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By Kathryn Kopchik
LEWISBURG, Pa. — The Bucknell University Rooke Chapel Ringers and the Rooke Chapel Choir will present their annual spring concerts May 1 and May 2 respectively. Both concerts are free and open to the public.
Rooke Chapel Ringers
The Ringers will perform Saturday, May 1, at 8 p.m. in Rooke Chapel in a program of original compositions, hymn settings and popular classics arranged for handbells. The Ringers perform with seven octaves of handbells and five octaves of Melody Chime Instruments.
The bell choir consists of 14 members who are selected by audition and who represent diverse major field of study at Bucknell University, including the humanities, social sciences, natural sciences, business administration, education, and engineering.
The Ringers are perhaps best known for the traditional ringing-in-of-Christmas at candlelight services in Rooke Chapel each December. This popular performance, taped and repeatedly televised by PBS stations throughout the country, was nominated for an Emmy in 1996 and 2004.
Rooke Chapel Choir
The Rooke Chapel Choir will perform Sunday, May 2, at 7:30 p.m. in Rooke Chapel, in a program of music by conductor William Payn and Bucknell music professor emeritus Jackson Hill. Other works include an Eclectic Mass with settings by Brahms and Schubert, Samuel Barber's transcription of Adagio for Strings, and traditional American spirituals and folk hymns.
Highlights of the concert include Eric Whitacre's "When David Heard," considered one of the most powerful and demanding of contemporary choral works, and a performance by a string quartet with Marcus Smolensky, violin, Wendy Chou, violin, William Muller, viola, and Joseph Gotoff, 'cello.
The performance is a preview of music that the choir will perform on its upcoming concert tour to the United Kingdom and Greece beginning May 24.
The Choir has been invited to sing at Manchester Cathedral where they will sing Evensong and a special performance with the Fitzwilliam String Quartet. Following their stay in Manchester, the choir will continue on to Greece with performances in Nauplia, Patras and Athens.
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