April 13, 2024

Friday, April 15, students, faculty and community members gathered in the Weaver Chapel for the annual spring Wittenberg Handbell Choir and Chamber Orchestra concert.
Wittenberg Handbell Choir is a long-standing ensemble with the university; in fact, the ensemble has been under the direction of Trudy Faber for going on 32 years. Faber’s commitment to the university and Handbell Choir continued even after she retired from her full-time teaching position in 2010.
Wittenberg Handbell Choir is made up of five octaves and 13 members. The ringers include seniors Melissa Newman, Emily Rayens, Emma Brems, Jack Burdwood, Allison Dunn, Emma Kamps; juniors Alina Bondor, Nathan Yoder, Michael Kovack, Morgan Miller, Lucy Timko; and sophomores Katie Andrulis and John Kolberg.
The ensemble performed several pieces, some of which included: “All Creatures of Our God and King” arranged by Linda Lamb, three pieces from “The Phantom of the Opera,” “Two Spirituals” — one of which was accompanied by freshman violinist Clayton Marsh, who also joined the ensemble for “Joy and Elation” by Cynthia Dobrinski.
Timko stated that as a first-year handbellist, she has enjoyed every moment of it; she had always found herself in awe as an audience member, “captivated by the beauty and unique timbre the bells bring.” Timko feels as a member of both Wittenberg Jazz Ensemble and Symphonic Band, that Handbell Choir takes an extraordinary amount of teamwork in comparison.
“If one person misses a note,” Timko stated, “then it causes a domino effect, increasing the possibility of the piece falling apart . . . the most difficult part about ringing bells is counting your rest. Handbell Choir brings out your inner percussionist.”
Wittenberg Chamber Orchestra was next, and the title of the Orchestra’s program was “Shall We Dance?”
Fifteen members and five different string instruments took the stage to present a collection of music spanning five centuries by Byrd, Dvořák, Strauss, Bartók and Piazzolla under the direction of music professor Brandon D. Jones.
The Chamber Orchestra personnel include first violins Madeline Kraft, ‘16; Kathryn Nydegger, ‘19 and Clayton Marsh, ‘19; second violins Mareyuna Lukasak, ‘18; Alina Bondor, ‘17; Victoria Mohr, ‘17; Kelsy Deer, ‘19 and Paris Penman, ‘16; violas Cayla Etter, ‘18 and Angelique Gabrielle, ‘17; cellos Zara Tickner, ‘18; Connie Frankenstein, ‘17; Kristina Lindsey, ‘16 and Andrew Zielinkski, ‘18; and Jonathan Osman, ‘17, on double bass.
Their performance began with most of the ensemble on their feet, with “Three Renaissance Dances” by Antonio Terzi and William Byrd, led by concertmaster Kraft. Next was Strauss’ “Fledermaus Waltzes,” followed by Bartók’s seven movements of “Rumanian Folk Dances.” Glazunov’s “Dance Suite” was next on the program, followed by Dvořák’s “Slavonic Dance, Op. 46, No.8” (1878),
Piazzolla’s “Libertango” accompanied by Harry Kottke on accordion, Mark O’Connor’s “Appalachia Waltz,” and lastly, Mark William’s “Barn Dance.”

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