good sunday morning, i'm pat lawson muse, this is "viewpoint," a special "viewpoint." this morning we want to share with you some of the wonderful sounds of the holiday season. handel's messiah is a classic holiday favorite and later today there will be a special presentation at one of washington's most historic churches. joining me is marty austin lamar, director of music and worship arts at metropolitan ame church and joining us later in the program, javon bright and joanne clarke. welcome to "viewpoint." >> thank you, good morning. >> we know the messiah is an annual tradition at metropolitan, but this year it's
different. >> this year it is, 30th presentation, 39 years ago a group of amazing singers in the cathedral choir got together as a source of raising funds decided to present handel's sacred oratoryio. the second portion is rejoice and we'll celebrate the musical traditions of the african method d methodist church. >> this morning we'll hear sights and sounds from your singers. >> yes, this morning you'll hear from two of our featured artists, javon bright, our base soloist and in the second portion you'll hear from joanne clarke, who will be presenting one of the amazing works from black nativity, the broadway hit black nativity. >> all right. here we go. sample from the singers at metropolitan ame church. javon bright singing "sweet little jesus boy."
♪ ♪ we didn't know it was you [ applause ] >> wonderful, javon! that was fantastic. >> thank you. >> wonderful. let me just walk around in front of you and just say that's marvelous. now, you'll be performing in messiah at metropolitan this evening. >> yes, ma'am. >> now, is this -- tell me what your favorite music is. >> my favorite music is actually jazz, but i can't sing jazz, so i sing classical music because i'm classically trained. >> how long have you been
singing? >> i've been singing since i was 5. >> wow. >> yeah, singing since i was 5, started in my church choir, and went on up and progressed. i went to duke ellington school of the arts, introduced me to classical music, and it's been a home run since then. >> home run, good word. wonderful, javon bright, and we'll hear more from the singers and the players and the music and worship arts department at metropolitan ame right after this. stay with us. ♪
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welcome back to "viewpoint." this morning we are taking a special preview of a wonderful performance coming up this evening at metropolitan ame church in northwest washington. marty austin lamar is director of worship arts at metropolitan, and handel's messiah is a performance that you are the oratorio that you'll be performing tonight. it's such a beloved musical work. talk about how it's become such a holiday tradition.
>> well, you know, it dates back over 250 years. the era, and all of the music, the way of life, the way of communication, everything was very oriented, so what better time of year to ornament our hearts and our souls and minds than with this very sacred works? and so it's not only become an international tradition, but it's very special here in washington, d.c., specifically in the african-american church community, because there are several churches that will make presentation of handel's messiah over these coming weeks. >> interpretations? >> in their own way, interpretations, some do the entire piece, some do aspects, and some do what we're doing, classical work and traditions that come from the african-american e miss copal church. >> you're the director of arts at metropolitan. talk about how worship and the arts have really evolved over the years. >> i have seen what's happened
the church understood in order to continue to research the masses, you have to constantly find ways to communicate, particularly communicating as it concerns spirituality, and for anyone that has studied any aspect of the bible, you know that music, dance, instrumentation, it is all a part of what it means not only to be of service, but what it means to celebrate how wonderful and how mighty god is, so i think what we're experiencing now in this time is a resurfacing of these two worlds coming together and we cannot only praise god through very traditional ways, but we can now incorporate theatrical aspects and dance and we can really fulfill what the scripture tells us as it concerns music and art and praising god in so many forms. >> no matter what your religious background or beliefs may be, music is especially important this time of year around the
holidays. >> especially during this time of year, and with all of the tragedy that continues to happen, the violence that continues to happen, i think music is that one thing that regardless of what my faith beliefs are, there is something about the hearing and the feeling of music that calms and soothes and reminds us that there is hope and that even in the darkest of times, particularly now with what's happened in california, that there is still hope and that there is a soon coming king. >> now, the production of handel's messiah at metropolitan involves not just metropolitan singers. this is a production that's being brought into washington. >> yes, we will have an additional 50 guests and they range from dancers, to those in the orchestra, to some of our guest soloists. we have four fabulous young classical singers that will be with us, brittney johnson, laurie simon, devin mercer is our tenor, and you heard javon
bright, who will sing all the bass for the messiah, so we're very excited. then in the second portion we'll feature other singers and you'll see the other forms coming into play while celebrating the traditions of african methodists. >> you have quite an extensive musical background. we'll hear a little what you can do musically later in the show. tell us about your role in the performance. >> so, i won't be singing necessarily. i'll be conducting all of the works in the second portion. during the first portion, i have a wonderful friend who was new to d.c., she's the director of worship at the baptist church in washington, she'll be our guest conductress. so that in itself is an amazing, amazing accomplishment, so my role beyond sunday is that i have the awesome responsibility for making sure that all platforms of worship are met in the highest level of excellence,
so that's from posters and signage, to the choir singing, have an amazing staff of musicians that help me, the choirs and the music and liturgy from week to week, so while it is quite a task, it's been my greatest joy to be able to serve metropolitan. >> all right. well, we can't wait to hear more of what your singers are going to do during this broadcast of "viewpoint." we're going to take a break and be right back with more handel's messiah. stay with us. ♪
make room ♪ ♪ make room in your hotel ♪ in your hotel ♪ we need to make room ♪ is there room ♪ there was no room no room no no no room ♪ ♪ at the hotel ♪ she was trying to find a home for my savior ♪ ♪ my precious savior to be born ♪ ♪ but there was no room ♪ no no no no room ♪ listen if birds have nests in
the trees ♪ ♪ and foxes have holes in the ground ♪ ♪ why was there no room no room no room no room ♪ ♪ will you make room at your hotel ♪ ♪ at the hotel ♪ [ applause ] >> joanne clarke with "no room," and we'll be right back with more from the singers and the mu musicians. that was just marvelous. >> to g
having you here, and we're excited to get a chance to hear you sing. what is your favorite part of the holidays, is it doing this? >> my favorite part is being with my family. i just absolutely adore being around my family and the generations that are here, and it just warms my spirit. we're very far from my family, so when we get to go home, we really have a wonderful, wonderful time. >> we know you spend a lot of time at the church and you spend a lot of time getting ready for the celebration tonight. starts at 5:00 at metropolitan. >> starts at 5:00, admission is free, parking is free, then we have the taste of the season that starts from 1:00, 1:00 to 4:30 and tickets are $5. come and make it a full afternoon. >> sounds like a wonderful way to spend a sunday afternoon. all right, marty austin lamar, along with your musicians, nate perry on keys, reggie on drums, thank you so much, joanne clarke and javon bright, thank you for
your beautiful singing. now, ladies and gentlemen, marty austin lamar. >> thank you. ♪ >> merry christmas! we celebrate. ♪ hang all the mistletoe i'm going to get to know you better ♪ ♪ this christmas and as we trim the tree how much fun it's going to be together ♪ ♪ this christmas by your side ♪ we're carolling through the night ♪ ♪ and it's christmas will be a very special christmas for me ♪
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news 4 today begins with breaking news. >> we have two breg news stories this morning right off the top, good morning. >> police now are investigating two different homicides overnight. we just got video into the newsroom. take a look, homicide investigation is under way in prince george's county. police were called to the scene just before 11:00 last night. a man was shot to death. there is still no information about what led up to the shooting. a reward is available though for information that leads to an arrest in this case. >> in the district, another man was shot and killed overnight. that shooting happened just on first street in southwest washington. police are looking for a suspect right now.