April 14, 2009

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By Kathryn Kopchik

LEWISBURG, Pa. — The Bucknell University Rooke Chapel Ringers and the Rooke Chapel Choir will present their spring performances later this month. Both concerts, conducted by William Payn, are free and open to the public.

Rooke Chapel Ringers
The Rooke Chapel Ringers will present "In Concert" on Saturday, April 25, at 8 p.m. in Rooke Chapel at Bucknell.

The handbell ensemble will ring a variety of pieces including original works by Payn and popular classics arranged specifically for handbells including "Sabre Dance" by Aram Khachaturian, "Farandole" by Georges Bizet and the traditional Hebrew folk song "Hava Nageela."

Organized in 1983 under Payn's direction, the 15 members are selected by audition and represent diverse major fields of study at Bucknell University. The bell choir plays regularly for Protestant worship services on campus and participates in the traditional ringing-in-of-Christmas at Candlelight services in Rooke Chapel each December. The Candlelight service, taped and repeatedly televised by PBS for national distribution, was nominated for an Emmy in 1996 and 2004.

The Rooke Chapel Ringers have been invited to perform with the Syracuse Symphony for three holiday concerts in December 2009.

Rooke Chapel Choir
The Rooke Chapel Choir will present "Songs of Faith, Peace and Hope" on Sunday, April 26, at 7:30 p.m. in Rooke Chapel at Bucknell.

"The choir, joined by harpist Elizabeth Asmus and the Commonwealth Brass Quintet, will sing striking settings of some of the most significant choral literature of our time," said Payn, choir director, "including the premiere of a new work, 'When Death Comes', by Bucknell senior Melissa Ray."

The Rooke Chapel Choir has been invited to sing performances in May 2010 at Manchester Cathedral in Britain. Following their stay in Manchester, the choir will continue on to Greece for a week-long concert tour with performances in Athens, Nauplia and Patras.

Under Payn's direction, the Rooke Chapel Choir has gained international recognition for its interpretations of some of the most significant 20th-century American sacred repertory. The select members represent nearly every major field of study at Bucknell.

The choir's popular Candlelight Service of Carols attracts capacity crowds to Rooke Chapel for three performances every December. Since 1987, PBS productions of this annual holiday service have received national distribution by the Central Education Television Network. The choir was nominated for an Iris Award in 1989 and an Emmy in 1996 and 2004.

Contact: Division of Communications