Performing on the world's largest range of handbells in Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Maine

The Westminster Concert Bell Choir, conducted by Kathleen Ebling Shaw, will tour Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Maine in May 2014.

Titled “Tintinnabulation,” the program takes its title from Edgar Allan Poe’s poem The Bells, which describes the sounds of four different kinds of bells and the times and places where they might be heard. It will feature original compositions and arrangements of familiar works that highlight the range and versatility of handbells and choir chimes.  The program will include Ward’s America the Beautiful; excerpts from Bach’s Unto Us a Child is Born, BVW 142; Moklebust’s Festival Sanctus; Sherman’s Flourishes; Stitt’s Glory On their Wings; excerpts from Grieg’s Peer Gynt Suite No. 1, Op. 46 and more.

The 16-member Westminster Concert Bell Choir is composed of undergraduate and graduate students of Westminster Choir College and Rider University.  This year celebrates the 36th year of the handbell curriculum at Westminster Choir College, 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 Westminster Concert Bell Choir has appeared on Public Television’s Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood and several holiday broadcasts of the Today show, including one in which the ensemble was joined by NBC television personalities Katie Couric and Willard Scott.  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.

Conductor of the Westminster Concert Bell Choir, Kathleen Ebling Shaw is a member of the Sacred Music Department at Westminster Choir College of Rider University, where she teaches classes in handbell training and conducts a second handbell choir.  A graduate of Westminster Choir College, she is director of music at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Doylestown, Pa. Well known as a handbell clinician, Mrs. Shaw has conducted sessions for the American Guild of English Handbell Ringers both on the local and national levels.  Other engagements have included sessions for the American Guild of Organists; the New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Texas Music Educators Conferences; Presbyterian Association of Musicians Conferences; the St. Olaf Church Music Conference; and International Handbell Symposia in Japan, England,  Korea, Australia and the United States.

Westminster Concert Bell Choir 2014 Tour Schedule

Sunday, May 18, 7:30 p.m.
The Foundation Music Series
First Congregational Church
103 Main Street
Ridgefield, CT

Monday, May 19, 7 p.m.
South United Methodist Church
1226 Main Street
Manchester, CT

Tuesday, May 20, 7:30 p.m.
Wellesley Hills Congregational Church
207 Washington Street
Wellesley Hills, MA

Wednesday, May 21, 7:30 p.m.
United Church of Christ
496 Main Street
Medfield, MA

Thursday, May 22, 7:30 p.m.
John Wesley United Methodist Church
270 Gifford Street
Falmouth, MA
Co-sponsored by Church of the Messiah

Friday, May 23, 7 p.m.
Brookside Congregational Church
2013 Elm Street
Manchester, NH

Sunday, May 25, 4 p.m.
The Music of Friends Series
First Congregational Church
55 Elm Street
Camden, ME

Tuesday, May 27, 7:30 p.m.
Saint Brendan Parish
384 Hartford Avenue
Bellingham, MA
Co-presented by St. Gregory Conservatory of Sacred Music