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Lower Church to present musical Tenebrae service on Good Friday

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Soloist Judy Haile and music director Davidson Burgess review the Tenebrae service score.

The Adult Choir of Lower United Methodist Church will present “Tenebrae-A Service of Darkness,” composed by Hal Hopson, at 7:30 p.m. on Good Friday, April 18.

Tenebrae, which means “darkness,” is a worship service celebrated in churches dating back to the eighth century. The service commemorates the final days of Jesus on earth with scripture and music. “The public is cordially invited to worship as we celebrate the life, crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus Christ,” said a church spokesperson.

The church is on Route 33 at 120 Lower Church Road, Hartfield.

The choir will be accompanied by a string quartet, oboist and vocal soloist. Dr. Barry Burkholder, church pastor, will serve as the narrator. Members of the string quartet are Rex Britton, violin; Baylor Towne, violin; Margaret Lawyer, viola; Nina Buzby, cello; Christina Clohan, oboist; and organist Kathryn Paulette.

Vocal soloist Judy Haile is a graduate of Shenandoah Conservatory of Music. She has performed with the Essex County Community Chorus and for many years was a soloist with the Tappahannock Memorial United Methodist Church Choir’s performance of the popular “Musical Moods of Christmas.” In addition to her vocal work, she is talented on keyboard and piano. She performs throughout the area singing classical, pop, and gospel music.

Paulette has been the organist at Lower United Methodist Church for the past three years. She holds a bachelor’s degree from James Madison University. She taught music in the public schools in Florida and Virginia. She served as organist at Christchurch School and Tappahannock United Methodist Church. She teaches piano in Urbanna.

Davidson Burgess, director of music at Lower United Methodist, will conduct the musical service. He has over 60 years of broad musical experience in schools, churches, and professional playing and conducting.  He taught in public schools and directed choirs in nine churches in Virginia, West Virginia, and North Carolina. He taught at Ferrum College and served as the director of bands at Wake Forest University from 1974-1982 where he also conducted the University Symphony and taught conducting and oboe. He retired from Hanover County School System in 1998 where he served as director of fine arts supervising over 60 art and music teachers. Burgess is a graduate of the United States Navy School of Music, and holds degrees from Concord College and Marshall University.

posted 04.09.2014

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