Sunday, March 6, 2011

BGDaily News: 'In One Lifetime' is 'research for three lecture/performances of Still’s music' by Janet Bass Smith

[In One Lifetime; Verna Arvey; The University of Arkansas Press, Fayetteville 1984]

Correction: Pianist Janet Bass Smith has kindly provided this correction on March 7, 2011: "When I was interviewed for the article, it was early February, so the article states that my programs are in the future. They were actually presented the last week of February..."

Sunday, March 6, 2011
Bowling Green Daily News
Libby Davies
Barnes and Noble Booksellers
“Pianist Janet Bass Smith and her husband of 53 years, Charles Smith, moved to Bowling Green in 1989. She teaches piano in her home studio to 30 students and has lectured and performed widely throughout the United States and Europe, from an orchestra hall in St. Petersburg, Russia, to a cavern in Mammoth Cave, where she has been a seasonal guide since 1993. The Smiths have performed together as a flute and piano duo for more than 55 years. Ten years ago, the Smiths were co-founders, with Jeff Reed, of Orchestra Kentucky.”

“Smith usually reads several books at one time, choosing titles as research for lectures, to learn more about music-related topics or just for enjoyment. Last year she read 'The Long Steel Rail: The Railroad in American Folk Song,' by Norm Cohen, the definitive book about railroad songs and the stories behind them, in preparation for a lecture on railroad songs at the L&N Depot. She also studied the two-volume autobiography of American composer Aaron Copland because she loves his music. This year she is continuing her quest to know more about him with 'Selected Correspondence of Aaron Copland,' edited by E. Christ and W. Shirley.

“Smith is currently in the midst of three other reading projects: 'In One Lifetime,' a biography of William Grant Still written by his wife, Verna Arvey, as research for three lecture/performances of Still’s music, which she is presenting this month; 'The Year’s Best Science Fiction,' a Christmas gift from one of her sons; and Mark Twain’s classic, 'Huckleberry Finn,' because she is curious about why some think it should be re-edited to be politically correct.” [William Grant Still (1895-1978) is profiled at, where a complete Works List by Prof. Dominique-René de Lerma is found. In One Lifetime by Verna Arvey is available from booksellers and from William Grant Still Music.]

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