“There’s no better way to ready yourself for Easter or spend the afternoon of Good Friday,” said Stan Workman, Shawnee State University music professor and director of music at Second Presbyterian Church in Portsmouth.
Workman was referring to the presentation 3 p.m., Friday of the complete Handel’s “Messiah” at Second Presbyterian Church, 801 Waller St. He also noted it is very unusual for the entire “Messiah” to be performed.
The Second Presbyterian performance will include a full orchestra, made up of members from all over the area, including out-of-state. In addition to the church’s Chancel Choir and the University choir and coral of SSU, the performance will include three soloists: Carline Waugh, soprano; Leigh Heater, tenor; and, Portsmouth native Jeffrey Tarr, bass.
Waugh is a Jamaican born singer was performed recently in Russia, Finland, Italy, Austria, the U.S. and the Caribbean. She began her career studying music with Portsmouth native Faith Esham at Atlantic Union College. She firmly master’s degree in music from the University of Mississippi and a Doctor of musical arts from Louisiana State University.
Heater just finished the Resident Art Program with the Pittsburgh Opera.
“I grew up singing in my grandmother’s churches, one of which was a Presbyterian Church in Gassaway W. Va.,” Heater said. Singing in church always connects me with them (her grandparents) as they have now left Earth. This experience at Second Presbyterian will surely reach their ears.”
Tarr stated he has not sung professionally in his hometown in over 20 years, adding he has performed the “Messiah” many times, but it remains “as fresh and powerful” as ever.
Besides the various singers, other performers will include Portsmouth physician Jeremiah Martin on the organ. Martin has performed at Second Presbyterian many times and has in fact played the organ around the world.
David Pettit, who is completing his medical degree at The Ohio State University and served as the school’s drum major, will play the harpsichord-clavinova.
What Workman said will be over a two- hour performance is free and open to the public. For more information about the Good Friday presentation of the “Messiah,” contact Second Presbyterian Church at (740) 353- 4159.