Varney Scholarship concert upcoming

October 5, 2012


PDT Staff Writer

A concert to raise money for the Charles P. and Geneva Varney Scholarship Fund will be staged this Sunday at 3 p.m. at Second Presbyterian Church, 801 Waller Street in Portsmouth.

“An Hour of Sacred Song” will be presented by the Portsmouth Symphony Orchestra Chorale, under the direction of Justin Wiget, and the Chancel Choir of Second Presbyterian Church under the direction of Dr. Stanley Workman Jr., who will also be organist for the event. The concert is free, with donations to the scholarship fund gladly accepted. A dessert reception will be held after the concert.

“This is the third one of these concerts we have done,” Wiget said. “It has become an annual event. This is our primary fund raiser for the fund.”

“This is a fitting tribute to a great man,” Workman said.

Wiget said the scholarships will be awarded to students who wish to further their musical career after high school.

“We’re hoping we can make enough on this concert to award it (scholarship) this spring,” Wiget said. “I think we’re at the $10,000 mark, but that’s through the foundation. Once you go over that, I think you can start awarding.”

Wiget said it has been difficult to build up the fund because of low interest rates.

Varney died in 2010. He was a widely respected musical educator, vocal soloist and community leader. Varney accepted appointment as Music Specialist, Grades 1-12 at Wheelersburg public schools in 1958. He then moved to Portsmouth City schools in 1962 where he continued 27 years until his retirement.

That was followed by 12 years at Shawnee State University as a member of the adjunct faculty in the College of Education. During that period and in addition to his duties in music education, Varney also served six congregations as choir director at their churches and was director of the Portsmouth Area Male Chorus for 27 years. He was also Bass Soloist for services at B’nai Abraham Temple, Portsmouth, for a period of 40 years. He founded and directed the Portsmouth Symphony Chorale until 2009.

Frank Lewis may be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 232, or at flewis@heartlandpublications.com