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Department of Music presents the ASU Ringers in annual Christmas concert Dec. 1

Nov. 20, 2008 -- The Department of Music at Arkansas State University-Jonesboro announces a concert to be presented by the ASU Ringers, a handbell choir under the direction of Dr. M. Ellis Julien, professor of music. The concert of Christmas music will be Monday, Dec, 1, at 7:30 p.m., in Riceland Hall, Fowler Center, 201 Olympic Drive, Jonesboro. The concert is free and open to the public. The choir will ring five octaves of Schulmerich handbells and five octaves of Malmark handchimes.

The ASU Ringers, under the direction of Dr. M. Ellis Julien,  will be performing a concert of Christmas music on Monday, Dec. 1, at 7:30 p.m., in Riceland Hall, Fowler Center.

Established as a small ensemble in 1985, ASU Ringers membership is open to the ASU student body, as well as to members of the faculty and the community. Although most of the ASU students are music majors, several other academic majors are also represented.

During the past fourteen years, the Ringers have toured throughout Arkansas, and they have presented concerts in Alabama, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Tennessee, and Texas. This fall, in addition to their annual Christmas concert, the Ringers will present their annual Children’s concert on Monday, Dec. 1, at 11 a.m., in Riceland Hall, Fowler Center. The Ringers will also present concerts at the First United Methodist Church and the Forest Home Church of the Nazarene in Jonesboro, and at the First United Methodist Church of West Memphis.

The program will feature an assortment of Christmas music including:  “A Child is Born in Bethlehem”, arranged by Robert Batastini; “With Heart and Soul and Voice” by Jason Krug; “Born is the King of Israel”, arranged by Matthew Prins; “The Holly and the Ivy”, arranged by Sandra Eithun; “Bring a Torch, Jeannette, Isabella”, arranged by Lloyd Larson; “I Wonder As I Wander”, arranged by Michael Helman; “Angels We Have Heard on High” arranged by Joel Raney; “O Little Town of Bethlehem”, arranged by Judy Phillips; “Pat-a-pan”, arranged by Fred Gramann; “Parade of the Tin Soldiers”, arranged by Martha Lynn Thompson; “Celebrate the Newborn King”, arranged by Valerie Stephenson; and “Carol of the Bells”, arranged by Arnold Sherman.                

Members of the choir include:  Andrew Bleignier, Dr. David Gilmore, Ashley Hall, and John Yerger of Jonesboro, Jennifer Hall of Tyronza, Ben Light of West Ridge, Nicole Nebeker of Harrisburg, Justin Register of Huntsville, Ala., Patricia Register of Florence, Ala., Jenny Shell of Evansville, In., Jay Shepherd and Jonathan Trail of Paragould, Jon Stevenson of North Little Rock, and Janet Tullos of Cabot. Carolyn Ponce of Jonesboro will serve as assistant director.

Professor Julien holds the Bachelor of Arts in Music from Hope College in Holland, Mi., the Master of Music in Vocal Performance and Music Literature from the University of Illinois-Champaign, and the Doctor of Musical Arts in Vocal Performance from the University of Memphis. During his forty years on the faculty at Arkansas State University, Dr. Julien taught voice and voice-related courses, including some opera and choral directing. The ASU Ringers handbell ensemble was established during the brief period when the university offered a Bachelor of Sacred Music degree. For twenty-five years, Dr. Julien served as coordinator for music history and taught several undergraduate and graduate-level music history and research-related courses. For thirty-two years, Dr. Julien has served the Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church of Jonesboro as director of music, cantor, adult and children’s choir director, and organist.

Although Dr. Julien retired from the university last May, he is currently serving as an emeritus professor, and in this adjunct capacity, he will continue to direct the ASU Ringers. The rehearsal time for the Ringers will be changed in January, 2009, to Tuesday evenings from 6:30-9 p.m. This alteration will make it possible for former members of the organization and other qualified members of the northeast Arkansas community to participate. For information about joining or re-joining the ASU Ringers, please contact Dr. Julien at (870) 935-1894.  



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