As the commander of the U.S. Air Force Band, Benny L. Knudsen (BS ’62) would regularly line up his 11 children von Trapp–style and have them sing at his concerts.
“Music was a passion in my family,” says Marilyn Knudsen Bazinet (BS ’01) of Lehi, Utah. “My parents met in the BYU Cougar Marching Band, and our father’s musical career took us around the world. Voice and piano lessons were a regular part of our home…, and we sang wherever we were.”
While the siblings—eight girls and three boys—enjoyed sharing music, they eventually disbanded to pursue academics at BYU, BYU–Idaho, and BYU–Hawaii; serve missions; and plan weddings. Their love for music remained, however, and the sisters often talked about creating their own CD.
This dream came to fruition two years ago, when Bazinet and Utah producer Rob Elliott mapped out a recording project. “We planned it out, song by song, and then I sent my sisters their parts,” says Bazinet. The Knudsen sisters flew in for 10 days to lay down separate tracks for each voice in Elliott’s studio.
They sent the tracks to studio musicians who recorded the music. The resulting CD, Joy, is a soulful take on nine Christmas favorites.
Since then, the Knudsen Sisters have performed across the country. Events have included a benefit concert for a BYU student fighting cancer and a series of holiday concerts with the Grammy Award–winning Phoenix Chorale.
“[Our] parents have been very involved, and…their buttons are just popping to see us doing something they love so much,” Bazinet says. “Their work has always been to instill [in] us…a love of music.”
“We would love to do this again,” says Sally Knudsen Holloway (BS ’91) of Centerville, Utah. “The challenge is the time and the distance….But I see another CD in our future.”