Westminster Concert Bell Choir Tours the Midwest in May

Performing in nine cities.
Thursday, April 21, 2011

The Westminster Concert Bell Choir’s 2011 Spring Tour will take the ensemble to nine cities in the Midwest in May. 

The program will feature arrangements of such classics as J.S. Bach’s Jesu Joy of Man’s Desiring and Franz Liszt’s Hungarian Rhapsody No. 2, as well as contemporary favorites, such as Believe from the film The Polar Express and Harold Arlen’s Somewhere Over the Rainbow.  The ensemble will also perform original works composed for handbells, including Laudation by Arnold B. Sherman and Festival Sanctus by Cathy Moklebust.

The 16-member Westminster Concert Bell Choir is composed of undergraduate and graduate students of Westminster Choir College of Rider University in Princeton, N.J. This year celebrates the 33nd year of the handbell curriculum at Westminster, which was the first institution in the world to develop such a program. Hailed for its virtuosity, the Westminster Concert Bell Choir uses the largest range of handbells in the world – 8 octaves, from C1 to C9. 

The ensemble has appeared on Public Television’s “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood” and several holiday broadcasts of the “Today” show.  Its holiday performances have been heard annually on National Public Radio’s “Performance Today,” and it is included on NPR’s Christmas Around The Country II recording.  The choir has performed at Carnegie Hall twice during the Christmas season. Most recently, the choir performed The Bells of New York with Josh Groban in the nationally televised lighting of the Christmas tree at Rockefeller Center in New York.
 
Westminster Concert Bell Choir Conductor Kathleen Ebling Shaw is a member of the sacred music department at Westminster Choir College, where she teaches classes in handbell training and conducts a second handbell choir. Well known as a handbell clinician, Ms. Ebling Shaw has conducted sessions for the American Guild of English Handbell Ringers both on the national and international level. She traveled with the Westminster Concert Bell Choir in a 15-city North American tour as part of A Royal Christmas performing with Julie Andrews, Christopher Plummer, Charlotte Church and the Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra.

2011 Westminster Concert Bell Choir Tour
Monday, May 16, 2011
Calvary Episcopal Church
Pittsburgh, PA

Tuesday, May 17, 2011
Christ Episcopal Church
Shaker Heights, OH

Wednesday, May 18, 2011
St. Charles Borromeo Catholic Church
Ft. Wayne, IN

Thursday, May 19, 2011
Highlands Presbyterian Church
LaGrange, IL

Sunday, May 22, 2011
Westminster Presbyterian Church
Des Moines, Iowa

Monday, May 23, 2011
Grace Lutheran Church
Lincoln, NE

Tuesday, May 24, 2011
Village Presbyterian Church
Prairie Village, KS

Wednesday, May 25, 2011
Ladue Chapel
St. Louis, MO

Friday, May 27, 2011
First Presbyterian Church
Granville, OH

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