Parkersburg Choral Society concert set for Sunday

PARKERSBURG — The Parkersburg Choral Society will present its Spring Concert at 3 p.m. Sunday at First Lutheran Church, 1701 19th St., Parkersburg.

Among songs to be performed will be the premiere of two new works commissioned by director Luke Zyla by California composer Brian Holmes.

Holmes has composed more than 80 choral works and a number of instrumental pieces and has played French horn with the Boston Ballet, San Jose Symphony and Opera San Jose. He received a doctorate in experimental low-temperature physics from Boston University and recently retired from the Physics Department of San Jose State University.

The two pieces that will be premiered are “Ploughing on Sunday,” based on a poem by Wallace Stevens and “Heart, Not So Heavy As Mine,” based on a poem by Emily Dickenson. These pieces are written for chorus, solo bass, solo French horn and piano.

Douglas Anderson will perform as bass soloist and Marsha Palmer will play the French horn.

Anderson is an active professional classical musician having performed as bass soloist with the Marietta College Oratorio Chorus, the River Cities Symphony, the Parkersburg Choral Society, the Tuscaloosa (Ala.) Community Singers, the Augusta (Ga.) Choral Society and the Greenville (SC) Chorale. He has also performed with the Rober Shaw Festival Singers, the Carnegie Hall Choral Workshop, the Heritate Chamber Singers of Greenville, South Carolina, and Cantari Singers and Opera Columbus in Columbus, Ohio.

Anderson is the director of the library at Marietta College.

Palmer has performed on the French horn with the West Virginia Symphony Orchestra since 1985.

She also performs with the Ohio Valley Symphony and the River Cities Symphony, extensively in chamber music and appeared as soloist with the West Virginia Symphony, the Seneca Chamber Orchestra, the River Cities Symphony and the Southeastern Ohio Symphony. Before settling in West Virginia, Palmer performed with numerous orchestras including the Madison Symphony, Columbus Symphony, Pro Musica Chamber Orchestra, Springfield Symphony and the Fort Wayne Symphony.

The Parkersburg Choral Society will present other choral works accompanied by David Nuss on the piano including pieces by Brad Nix, John Wykoff, Laura Farnell, Eric Whitacre, Patti Drennan and Vicki Tucker Courtney.

Melissa Herceg will accompany two pieces on the flute and Matthew Zyla will accompany the Choral Society on the guitar for a performance of “Sweet Baby James” by James Taylor.

The concert is free with donations accepted at the door.

Supporters of the Choral Society may also contribute by submitting an online donation on May 7 as part of Give Local MOV through the website The audience is invited to a reception following the concert.