Editor’s note — This is part three of a three-part series. Part one ran in Tuesday’s edition of the Daily Times. Part two was published in Wednesday’s edition.
Dr. Jeremiah Martin entertained the thought of becoming a musician — as much as any 18-year-old contemplates their wild side. While Martin’s logical instincts guided his career path, music has always been a part of his DNA.
“Music to this day has been my therapy,” Martin said. “The pipe organ is a phenomenal instrument. It makes the softest sounds, the largest sounds. It’s a one-man orchestra.”
Martin has felt blessed to meet a great deal of talented musicians in Portsmouth via the local churches. He’s been impressed with the instruments in the area, as well as the different organists with the talent to make those instruments come to life.
“There’s quite a few really good organists here in town — Stan Workman here at Second Presbyterian, most notably,” Martin said. “He’s sort of taken me under his wing and involved me in some of the community musical efforts. That has just been fantastic.”
Growing up, Martin was no stranger to playing at local churches in his home country of Ireland. With his current position at SOMC and his on-call schedule, he feels it’s impossible to commit every Sunday, because an emergency of some sort will inevitably happen.
“If there’s a cardiac emergency on the weekends I’m working, it’s just not fair to leave a community standing,” Martin said. “As such, I’ll probably always be the kind of substitute guy or locums guy. But it’s really nice to be able to give that, to be able to go visit a church community; to get to know the people, get involved in their music. They’ve all been so appreciative, it’s been really good.”
Going forward, Martin would like to continue to raise awareness for the organ, which is describes as an outstanding instrument to play. Most individuals associate the organ solely with a church service, which isn’t the case. Martin said there is so much more to the instrument’s repertoire that most people aren’t aware of, so he has considered putting together different concerts with various musicians to raise awareness of the organ.
While he still hasn’t worked out the details of those concerts, Martin is still scheduled to serve as a substitute organicist for various, local churches in July. Then in August, First Presbyterian Church is preparing to showcase a newly renovated organ.
“We’re picking our repertoire and doing rehearsals for that,” Martin said. “There’s just a great community of musicians and people with other interests here. When you have a small community or a small town, it’s easier to connect with people.”
Aside from participating in the local churches, Martin is preparing a new event for November, which is lung-cancer awareness month.
“It’s the No. 1 cancer killer,” Martin said. “So, if you line up all the cancer killers, lung cancer kills the most people every year — more than the next four causes of cancer combined.”
Even though Martin has only been in Scioto County for a year, he has been a fan of Dr. Vincent Scarpinato’s work with the “Paint it Pink” campaign, which raises money for breast cancer.
“It’s incredible what (Scarpinato’s) done for the cancer center,” Martin said. “He is going to be something of a mentor to me here because I would like to initiate something here like he has for breast, but for lung. So, with November coming up, we are going to be doing a big push for Lung Cancer awareness.”
Martin noted Scarpinato’s work with the local theatres as well as his efforts to create local concerts, which is successful every year in raising money for breast cancer. The SOMC Cancer Center currently as a breast cancer compassion fund, which Martin stressed was essential to create for lung-cancer patients.
“A lot of our cancer patients just don’t have a lot,” Martin said. “They don’t have a lot of means. It would be really nice to have something similar setup for lung cancer patients. The fund raising for example would give our patients a gas card to get to and from treatments. It would also help them out in other ways.
“So definitely in November, I will be working with local musicians to figure out some of the ways we can put on concerts, whether it’s organ related or other orchestra related type things. I think a big push for lung cancer is on the horizon.”
While Martin as only been in the area for a year, he’s excited for the potential of the community.
“I know there’s a lot happening in this town” Martin said. “As the years go on, I definitely plan on becoming more involved in the community. We’ll see what happens. We’ll see what the future brings.”
Reach Chris Slone at 740-353-3101, ext 1927, or on Twitter @crslone.
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