Handbell Ringers to Perform in Topeka

By: Ralph Hipp, 13 News at 4
By: Ralph Hipp, 13 News at 4

KANSAS EXPOCENTRE -- The Area VIII guild of the American Guild of English Handbell Ringers (AGEHR) is hosting “Ringing on the Range,” a handbell festival, at the Kansas Expocentre this weekend, June 24th through 26th.

More than 500 ringers are expected to attend the festival, which includes workshops, classes, rehearsals and concerts.

One highlight of the Area VIII festival is the Raleigh Ringers performance Friday, June 25, 7:30 p.m. in Sunflower Conference Room of Maner Conference Center at the Capitol Plaza Hotel. An internationally recognized touring handbell ensemble based in Raleigh, N.C., the Raleigh Ringers are in constant demand as featured performers for festivals around the country. Seating for this performance is limited, email Marilyn at lqrngldr@kc.rr.com for information about advance tickets. Tickets are $15 in advance and $20 at the door.

The final festival concert will be held at Saturday, June 26th, 7:30 p.m. in Landon Arena, at the Kansas Expocentre. Showcasing a wide variety of handbell music, this concert is free and open to the public. Praire Suite, a composition based on the history of Kansas, was commissioned for the festival by Area VIII AGEHR. The composer, Kath Wissinger, from Keezletown, Va., directs youth and adult festivals and conferences internationally and is a guest clinician for the festival.

Area VIII AGEHR hosts handbell festivals every other year in one of the five member states of Kansas, Missouri, Illinois, Iowa and Nebraska. New to this year’s festival is the youth handbell festival held concurrently. Children and youth will participate in classes, workshops, rehearsals and concerts, also at the Kansas Expocentre.

The youth handbell festival will culminate in a concert in the Exhibition Hall Atrium of the Expocentre, Saturday, June 26, 10:30 – 11:30 a.m. The concert is free and open to the public. The youth concert will be directed by clinician Ed Rollins, director of the Columbia Ringers from Columbia, Mo.

The primary objectives of the Area VIII guild is to educate, to promote the exchange of ideas relating to handbell and handchime ringing, and to sponsor educational and performance activities within the Area that are not exclusively competitive.

For more information about the festival and concerts, please contact Becky Waters at music@heritageumc.org


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