Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History

Interview with Marlon G. Hurst, November 25, 2020

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

 

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00:00:02 - Hurst's work with the First Presbyterian Church and Kentucky Bach Choir

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Partial Transcript: Okay we're rolling. Uh, this is Kopana Terry and it is November 26th--is it the 26th?

Segment Synopsis: Hurst talks about his work with the First Presbyterian Church in Lexington, Kentucky, and the Kentucky Bach Choir. He talks about the people he works with and the students who work as interns.

Keywords: Artistic directors; Churches; Community members; First Presbyterian Church (Lexington, Ky.); Internships; Kentucky Bach Choir; Rehearsals; Section leaders

Subjects: Choirs (Music); Students.; Volunteers.

00:02:45 - How COVID-19 has changed his work

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Partial Transcript: What I want to know is how COVID has affected your ability to do your job. To, well, do events now and hold a choir, um, and the Bach Choir when people can't be together anymore.

Segment Synopsis: Hurst talks about how the pandemic has caused him to shift his work from choir director to more of an audio engineer. He explains the process of taking audio files from his choir and making them into a cohesive final product.

Keywords: Audio engineers; Audio files; Breakout rooms; Choir directors; Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19); First Presbyterian Church (Lexington, Ky.); Google Drive; Kentucky Bach Choir; Participation; Section leaders; Video production; Vocal tracks; Zoom (Video teleconferencing software); Zoom rehearsals

Subjects: COVID-19 (Disease); Choirs (Music); Conducting.; Singing.; Volunteers.

00:14:42 - How his work will change after the pandemic

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Partial Transcript: What do you think is going to change about the way you operate once this is all over and we're able to go back to church and the choir is able to meet and you--you have to stop being an audio-vi--video engineer?

Segment Synopsis: Hurst talks about how his work will change once the pandemic ends, including losing some of his participants who no longer live in Lexington, Kentucky, but have been joining rehearsals on Zoom. He talks about how having online worship services has allowed more people to attend.

Keywords: Churches; Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19); Participation; Worship services; Zoom (Video teleconferencing software); Zoom rehearsals

Subjects: Arts; COVID-19 (Disease); Choirs (Music)

00:17:53 - Reactions to the lockdown

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Partial Transcript: Um, let's go back to when the country first shut down. When that happened in the middle of March, what was your first reaction?

Segment Synopsis: Hurst talks about his initial reaction to the lockdown and how First Presbyterian Church had to adjust its worship services. He also talks about how his choir handled their rehearsals after the lockdown began.

Keywords: Churches; Conferences; Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19); First Presbyterian Church (Lexington, Ky.); Lockdowns; Projects; Rehearsals; Section leaders; Worship services; Zoom (Video teleconferencing software); Zoom meetings

Subjects: COVID-19 (Disease); Choirs (Music); Church services; Hymns.

00:21:45 - Hiring other musicians / The Kentucky Bach Choir

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Partial Transcript: So you work with a lot of musicians, um, people that come in that do your music for mission stuff and do the events at the church and you haven't really been able to do a lot of that and so, you know, what is your feeling that you're getting from them about how they're handling all of this?

Segment Synopsis: Hurst talks about the other musicians they hire to help with the First Presbyterian Church and how they have been making money during the pandemic. He talks about the Kentucky Bach Choir and how it has adjusted to the lockdown.

Keywords: Audio engineers; Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19); Day jobs; First Presbyterian Church (Lexington, Ky.); Gigs; Kentucky Bach Choir; Lockdowns; Productions; Video editing

Subjects: COVID-19 (Disease); Choirs (Music); Finance.; Income.; Musicians; Singers; Sound engineers.; Unemployment.

00:28:57 - Staying positive during the pandemic

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Partial Transcript: Besides the obvious downside of not being able to be in, in community, uh, with the people that you ordinarily spend loads of time with, um, have you found it difficult at all to, um, stay positive and keep your spirits up and keep the spirits up of, of your choirs?

Segment Synopsis: Hurst talks about struggling to stay positive during the pandemic and tells a story about an experience he had with his section leaders.

Keywords: Church musicians; Communities; Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19); Emotions; Positivity; Section leaders

Subjects: COVID-19 (Disease); Mental health.; Psyche; Salaries; Singing.; Social distancing (Public health)

00:33:16 - Players from the Lexington Philharmonic and the pandemic

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Partial Transcript: Some of the players that you bring in, um, I think, uh, come from the Philharmonic. They--they usually play various and sundry gigs, uh, around town. Do you--are they--are they suffering financially at all?

Segment Synopsis: Hurst talks about how players from the Lexington Philharmonic may have been affected by the pandemic.

Keywords: Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19); Gigs; Lexington Philharmonic; Private lessons

Subjects: COVID-19 (Disease); Finance.; Musicians; Orchestra.; Teaching.

00:35:24 - How students have been impacted by the pandemic

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Partial Transcript: Uh, the students. Do you have any students anymore?

Segment Synopsis: Hurst talks about how the pandemic has affected students and caused some of them to lose motivation.

Keywords: Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19); Interns; Internships

Subjects: COVID-19 (Disease); Choirs (Music); Singers; Students.; Teachers.

00:38:07 - Performing without an audience

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Partial Transcript: One thing I--I know from experience is that it's very weird, um, to give a good performance when you're not performing in front of an audience but an audience is going to hear you--(laughs)--or see you.

Segment Synopsis: Hurst talks about performing without an audience and how his choir has adjusted to virtual performances.

Keywords: Audiences; Audio recordings; Challenges; Contributions; Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19); Performances; Performing; Virtual choirs

Subjects: COVID-19 (Disease); Choirs (Music); Singers; Singing.

00:44:19 - The future after the pandemic

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Partial Transcript: So my last question for you dear is, what do you think the world's going to look like when this is over?

Segment Synopsis: Hurst talks about his hopes for the future after the pandemic is over, including a more empathetic government and less division among the American people.

Keywords: Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19); Divisions; Empathy; Government; National leadership; Performers; Political leadership

Subjects: Arts; COVID-19 (Disease); Music.; Pandemics and COVID-19; Presidents