- NASHVILLE, TN, August 31, 2008 - Only four years ago, Marie Barlow Martin was singing before 50,000 people in the Osaka Dome in Japan as lead singer for the New York Ragtime Orchestra. She played Grace Farrell in the national tour of "Annie," (a role for which she was hand-picked), and originated the role of Elena in the off-Broadway hit, "Berlin." Her successful musical theater career took her to 30 countries and brought her steady work in New York City. But in 2004, she took a leap of faith and left the Big Apple behind to pursue another dream - singing gospel music.
Next month, Martin will premier her new CD, "Shelter: Worship Through The Ages" with a kick-off concert in Philadelphia on September 13. She will then share the stage with Pastor Rick Warren who will be the keynote speaker at the New York Leadership Center Event on September 18. Warren gained national attention recently when he hosted both John McCain and Barack Obama at his Saddleback Church in California. For Marie, the chance to go back to New York City, only this time singing gospel music, will be a special moment.
"To be able to go back to New York to encourage spiritual leaders and be part of this amazing event is simply a thrill," says Martin. "One of the primary goals of the NYC Leadership Center is to train up leaders on a large scale to reach one of the most un-churched cities in the world. I am overwhelmed to have an opportunity to partner with them."
Produced by her husband Gordy Martin, "Shelter: Worship Through The Ages" is a unique project, combining traditional hymns with brand-new tunes. It also includes an arrangement of Ode #40 which is from the oldest-known hymnbook discovered in the Antioch region around 100 A.D. The songbook consists of 42 Odes which are called the "Odes Of Solomon" or the "Odes of His Rest." The author of these Odes is unknown, but it is believed the first century church used the songs for their services. "It is an incredible privilege for us to bring one of these long-lost treasures to today's church," says Martin. "It is so awesome to imagine singing the same song that some of the earliest Christians sang in their worship services."
Now living with her husband in Pennsylvania, Marie still considers New York her second home. "After spending years in New York in the single-minded pursuit of professional theatre, the fact that I would go back to that same place with a new message of hope is deeply gratifying to me. I feel like I've come full circle."
For more information, visit www.MarieBarlow.com