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Singing in ‘The Peg’: The Dynamics of Winnipeg Singing Cultures During the 20th Century

Smith, Muriel Louise (2015) Singing in ‘The Peg’: The Dynamics of Winnipeg Singing Cultures During the 20th Century. PhD thesis, University of York.

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Abstract

The research begins by establishing Winnipeg, as a city comprised of many different European immigrant communities where the dominant British-Canadian culture reflected the Canadian national consciousness of the early 20th century. After an outline of early musical life in the city, four case studies demonstrate how the solo vocal and choral culture in Winnipeg represents a realization of the constitutive, continuously forming and mutable relationships between peoples of differing identities. In all of these case studies, I investigate how this culture has been shaped by social and political actions through transnational connections over the 20th century. The first two case studies are underpinned by the theories of cultural capital and gender. The first focuses on the Women’s Musical Club of Winnipeg (1900-1920s), an elite group of Brito-Canadian women who shaped the reception of high art singing among their peers primarily through their American connections. The second investigates the Men’s Musical Club of Winnipeg (1920s-1950s), a dynamic group of businessmen and musicians who sought to reinforce Brito-Canadian cultural supremacy by developing a choral culture and establishing a music competition festival based on British models and enforced by British musical associations. The third and fourth case studies are examined through the lens of diaspora and identity, underpinned by social capital. One examines the changing perspectives towards vocal repertoire and its performance in the urban Mennonite community from the 1950s until the end of the century, and how this has shaped high art vocal culture in Winnipeg. The final case study investigates the mutable political and social transnational relationships between diaspora Poles and those in the homeland, as reflected through the activities of the choir of Winnipeg’s Sokół Polish Ensemble. This thesis contributes to the knowledge on transnational musical relationships that shape urban and diaspora musical cultures in Canada.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Keywords: vocal, choral, Winnipeg, Mennonite, Polish, British-Canadian, festival, diaspora, transnationalism, Bourdieu, Ramnarine
Academic Units: The University of York > Music (York)
Identification Number/EthosID: uk.bl.ethos.682330
Depositing User: Mrs Muriel Louise Smith
Date Deposited: 01 Apr 2016 16:17
Last Modified: 08 Sep 2016 13:33
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/12353

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