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Department of Music presents ASU Ringers in concert April 26

April 20, 2010 -- The Department of Music at Arkansas State University in Jonesboro will present the ASU Ringers in their annual spring concert Monday, April 26, at 7:30 p.m. at Riceland Hall, Fowler Center, 201 Olympic Drive, Jonesboro. The Arkansas State University Ringers is a handbell choir directed by Dr. M. Ellis Julien, professor emeritus of music.  The concert is free of charge and open to the public.

Established in 1985, the ASU Ringers is a small ensemble open to members of the student body as well as to members of the faculty and the community.  Although many of the students are music majors, several other academic majors are also represented.  For the past 16 years, the Ringers have toured throughout the Arkansas and have presented concerts in Alabama, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Tennessee, and Texas. This May, the ASU Ringers will make a four-day tour during which they will present concerts in Owensboro and Louisville, Ky.; in Madison, Ind.; and at the St. Meinrad Monastery near Bristow, Ind. 

Last fall, Dr. Julien submitted the video recording of last spring’s concert in Riceland Hall to the American Guild of English Handbell Ringers for consideration to be included as a showcase choir at Pinnacle, the national convention of the guild which will be held in July in Nashville, Tenn.  Of the eight bell choirs selected by audition to perform at the convention, the ASU Ringers is the only choir directly affiliated with an institution of higher education. The other seven choirs are community choirs from large metropolitan areas. Much of the music that will be featured in the April 26 concert will be performed this summer on tour and in Nashville at the convention.  Available for purchase after the concert will be CD and DVD recordings of last spring’s Riceland Hall concert.

The program will feature a variety of music based on familiar sacred hymn tunes as well as a number of compositions that exploit the sound effects unique to bell choirs, but that are also suitable for performance in church services. Music to be performed includes:  “Procession in Bronze” by Arnold Sherman; “Canticle for a Festive Day” by Kevin McChesney; “Aria” by Donald Allured; “Hymn to Joy” arranged from Beethoven by Edward Hodges, and arranged for handbells by Michael Keller; “Remembrance” by Cathy Moklebust; “Will the Circle Be Unbroken” by Charles Gabriel, arranged for handbells by Anna Laura Page; “Prisms” by William Payn; “When I Survey the Wondrous Cross” arranged by Arnold Sherman; “Sunrise and Wheatwaves” from “Reflections on the Plains”, a suite of pieces for handbells by Cathy Moklebust commemorating the victims of the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing; “Exultation” by Cynthia Dobrinski; “The Lord’s Prayer” by Albert Hay Malotte, arranged by Cynthia Dobrinski; “All Glorious Above”, a setting of the hymn tune "Lyons", arranged by Fred Gramann; and “Velocity” by H. Dean Wagner.

Members of the choir include: Andrew Bleignier of Greeley, Colo., Meagan Conley of Luxora, Amy Dennis of Hardy, Dr. David Gilmore of Jonesboro,  Ashley Hall of Jonesboro, Jennifer Hall of Tyronza, Christy McElroy of Jonesboro,  Tommy Russell of Jonesboro, Jenny Shell of Evansville, Ind., Jon Stevenson of North Little Rock, U Yin Tan of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Rylan Williams of Siloam Springs , and John Yerger of Jonesboro.

For more information about the concert or ASU music, contact the music office at (870) 972-2094.

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