Lisa Bassett talks to Helen Kemp, a key figure in children’s choir pedagogy, longtime Westminster Choir College faculty member, and established conductor. Mrs. Kemp reflects on her time as a Westminster student, the evolution of her career in choral conducting, and her educational philosophy.
- 0:16: Childhood, family, and early musical training
- 3:35: First introduction to Westminster Choir College through school music teacher
- 6:16: Lessons at Westminster, the school’s shift from church music to wider focus
- 8:50: Choral engagements with major orchestras during her time as a student
- 10:28: Westminster Choir’s appearance in Fantasia
- 15:40: Life after college– work in North Carolina and marriage
- 18:45: Early employment as a member of WCC voice faculty
- 22:00: Choral conducting and solo work in Oklahoma City and Dallas
- 24:50: Involvement with Chorister’s Guild and return to WCC
- 28:27: Work with children’s choirs, advice for music educators, trademark teaching philosophy
- 36:16: Retirement and involvement with senior citizen choir
- 43:12: The origins and growth of the Kemp Church Music Symposium
- 49:18: Current work as a composer and adviser to choral educators
You can read Lisa’s reflections on this interview here.