The Williams College Department of Music presents the Handbell Choir on Friday, May 14, at 8 p.m. in Brooks-Rogers Recital Hall. This free event is open to the public.
Led by three Williams College students, the Williams Handbell Choir offers a varied program that highlights the versatility of this group. Handbell choirs have developed over three hundred years, a musical specialty that has its own techniques and specialized instruments, just like any other discipline. Hardly limited to either classical musical repertoire or church music, this group presents a concert of both the traditional and contemporary. Old favorites like Amazing Grace and Shenandoah share the program with works of Handel, Lady Gaga, Lennon and McCartney, Holst, Joplin and Rachmaninoff. Other titles include pieces composed specifically for bell choir as well as arrangements by conductor Alex Wheelock '13, who also leads the Handbell Quintet, a smaller formation within the choir. Conductors Paloma Marin '12 and Inez Tan '12 share leadership duties to present this program rich in musical enjoyment.
The Handbell Choir is a student-led group advised by Lyell B. Clay Artist-in-Residence in vocal studies and Director of Choral Activities Bradley Wells. The ensemble consists of 11 or 12 students and rehearses weekly on a five-octave set of Schulmerich handbells. Repertoire consists of arrangements and original compositions, mostly of secular or seasonal holiday music. The choir participates in the annual Service of Lessons and Carols along with the Concert and Chamber Choirs, and performs in Studio Recitals and at various off-campus locations.