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His voice rings out

| Saturday, Feb. 11, 2006

David Martin has a gift. He shares that gift with all those who have the pleasure of hearing him sing, engaging him as a vocal coach, or watching him perform.

A native of Connellsville, Martin grew up with a desire to sing and perform. He attributes his talent and abilities to his mother.

"My mom sings. She sang in the choir when I was growing up, and I feel that's where I get it from."

Martin attended Seton Hill College, in Greensburg, where he received his bachelor of arts in music in 1992.

Martin has continued his vocal training, studying privately with voice teachers Curt Scheib, Joanne Luchsinger, Roland Wyatt and presently with Katerina Musetti.

He also gives private vocal lessons at the Atkins Music Center, 166 W. Crawford Ave., in Connellsville. Owner Denise Friel is pleased to have Martin as one of her three voice instructors.

"It is a pleasure to have David here with us. He is an excellent talent and has a good background in music. He is a good example for his students," Friel said.

Friel added that Martin, as well as her other instructors, are all excellent at their profession and talented in their field. "They have experience and all have good backgrounds, and they instill an enthusiasm in their students that is necessary."

Martin is not a stranger to the stage. He's been performing since 1987. Some of his musical roles include the Usher in "Trial by Jury" and Dr. Joseph Taylor Sr. in "Allegro," both of which were staged at Seton Hill College. His roles with the Greater Uniontown Chorale included King Baltazaar in "Amahl and the Night Visitors" in 1992 and King Melchior in the same production in 1999.

Possibly most impressive in his long list of achievements is Martin's participation in the chorus for many productions staged by the Pittsburgh Opera. His roles include such famous works as Puccini's "Turandot"; Donizetti's "Lucia di Lammermoor"; Verdi's "Un Ballo In Maschera," "La Traviata" and "Rigoletto"; Wagner's "Der Fliegende Hollander"; Bizet's "Carmen"; Heggie's "Dead Man Walking"; Gounod's "Faust" and Beethoven's "Fidelio."

Martin said he would like the chance to portray the lead character in Gounod's famous opera.

"I like the role of Faust in the opera 'Faust' by Gounod. I like that role a lot, and I sing a lot of the music."

Martin's favorite role to date is that of King Melchior, which he performed with the Uniontown Chorale.

Keeping a busy schedule, Martin also has performed as a soloist with the Seton Hill College Choir, the Westmoreland Choral Society and the Westmoreland Symphony Orchestra. He also has appeared at the Westmoreland Museum of Art.

He has performed at the Asbury United Methodist Church in Uniontown and solos monthly at the First United Methodist Church in Greensburg and weekly at the First Presbyterian Church in Greensburg.

When soloing in the churches, Martin keeps to the traditional hymns and songs.

"Both of the churches are Gothic, old-style churches. I stick with the more traditional songs."

In addition to his busy lifestyle, Martin also works as a therapeutic staff supporter in Monroeville.

"I'd ultimately like to perform, and to continue teaching," Martin said. "I teach any age, any style of music. I teach during the week and also on Saturdays."

Martin has 21 students and works a great deal with younger voices, explaining that many of his students are interested in the high school music productions put on by Connellsville Area High School and Geibel Catholic High School.

"His background is very impressive with all of his work with the Pittsburgh Opera," Friel said. "He's a very easy person to sell. We hook him up with students pretty easily."

To contact Martin, phone 724-887-4254.

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