contest Sept. 23 during the convention. About 70 groups competed. “We didn’t place, but it was a good experience for us,” said Bradley, who noted there were only a few other female quartets. “To have four girls singing four parts is very unique in this industry.”

To contact HeartSong, call Bradley at (417) 328-3176.
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(BP) photo posted in the BP Photo Library. Photo title: HEARTSONG.

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  • Stacey Hamby