Dr Genevieve Campbell

Postdoctoral Fellow

Sydney Conservatorium of Music

As a professional orchestral Horn player for 30 years, working in a variety of ensembles across a broad spectrum. I’ve played in most of the major Music Theatre shows including Les Misérables, Phantom, Miss Saigon, West Side Story, Crazy for You and Singin’ in the Rain as well as everything from Musica Viva to Australian Idol, Opera Australia to the Wangarratta Jazz Festival, and Australasian tours for Anthony Warlow, Barbra Streisand, Michael Crawford and Shirley Bassey. I now juggle horn playing and Directing a high school Ensemble Program with my commitment to Tiwi song preservation.

In 2007 I instigated Ngarukuruwala – We Sing Songs, a collaborative music project between a group of Tiwi strong women and jazz musicians from Sydney. This project has created new opportunities for the blending of Tiwi and non-Tiwi musical styles, in live performance and recording projects. My professional interest in Tiwi music in the context of contemporary performance and the desire to be part of the rediscovery and preservation of old Tiwi songs led me to facilitate the repatriation to the Tiwi community of previously unheard ethnographic recordings of song and ceremony dating back to 1912. My PhD Ngarukuruwala – we sing; the songs of the Tiwi Islands, northern Australia – presents the first musicological documentation of Tiwi song types and has created a unique resource for both the preservation of Tiwi song texts and melodies and a tool for ongoing education and maintenance of Tiwi song practice. Working with Tiwi elders, I’ve been involved with a number of song-based projects aimed at re-engaging Tiwi children with their language and culture and – importantly with their grandmothers – by learning traditional Tiwi song. Central to our work together is acknowledging the impact of the loss of song culture on social, mental, physical health and the fact that song is recognized as a strong conduit for pride, intergenerational connection and personal health.

I have recently been awarded a 2019 Sydney University Fellowship. Research Project title: The interconnection between Tiwi song culture and death in the context of artistic creativity, cultural maintenance and community health.