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National Quartet Convention

The National Quartet Convention (NQC) is an annual gathering of USA.

History

The first National Quartet Convention was held in 1957. Pigeon Forge, Tennessee.

Events

Over the years, the National Quartet Convention grew from three days of concerts to a six-day multi-purpose event. A main attraction at Louisville is the exhibit hall with approximately 500 booths where artists, record labels, CD duplication plants, media entities, booking agents, Christian bookstores, and other industry related organizations display their products and offer their services. The week is largely attended by the older generation but lately due to the popularity of groups such as the Booth Brothers, Signature Sound, Legacy Five, The Collingsworth Family and the Gaither Vocal Band, the fans are becoming younger. Fans meet their favorite artists in the exhibit area.

A concert is held each evening in the Leconte Center at Pigeon Forge, typically approaches sellout numbers for the concerts. These concerts years past ran for approximately six hours but in 2009 they have shortened the evening to five hours, 6 p.m. to 11 p.m. and feature non-stop music from the major Southern Gospel artists spaced at 10-20 minute intervals. The Singing News used to present the Fan Award on the Thursday night of the week but it was changed to Saturday night in 2009. Afternoons are devoted to showcases, some for new talent and others for conceptual events. For example, a couple of popular showcases have been Mike Speck's "Choral Music Extravaganza." and "Glorious Piano Extravaganza" featuring the best in southern gospel music piano players. These are usually the highlights of the afternoons. There is a talent competition during the week as well.

In addition to the events for the fans, industry members routinely schedule meetings and even recording sessions to coincide with the convention. Groups needing to replace a member make new contacts at NQC and sometimes conduct auditions during the week. Various business deals are made or renegotiated. Hoping to gain exposure, up and coming artists schedule showcases at nearby hotels. Record labels court radio and media by feeding them meals, taking them on riverboat cruises and facilitating access for interviews with the artists.

In the late 1990s, the convention added three additional events designed to take the Southern Gospel convention experience to regions distant from Louisville. These new events were the Great Western Convention in Fresno, California; the Canadian Quartet Convention in Red Deer, Alberta, Canada; and the Central Canada Gospel Quartet Convention in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. Within a few years, though, they had sold or abandoned those events in favor of focusing on the main event in Louisville.

Noteworthy events at National Quartet Conventions

1999: The Cathedral Quartet. Glen died one month later.

'2005: Lauren Talley, Jason Crabb, and several other young Southern Gospel vocalists joined together to record an album called "The Torch". "The Race", a song from the album, was voted #1 on some local charts in late 2005.

2007: Ivan Parker became the first soloist to take the Convention stage in 25 years.

2013: Tracy Stuffle of Pigeon Forge, Tennessee.

2013: [[Brazilians|

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