Choir ‘Sings Out’ Bishop

The parish choir of St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church in Wheeling had the privilege of participating in a special service honoring its former rector in Pittsburgh Sunday, Sept. 23.

Accompanied by music director Robert Troeger, St. Matthew’s parish choir performed four anthems during a solemn choral Evensong service held at Trinity Cathedral, downtown Pittsburgh, to honor the Rt. Rev. Kenneth L. Price Jr., bishop of Pittsburgh, and his wife, Mariann, for their dedicated service to the Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh over the past three years. St. Matthew’s choir members also sang the service music for Evensong with a combined choir from Pittsburgh congregations.

Price, who also has been a bishop suffragan in the Episcopal Diocese of Southern Ohio, is retiring after the Rev. Dorsey W.M. McConnell is consecrated as the new bishop of Pittsburgh on Saturday, Oct. 20, at Calvary Episcopal Church in Pittsburgh. Upon retirement, the Prices plan to return to their home in the Columbus suburbs.

At the beginning of his homily last Sunday afternoon, Price noted that St. Matthew’s parish choir also sang at his consecration as a bishop in Cincinnati. He quipped that the choir has had the distinction of “singing me in and singing me out” from the bishop’s role.

Price served as rector of St. Matthew’s in Wheeling from 1984 until 1994, when he was elected bishop suffragan of the Diocese of Southern Ohio.

Another familiar note for the solemn choral Evensong service was the singing of the hymn, “Come, Labor On.” Price noted that the late Rt. Rev. Wilburn Campbell, who was elected bishop of West Virginia from the Diocese of Pittsburgh, always had “Come, Labor On” sung at his official visitations. Trinity Cathedral’s music director, who had been a member of Trinity Episcopal Church in Parkersburg when Price was rector there, remembered that fact and included the hymn in the Evensong program as an homage to the Pittsburgh-West Virginia connections.

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West Virginia author Marie Manilla has received accolades for her newly published novel, “Shrapnel.”

Manilla, who resides in Huntington, said that “Shrapnel” has won the Fred Bonnie Award for Best First Novel. The judge for this competition was Daniel Wallace, author of “Big Fish” and “Mr. Sebastian and the Negro Magician.”

She will be signing copies of her novel at Words and Music Bookstore, located in the Shops at Stratford Springs, Wheeling, from noon to 2 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 27.

Manilla’s work is familiar to Wheeling area readers.

She appeared at the Ohio County Public Library on Nov. 8, 2011 to discuss her work and to read from her collection of short stories, “Still Life with Plums.” At that time, she also read an excerpt from “Shrapnel” for the Lunch With Books audience.

“Shrapnel” is set in Huntington (Manilla’s hometown) in 2002. The writer explained that, in this novel, she explores the legacy of war in three generations of a family.

Manilla’s collection of stories, “Still Life with Plums,” was issued by West Virginia University Press in 2010 and was a finalist for the Weatherford Award and ForeWord Reviews Book of the Year. She said her newest novel, “The Patron Saint of Ugly,” was purchased by Houghton, Mifflin, Harcourt and will be published in spring 2014.

The author is a graduate of WVU, Marshall University and the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. Her fiction has appeared in several journals.

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Want to learn more about the Amazon?

Dr. John T. Burns, Bethany College professor of biology, will offer a video presentation this week on the three trips that he and Bethany students have taken to Tahuayo Lodge in the Peruvian Amazon Basin. The presentation on the Amazon will take place in room 105 of Kirkpatrick Hall on the Bethany campus at 7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 4.

Meanwhile, the college is set to offer a course on the ecology of the Amazon during the May 2013 term.

Linda Comins can be reached via email at: