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Interview with Vincent A. DiMartino, February 7, 2017

Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries

 

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00:00:00 - Introduction and personal background

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Partial Transcript: Welcome.

Segment Synopsis: In this segment, DiMartino briefly reflects on how he came to meet Sara Holroyd. He then goes on to discuss his upbringing in West Babylon, New York. DiMartino tells Collins about his early experiences with music as a member of his school's chorus and reflects on his elementary school years.

Keywords: Children; Inspirations; Memories; Parents

Subjects: Alumni and alumnae; Childhood; Jazz; Music--Performance; Trumpet; University of Kentucky; University of Kentucky. School of Music

00:08:05 - Family and early musical performance experiences

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Partial Transcript: Um, what was your father's name and your mother's name?

Segment Synopsis: In this segment, DiMartino talks about his parents and upbringing in music. His mother was a waitress and full time mom and his father worked at Lockheed Aircraft. He mentions that his father was a dancer and took DiMartino with him to perform in various hospitals and veteran rehabilitation centers with the American Legion Band.

Keywords: Dancers; High schools; Inspirations; Jazz; Memories; Motivations; Parents; Performances; Trumpets

Subjects: Alumni and alumnae; American Legion Band; Jazz; Lockheed aircraft; Music--Performance; Trumpet; University of Kentucky; University of Kentucky. School of Music

00:13:14 - Early musical encounters and influences

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Partial Transcript: Well, that kind of leads me to the next question.

Segment Synopsis: DiMartino discusses his early musical influences from TV and radio. He says that a lot of his favorite childhood cartoons exposed him to classical music, without him ever realizing they were doing so. He says that he used to listen to records until they were worn out, citing multiple Jazz artists as his early favorites. He developed an ear for music as a child because he did not understand how you are supposed to learn music; he thought you just listened and tried to copy the artist until you got the piece down.

Keywords: Dancers; High schools; Inspirations; Jazz; Memories; Motivations; Parents; Performances; Radio; Television; Trumpets

Subjects: Alumni and alumnae; Jazz; Music--Performance; Trumpet; University of Kentucky; University of Kentucky. School of Music

00:18:11 - High school music participation

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Partial Transcript: Lets go to like high school.

Segment Synopsis: In this segment, DiMartino talks about his time in his high school jazz band and choir. He reminisces on his high school band director, who he says was rather strict with him but only because he knew DiMartino was serious about his future in music.

Keywords: Children; Directors; High schools; Inspirations; Leaders; Memories; Motivations; Parents; Trumpets

Subjects: Jazz; Music--Performance; Trumpet

00:22:51 - Reflections on University of Kentucky choir concerts / Influence as a teacher

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Partial Transcript: When I, when I first came to UK, you know, I, like I say, I was pretty unfamiliar with everything.

Segment Synopsis: In this segment, DiMartino discusses how he used the concerts he saw at UK to teach himself to improve and become a part of the UK community. He also talks about his son and how he has started playing trumpet, despite the fact that DiMartino has never taught him to play trumpet or encouraged him to do so. DiMartino also discusses Jesse Stuart's prophetic play that he starred in during his high school years.

Keywords: Children; Inspirations; Memories; Motivations; Parents

Subjects: Jazz; Music--Performance; Trumpet; University of Kentucky; University of Kentucky. School of Music

00:28:37 - High school influence on his college path / Study abroad experience

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Partial Transcript: When did you decide what your college major was going to be?

Segment Synopsis: In this segment, DiMartino discusses his high school involvement in extracurricular activities. He explains that he has always been someone who stays busy and was involved in a wide variety of groups, from yearbook to baseball. DiMartino also talks about his summer abroad in Colombia, where he played at a secret jazz club without his host family's permission or knowledge. He said the experience performing there was what made him finally decide to pursue music as his career.

Keywords: Colombia; High schools; Inspirations; Jazz; Memories; Motivations; Performances; Study abroad; Trumpets

Subjects: Foreign study; Jazz; Music--Performance; Trumpet

00:33:54 - Eastman School of Music / Coming to work at UK

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Partial Transcript: And, uh, so, so that's that.

Segment Synopsis: In this segment, DiMartino discusses his decision to attend the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York, per the referral from his English teacher who was an alumni. His high school paid for him to fly up to Rochester and perform for his soon to be professor at the school. He wanted to attend a school in which he was the worst trumpet player, because then he would be able to learn much more. DiMartino also talks about his performance in Lexington, Kentucky where he met Dr. Henderson. He says that Henderson would go on to call him a few years later and offer him a position as the trumpet instructor at UK. The position began as temporary, but DiMartino later became a permanent faculty member.

Keywords: Educators; Inspirations; Jazz; Kentucky; Performances; Trumpets; UK; UKY

Subjects: Alumni and alumnae; Eastman School of Music; Jazz; Lexington (Ky.).; Music--Performance; Trumpet; University of Kentucky; University of Kentucky. School of Music

00:39:58 - UK jazz band

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Partial Transcript: So where did you get your master's degree and then--

Segment Synopsis: In this segment, DiMartino discusses the road to getting his master's degree at Eastman School of Music. He also talks about how he directed the UK jazz band. He wanted to give his students a practical education and so he ran the band like a doctor would run clinicals. DiMartino later went on to give up directing the jazz band so that UK could hire a saxophone instructor.

Keywords: Educators; Jazz; Jazz bands; Performances; Trumpets

Subjects: Big bands; Eastman School of Music; Jazz; Lexington (Ky.); Music--Performance; Trumpet; University of Kentucky; University of Kentucky. School of Music

00:45:18 - Working with Sara Holroyd / Lessons from Holroyd

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Partial Transcript: Well, let's transition to her.

Segment Synopsis: In this segment, DiMartino briefly discusses some of his collaborations with Holroyd during their time working together at UK. Holroyd taught him that one of the most important aspects of his job was recruiting and going out to high schools around the state. DiMartino took her advice to heart and recruited around the state during and even after his time at UK. He also volunteered his time to other schools to help out their bands.

Keywords: Alumni; Influences; Instructors; Jazz; Jazz bands; Performances; Sara Holroyd; Trumpets

Subjects: Alumni and alumnae; Big bands; Choral music; Choral singing; Jazz; Lexington (Ky.); Music--Performance; Trumpet; University of Kentucky; University of Kentucky. School of Music

00:50:20 - Choir performances

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Partial Transcript: Well, let me ask, what do you remember, um--did you ever go to a Madrigal dinner?

Segment Synopsis: DiMartino discusses the Madrigal concerts that were directed by Holroyd. He often had students from his jazz band perform with the Madrigal choir, though he says that many did not want to perform because they did not want to wear tights. DiMartino also highlights a particular concert where the choir and orchestra were moved to several different locations before they could finally perform, due to basketball games taking precedence and also lack of room.

Keywords: Alumni; Educators; Influences; Inspirations; Jazz; Jazz bands; Kentucky; Performances; Sara Holroyd; Trumpets; UK; UKY

Subjects: Alumni and alumnae; Big bands; Choral music; Choral singing; Jazz; Lexington (Ky.); Music--Performance; Trumpet; University of Kentucky; University of Kentucky. School of Music

00:54:42 - Reflections on Sara Holroyd

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Partial Transcript: So what do you recall about the Robert Shaw dedication concert when the Singletary Center opened?

Segment Synopsis: In this segment, DiMartino briefly discusses Robert Shaw's arrival at UK. He and Collins talk about how Shaw said that he had never seen a choir so well prepared as Holroyd's was. DiMartino also reflects on how effective Holroyd was as an instructor and how inspiring she was. DiMartino talks about Holroyd's entry into nursing school after her retirement. He says that Holroyd has always looked for ways to help others and so he was not surprised to see her continue after retirement.

Keywords: Competitions; Educators; Inspirations; Jazz; Jazz bands; Kentucky; Motivations; Performances; Robert Shaw; Tributes; Trumpets; UK; UKY

Subjects: Alumni and alumnae; Choral music; Choral singing; Lexington (Ky.); Music--Performance; Shaw, Robert, 1916-1999.; University of Kentucky; University of Kentucky. School of Music

01:01:16 - Life after retirement

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Partial Transcript: I was just talking to somebody the other day...

Segment Synopsis: Much like Holroyd, DiMartino has insisted on keeping himself busy throughout his retirement. He performs recitals for schools around Fayette County, and he coaches professional performers. He talks about how he has never lost his love for learning and he attributes that to his parents always supporting his development as a performer.

Keywords: Alumni; Choirs; Influences; Instructors; Jazz; Jazz bands; Sara Holroyd; Singing; Trumpets

Subjects: Alumni and alumnae; Choral music; Choral singing; Lexington (Ky.); Music--Performance; University of Kentucky; University of Kentucky. School of Music

01:05:25 - Career after UK

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Partial Transcript: Um, tell me about your life after leaving UK and what are you doing now?

Segment Synopsis: In this segment, DiMartino discusses his time teaching jazz history at Centre College. He started working there after he retired from UK and he was there for 19 years. DiMartino discusses, again, his work after retirement and coordination with other professors and even high school directors and teachers.

Keywords: Alumni; Competitions; Educators; Inspirations; Jazz; Jazz bands; Kentucky; Leaders; Motivations; Performances; School of Fine Arts; Trumpets; UK; UKY

Subjects: Alumni and alumnae; Big bands; Centre College (Danville, Ky. : 1918- ); Choral music; Choral singing; Jazz; Lexington (Ky.).; Music--Performance; Trumpet; University of Kentucky

01:09:34 - Encouraging others to learn

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Partial Transcript: After, after here, I mean I still perform a lot.

Segment Synopsis: DiMartino discusses his continued trumpet performance even in recent years. He also talks further about the professors and students across the state and even internationally that he continues to help in his retirement, whether it be by direct lessons, resource materials, or seminars. DiMartino also talks about his personal trumpet and music collection he keeps in his home for others to come look at and interact with. He hopes to continue growing is collection to pass down to his son, who can continue to build on what he has started.

Keywords: Educators; Inspirations; Instructors; Jazz; Jazz bands; Kentucky; Trumpets; UK; UKY

Subjects: Alumni and alumnae; Big bands; Centre College (Danville, Ky. : 1918- ); Eastman School of Music; Jazz; Lexington (Ky.); Music--Performance; Trumpet; University of Kentucky; University of Kentucky. School of Music

01:16:42 - Shakertown legacy and performances

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Partial Transcript: Can I ask you what your recollection is about the Shaker worship service?

Segment Synopsis: In this segment, DiMartino is asked to recall his memories about the Shaker worship services put on by Holroyd. He talks about what a wonderful project that was and how the university, being a land grant university, should really be doing more events like that, related to Kentucky. He also discusses the importance of those performances not only to the UK music program, but also to Shakertown. He says they still mention those performances when he takes students on tours there.

Keywords: Alumni; Churches; Hymnals; Influences; Inspirations; Leaders; Memories; Priests; Religions; Salli Terri; Sara Holroyd; School of Fine Arts; Shaker Village; Shaker worship; Shakers; Shakertown; Worship

Subjects: Alumni and alumnae; Choral music; Choral singing; Lexington (Ky.); Music--Performance; Shakers--Hymns; Shakers--Kentucky--Pleasant Hill--Anecdotes; University of Kentucky; University of Kentucky. School of Music


GPS: Shaker Village, also mentioned as Shakertown in this segment.
Map Coordinates: 37.816331, -84.740476

Hyperlink: Official website for Shaker Village.
01:21:40 - Closing reflections on Sara Holroyd

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Partial Transcript: Well I just wanna end by asking you--

Segment Synopsis: To close out the interview, DiMartino reflects on his encounters with Holroyd. He talks about the decisions you have to make as an educator about what role models you follow. DiMartino mentions that he worked to make himself more like Holroyd, especially when it came to controlling his temper. He said that in his earlier years he would have the tendency to get very frustrated with students he saw potential in, who wouldn't put forth the effort and practice.

Keywords: Alumni; Educators; Influences; Inspirations; Jazz; Jazz bands; Leaders; Memories; Sara Holroyd; School of Fine Arts; Trumpets

Subjects: Alumni and alumnae; Big bands; Centre College (Danville, Ky. : 1918- ); Jazz; Lexington (Ky.); Music--Performance; Trumpet; University of Kentucky; University of Kentucky. School of Music