After a lifetime of teaching and promoting others, Bett takes centerstage as an artist with the release of her eighth album, “At the End of the Day” which was promoted nationally and internationally. It charted #15 on the Folk charts in December 2017. She has recorded eight albums on her Ceilidhe’s Music label.
Bett came from a musical background and grew up in Durham, North Carolina. She took up guitar at age eleven learning folk songs. In 1989 she began writing her own music. She is a multi-instrumentalist whose music features lovely guitar tunings, often with partial capos, rootsy banjo, soft piano, harp and other instruments with elements of folk, Celtic, jazz, and new age that are spun in her unique style. As a lover of traditional music, her fresh arrangements bring many listeners new appreciations of old songs. She has recorded eight albums on her Ceilidhe’s Music label.
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Much like what we seek At the End of the Day, Bett’s eighth studio album of the same name charted number sixteen and fifteen on the Folk Charts in November and December 2017. It is characterized by a gentle feeling of peace and comfort. Her rich, warm voice beckons the listener as if to invite them to sit for the entirety of this lovely collection of well-crafted and beautifully arranged songs which was produced by Chris Rosser at Hollow Reed Studio in Asheville, NC. A multi-instrumentalist, her music features lovely guitar tunings, often with partial capos, rootsy banjo, soft piano, harp and other instruments with elements of folk, Celtic, jazz, and new age that are spun in her unique style. As a lover of traditional music, her fresh arrangements bring many listeners new appreciations of old songs.
A native of North Carolina, she devoted much of her time researching her state’s vast history and capturing it in music. In 1998 while researching the history of the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse she became enamored by the light and it’s plight with the sea and those who wanted to save it from the encroaching ocean. It lead to a song which then lead to an entire CD entitled “Hatteras: if a Lighthouse Could Speak”, her third album, which received widespread acclaim in 1999 when the tower was relocated one-half mile inland. Bett is a prolific songwriter. Her lyrical interpretations of life through her music show that she is keenly observant of the world around us. Her songs have an honest but positive message and leave the listener with a sense of optimism.
Bett’s music reflects her belief in enduring relationships and community involvement. Her song “At the End of the Day” is an observance of life and of gratitude that she practices. These are common themes throughout her songs. Her story songs evoke memories and are personalized by the listener. Predominantly the song subjects are about steadfast and loving relationships and commitment which she values greatly.
She is known for her contributions to live music and to the community. Bett has hosted a world renowned house concert series (Little Lake Hill House Concerts) since 2000 bringing musicians from around the globe to entertain audiences in the central part of North Carolina. She was booking chair for Triangle Folk Music Society (now defunct) and a founding member of the North Carolina Songwriters’ Co-op. She visits Love Wins Ministries regularly to serve breakfast to people who are less fortunate. In 2016 she engaged the students at Enloe High School’s audio-visual department in creating a music video about the Christmas Cookie Cutters that she and her mother used when she was a child. This was a wonderful learning experience for all. Now she gathers friends ages 10-70+ to bake Christmas cookies for families at Ronald McDonald House in Durham each December using the same cookie molds.
Bett was a classically trained pianist who took up guitar at age eleven singing the songs of Peter, Paul and Mary, then later inspired by Judy Collins and Joni Mitchell’s alternate tunings. In 1989 she began writing her own music, trying to bring awareness to an endangered environment and ethical treatment of animals. She began teaching music in Raleigh in 1978 where she taught guitar at North Carolina State University for 29 years and continues to teach in her private studio. Her students enjoy learning not only guitar, but mandolin, banjo, ukulele as well as theory and composition.
Bett began showing friends how to play guitar during junior high school when groups would gather. She would teach them chords and rhythms. After studying music beginning at age five and through college as a voice major/piano minor, she knew enough theory that could be applied to guitar and all instruments that can be used for accompaniment styles. She began teaching private guitar lessons in 1978 and through the Wake County Community Schools and the YWCA. In 1979 she was asked to teach guitar classes at North Carolina State University where she continued to teach for 29 years. She continues to teach private lessons in guitar, banjo, mandolin, ukulele, composition and theory. She loves the sounds created by alternate tunings and is knowledgeable in DADGAD guitar tuning. She has created a series of tutorials to help demystify the tuning for beginners. She enjoys helping others find their voice in music and will likely continue to teach until the last student quits.