Dr. Stanley Workman, Shawnee State University (SSU) professor and local pianist and vocalist, is preparing to leave the country once again to showcase his voice across seas. His upcoming trip has him leaving for China to perform with two of his colleagues in a tribute to World War II.
Workman has traveled the country, as well as the globe, to present his powerful, classically trained voice and looks forward to showing the people of China his talent for a third time.
A friend of Workman’s, James Huang, is the Chinese composer who stages these international concerts.
“This is my third invitation to perform and it is always so exciting,” Workman said. “It is always nice to see the history of the area and to realize just how magnificent it really is.”
Workman said he is always excited to travel and perform for different people of the world. He explained that he is always interested in seeing just how similar people of other cultures are to the people at home.
The major difference he notices between China and America is that there are many more people in China. He also stated they are often more expressive of their delight in his voice.
“The patrons of a show in China are a lot more outward in their expression,” Workman said. “I think they are surprised by the power of my voice. There are many excellent Chinese opera singers, but they aren’t often used to a powerful tenor voice.”
Workman said that he has had various peers join him for these performances. The guests he will be bringing on this trip include SSU’s John Huston and Mariah Minter Ginn.
“The entire theme of this particular concert is a celebration of the ending of World War II. This year makes 70 years and we will be celebrating that aspect,” Workman said. “The music is nostalgic and all of the numbers have allied patriotism themes running through them.”
Workman said he will be singing “The Longest Day,” a song referring to D-Day; “Bella Ciao,” which is a swell-known political piece; “A Life of Love,” which he will be singing with Ginn; “A Call for Peace,” an original by Huang that discusses the topic of loss from World War II and how it is still felt today; and more.
Workman said that each culture of the allied forces has a tribute in the show, so songs will include many languages, including English, Spanish, French, Italian, and Chinese.
“This is definitely an international allied experience,” Workman said. “We definitely won’t be singing any German.”
Reach Joseph Pratt at 740-353-3101, ext. 1932, or by Twitter @JosephPratt03.