Three Rivers Ringers Concert Series Features Unique Repertoire
The handbell ensemble will perform throughout the region during the next six weeks.
The Three Rivers Ringers handbell ensemble will kick off its spring concert series this weekend with a unique repertoire.
Like much of the ensemble’s work, the series “An American Adventure” will feature styles of music audiences don’t normally hear on handbells – and definitely not what’s expected from an instrument heard most often in a church setting.
“What they’ll see is a celebration of a variety of musical styles we have in America,” said managing director Andy Seay.
That means ragtime, jazz, marching band and patriotic pieces, as well as originals written specifically for handbells, will be on the program.
One of those originals, written by Seay, is without a title, and the ensemble is leaving that choice to the audience.
Seay said he encountered a title block after writing the “mystery piece,” and although the group came up with a few titles, they decided to narrow it down to three and let audiences vote.
“It’s a chance to get involved in the concert and name an original piece, which is something you don’t often get to do,” Seay said.
The ensemble, directed by artistic director Nancy Lutz, will announce the title of the piece in May.
The Ringers organization is still in its infancy, but Seay said it’s gaining popularity more quickly than anticipated. The concert schedule is booked through December, which he said is no small feat for a new organization. It’s also still auditioning for new members.
“The organization itself has really grown,” Seay said. “We’re now looking at the spring of 2013 to add concerts. For an organization to be only two years old and be booked like that is amazing.”
But the ensemble’s biggest performance this season isn’t part of the concert series. The group will perform June 30 in the opening worship service for the Presbyterian Church U.S.A.'s 220th General Assembly at David L. Lawrence Convention Center.
“We’ve got a lot going on right now,” Seay said. “It’s a great time to be associated with this group.”
Concerts also will be held on the following dates:
- Sunday, April 22, 4 p.m. at Oakmont Presbyterian Church in Oakmont.
- Friday, April 27, 8 p.m. at Bower Hill Community Church in Mt. Lebanon.
- Sunday, April 29, 4 p.m. at Hickory United Presbyterian Church in Hickory.
- Sunday, May 6, 4 p.m. at Northmont United Presbyterian Church in North Hills.
- Saturday, May 12, 4 p.m. at Beulah Presbyterian Church in Penn Hills.
- Sunday, May 20, 4 p.m. at First United Presbyterian Church in Crafton Heights.