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“Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old, he will not depart from it.”
Proverbs 22:6, King James Version of the Holy Bible
In the home of Rev. and Mrs. James Burnis Bass, it was GOD first and then MUSIC. Through the discipline of bible teachings, music and academic education, strict family structure values and “hard work” ethic, the Bass girls, Constance, Ruth, Rose Mary, Lois and Joyce, were reared in the very safe village of like-minded relatives and neighbors in the city of Los Angeles, CA.
Christ Temple Church of Christ (Holiness) USA was the foundation of our being. Its teachings were taught through daily home devotions, prayer, songs from “Jesus Only” and “His Fullness” hymnals and real life examples by our parents, church members and the community.
Before his death, Bishop Charles Price Jones would visit our home every Thursday morning, offering prayer and giving encouraging words of wisdom to our mother, Hazelle Catherine Parker Bass. An account of his visit was shared by mother at the dinner table.
Our father, Rev. James Bass, was the eldest of fourteen children. Our grandparents relocated from the south to Chowchilla, CA in the 1930’s and became the first African American Dairy Farmers in the San Joaquin Valley of California. After serving as associate minister at Christ Temple, Rev. Bass pastored First Church in Merced, CA and later Second Temple Church of Christ (Holiness) USA until his transition to be with the Lord in 1985.
Hazelle Catherine Parker Bass was the fourth of five daughters. Born in Pine Bluff, AR, she moved to Memphis, TN until moving to Los Angeles, CA at the age of fifteen. She loved music and taught each of her daughters to read music, as well as play the piano. Violin lessons were also provided for each daughter from a private instructor.
Growing up at Christ Temple in Los Angeles was where the Bass Girls honed their musical skills, participating in the choirs vocally, playing the violin, piano and/or organ.
Ruth, at the age of twelve, was the accompanist (piano and organ) of the Christ Temple Cathedral Choir under the direction of Dr. Garfield Tucker. She is the Minister of Music at Faith Congregational Church in Hartford, CT and is teaching the choir the Charles Price Jones Hymns. Ruth is the featured pianist in the CD: “Spirituals: Reflections and Meditation” produced by VISTA Records and the Bass Sisters Music.
She is the organist in the CD: “HYMNS – Bishop Charles P. Jones” produced on the same label. Dr. Ruth is the Founder and President of The Hazelle Catherine Bass Institute for the Arts and President of Bass Sisters Music.
Lois began playing the piano at age three. She accompanied the Cathedral Choir in their rendition of Handel’s Messiah at the age of seven under the direction of Dr. Garfield Tucker. After his retirement, she served as pianist and director of the Cathedral Choir until 2001. She is a member of Christ Temple, pastor Bishop Emery Lindsay. Lois is the Director of Music of the Bass Family and Friends Chorale. She is the pianist in the CD: “HYMNS – Bishop Charles P. Jones” and serves as the Chief Financial Officer for Bass Sisters Music and The Hazelle Catherine Bass Institute for the Arts.
Rose Mary participated in the choirs at Christ Temple from an early age, singing and playing the violin. She has served as pianist for Second Temple Church and played for Bible Study at New Testament. Rose Mary is currently the pianist for Macedonia Church of Christ Holiness under the leadership of Pastor Rev. Frank Reed in Compton, CA. She is the Secretary of Bass Sisters Music and Project Manager and Board Director for the Hazelle Catherine Bass Institute for the Arts.
Joyce sang in all of the choirs and was often the soloist at Christ Temple. She conducted the Youth and Adult Choirs at Second Temple under the leadership of her father, Rev. James Bass. She has rejoined this ministry after serving at Liberty Tabernacle Church for many years. Joyce is the Project Manager for Bass Sisters Music. She is the Historian and a Board Director for The Hazelle Catherine Bass Institute for the Arts.
Constance (Connie) sang in all of the choirs at Christ Temple as well as played the violin. She is the leader in creating Bass Sisters Music and The Hazelle Catherine Bass Institute for the Arts in honor of our parents and to serve mankind by offering our gifts of music to all people. Connie is Vice President and Director of Marketing for Bass Sisters Music. She is the Secretary and Director of Marketing for The Hazelle Catherine Bass Institute for the Arts.
Our children, grand and great grandchildren are continuing the legacy by participating in the Bass Family Chorale, presenting concerts sharing their gifts of singing, instrument playing and spoken word.
The inspiration for producing the CD with twelve Hymns by Bishop Charles P. Jones came from a request by our late paternal aunt, Dazettia Ligons Walker.
“In all thy ways, acknowledge Him and He will direct thy path.”