Interview with Martha Bassett, May 25, 2017

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

 

Transcript
Toggle Index/Transcript View Switch.
Index
Search this Index
X
00:00:01 - Childhood

Play segment

Partial Transcript: Okay. Martha, thanks for being with us today.

Segment Synopsis: In this segment, Bassett introduces herself and talks about her childhood and some of her earliest experiences performing music.

[Collins prompts Bassett to repeat a story.]

Keywords: Bands; Inspirations; Instructors; Instrumentalists; Kentucky; Leaders; Performances; Pianists; Sara Holroyd; School of Fine Arts; School of Music; Singing; University of Kentucky; Weddings

Subjects: Choral singing; Lexington (Ky.).; Music--Performance; Winston-Salem (N.C.)

00:06:11 - Early musical experiences

Play segment

Partial Transcript: Where did you attend elementary school?

Segment Synopsis: Bassett discusses her early school years in this segment. She mentions that her elementary school had no music program of any kind, but once she entered junior high she joined every music-related elective she could.

Keywords: Elementary schools; Inspirations; Instructors; Performances; Pianists; Singing; Weddings

Subjects: Choral singing; Lexington (Ky.); Music--Performance; University of Kentucky. School of Music; Winston-Salem (N.C.)

00:09:41 - Musical influences, vocal and instrumental

Play segment

Partial Transcript: Um, who were your very early musical influences?

Segment Synopsis: Bassett reflects on the artists who had the greatest influence on her as a developing musician. She mentions The Mamas & The Papas as having the largest influence on her. She discusses learning the piano and several other instruments as well.

Keywords: Bands; Guitars; Influences; Inspirations; Performances; Singing; The Mamas and the Papas (Artist)

Subjects: Americana; Choral singing; Lexington (Ky.); Mamas and the Papas (Musical group); Music--Performance; University of Kentucky. School of Music; Winston-Salem (N.C.)

00:14:32 - Extracurricular musical programs / Arrival at the University of Kentucky

Play segment

Partial Transcript: Um, let me just go back to high school--

Segment Synopsis: Bassett spent her high school years in choir and band, continually developing her love for music. She admits that UK was not her first choice of universities, or even on her list, but that it was the best choice for her in the end.

Keywords: Bands; Inspirations; Instructors; Instrumentalists; Kentucky; Leaders; Performances; Sara Holroyd; School of Fine Arts; School of Music; Singing; UK; UKY; Virginia Tech

Subjects: Choral singing; Lexington (Ky.); Music--Performance; University of Kentucky; University of Kentucky. School of Music; Winston-Salem (N.C.)

00:20:21 - Meeting Sara Holroyd

Play segment

Partial Transcript: Wonderful. Okay, we're gonna move now into the Sara Holroyd years--

Segment Synopsis: In this segment, Bassett describes what it was like meeting Holroyd for the very first time. She mentions that Holroyd appeared dominant and disciplined, and that she liked seeing those traits in a woman. Her time performing at Shakertown is also briefly mentioned.

Keywords: Americana; Choirs; Inspirations; Instructors; Leaders; Sara Holroyd; School of Fine Arts; School of Music; Shaker Village; Shakers; Shakertown; Singing; UK; UKY; Villages

Subjects: Americana; Choral singing; Lexington (Ky.); Music--Performance; University of Kentucky; University of Kentucky. School of Music; Winston-Salem (N.C.)

00:24:00 - Performances at UK

Play segment

Partial Transcript: So, um, let me ask you about some of the other experiences.

Segment Synopsis: In this segment, Bassett reflects on the various performance groups she took part in as a student in the School of Music, as well as how these groups influenced her later in life.

Keywords: Bands; Choirs; Dinners; Inspirations; Instructors; Instrumentalists; Kentucky; Leaders; Madrigal; Performances; Phyllis Jenness; Sara Holroyd; School of Fine Arts; School of Music; Singing; Sophisticates; UK; UKY

Subjects: Americana; Choral singing; Lexington (Ky.); Music--Performance; University of Kentucky; University of Kentucky. School of Music; Winston-Salem (N.C.)

00:26:46 - Sophisticates / Friends in music program

Play segment

Partial Transcript: How about the Sophisticates?

Segment Synopsis: Bassett reflects on the Sophisticates group at UK, as well as her involvement in the group for its first two years. Bassett also reflects on the friends she made during her time in the School of Music.

Keywords: Bands; Choirs; Glee clubs; Inspirations; Instrumentalists; Kentucky; Leaders; Performances; Phyllis Jenness; Popular music; Sara Holroyd; School of Fine Arts; School of Music; Singing; Sophisticates; UK; UKY

Subjects: Americana; Choral singing; Lexington (Ky.); Music--Performance; University of Kentucky; University of Kentucky. School of Music; Winston-Salem (N.C.)

00:31:42 - Lasting influences of Phyllis Jenness and Sara Holroyd

Play segment

Partial Transcript: Um, what about professors?

Segment Synopsis: Bassett discusses her two most memorable professors, Jenness and Holroyd, and the lasting influence they have had on her adult life.

Keywords: Choirs; Inspirations; Instructors; Kentucky; Leaders; Performances; Phyllis Jenness; Sara Holroyd; School of Fine Arts; Singing; Sophisticates; UK; UKY

Subjects: Choral singing; Lexington (Ky.); Music--Performance; University of Kentucky; University of Kentucky. School of Music; Winston-Salem (N.C.)

00:37:19 - University of North Carolina at Greensboro

Play segment

Partial Transcript: Okay, lets talk about life after graduating from the University of Kentucky.

Segment Synopsis: Bassett details her experience as a graduate student attending UNC at Greensboro. One of Jenness' former students was studying for their doctorate while she was working on her master's degree. Despite this, she felt quite out of place during her time there.

Keywords: Graduate schools; Inspirations; Leaders; Operas; Performances; Phyllis Jenness; School of Fine Arts; Singing; University of North Carolina (UNC)

Subjects: Americana; Choral singing; Music--Performance; University of Kentucky; University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Choir; Winston-Salem (N.C.)

00:39:40 - Incorporating Shaker music into graduate studies

Play segment

Partial Transcript: So talk about how he kind of, um, helped you craft this experience for you...

Segment Synopsis: Bassett discusses how she took her experiences performing Shaker worship services and used it in her thesis work. She mentions visiting the remaining twelve Shakers and singing with them.

Keywords: Americana; Choirs; Hymnals; Hymns; Inspirations; Instructors; Leaders; Phyllis Jenness; Sara Holroyd; School of Fine Arts; Shaker Village; Shakers; Shakertown; Singing; Worship

Subjects: Americana; Choral singing; Lexington (Ky.); Music--Performance; United Society of Shakers; University of Kentucky; University of Kentucky. School of Music; University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Choir; Winston-Salem (N.C.)

00:43:13 - Professional performance groups

Play segment

Partial Transcript: Okay, perfect.

Segment Synopsis: In this segment, Bassett discusses a few of the professional performance groups she has performed with, starting with the formation of "Martha and the Mood Swingers."

Keywords: Bands; Jazz; Musical groups; Performances; Piano; Singing; Swing; Vocalists

Subjects: Lexington (Ky.); Music--Performance; University of Kentucky. School of Music; Winston-Salem (N.C.)

00:48:29 - Formation of Bassett's current musical group

Play segment

Partial Transcript: So describe, um, your band today.

Segment Synopsis: In this segment, Bassett describes the formation of her most recent musical group. She mentions her bassist and spouse, Pat Bennett, as being one of the key contributors to its formation. She explains that her goal as a performer is to make music that is healing.

Keywords: Americana; Bands; Instrumentalists; Music therapy; Performances; Secular; Singing; Worship

Subjects: Americana; Music--Performance; Winston-Salem (N.C.)

00:57:14 - New music release / Inspirations

Play segment

Partial Transcript: Okay, um, talk about your new LP, CD--

Segment Synopsis: Bassett discusses her group's newer members, as well as the track list for her newest CD and the events that inspired each song. She mentions that the unique quality of her group is that they are able to put their egos behind them as performers and work together for the sake of creating music.

Keywords: Americana; Bands; Fiona Jackson; Friends; Instrumentalists; Pat Lawrence; Performances; Singing; Vocalists

Subjects: Americana; Music--Performance; Musical Groups; Winston-Salem (N.C.)

01:06:30 - UK School of Music alumni reunion

Play segment

Partial Transcript: Alright, I'm going to transition back--

Segment Synopsis: Bassett reflects on her experiences at the UK School of Music, and what it was like returning to perform for the alumni reunion tribute concert. She mentions that while UK was a huge school, the School of Music remained very close and intimate.

Keywords: Bands; Choirs; Inspirations; Instructors; Instrumentalists; Kentucky; Leaders; Performances; Phyllis Jenness; Reunions; Sara Holroyd; School of Fine Arts; School of Music; Shaker Village; Shakers; Shakertown; Singing; Sophisticates; Tributes; UK; UKY

Subjects: Alumni and alumnae; Americana; Choral singing; Lexington (Ky.); Music--Performance; University of Kentucky; University of Kentucky. School of Music; Winston-Salem (N.C.)

01:10:58 - Alumni performances

Play segment

Partial Transcript: What was it like to watch some of your fellow alums perform as well?

Segment Synopsis: Bassett reflects on the amazing experience of watching her former classmates and fellow alumni perform as professionals.

Keywords: Bands; Choirs; Inspirations; Instructors; Instrumentalists; Kentucky; Leaders; Performances; Phyllis Jenness; Sara Holroyd; School of Fine Arts; School of Music; Singing; Sophisticates; Tributes; UK; UKY

Subjects: Alumni and alumnae; Americana; Choral singing; Lexington (Ky.); Music--Performance; University of Kentucky; University of Kentucky. School of Music; Winston-Salem (N.C.)

01:15:24 - Sara Holroyd's legacy

Play segment

Partial Transcript: And a final question.

Segment Synopsis: Bassett is asked to describe what she thinks Holroyd's legacy will be. She says that outside of her musical greatness, Holroyd will be remembered for her amazing strength and resilience as a woman during her time.

Keywords: Adversities; Bravery; Choirs; Feminism; Inspirations; Kentucky; Leaders; Legacies; Resilience; Sara Holroyd; School of Fine Arts; Singing; Strengths; UK; UKY

Subjects: Americana; Choral singing; Legacies.; Lexington (Ky.); University of Kentucky; University of Kentucky. School of Music