SUMMIT, NJ - 12 choirs, 100 ringers, and 1,300 bells can mean just one thing -- the St. John’s Lutheran Church's Handbell Festival is set to take place in the Hiltop City. The third annual edition will take place Sunday afternoon, April 29 at 4:30 p.m.
The choirs will gather and separate into two groups to sight-read and polish their music. Nine choirs will learn two “easier” pieces of music, three will learn three “more challenging” pieces of music, and all choirs will learn one “massed” piece to be rung together. In addition, several choirs will perform individual solos.
Directors of the individual choirs will be conductors for the festival. The massed-rung piece is Valerie Stephenson’s arrangement of “Joyful, Joyful” for malleted handbells. The “easy” music includes arrangements of “This Is My Father’s World” with flute accompaniment by Anna Laura Page and “How Firm a Foundation” by Sandra Eithun. The “more challenging” music includes “Unending Praise” by Michael Helman, “Amen, We Praise Your Name, O God” with percussion accompaniment by Cathy Moklebust, and “Steal Away, Swing Low” also by Cathy Moklebust.
Choirs participating in the festival this year are from Chatham United Methodist Church, Peter Hill - director; Morristown United Methodist Church, Sarah Michal - director: the Lutheran Church of Our Savior in Haddonfield, Austen Wilson - director; the Presbyterian Church in Basking Ridge, Chris Fortin – director; St. Peter’s Episcopal Church in Essex Fells, John Pivarnik – director; Kitchell Memorial Presbyterian Church in East Hanover, Rick Kaller – director; Calvary Episcopal Church in Summit, Kevin Davis – director; Madison United Methodist Church, Daniel Leguizamon – director; First Presbyterian Church in Metuchen, Brenda Arnold Day – director; Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church in Oldwick, Karen Jennison – director; and St. John’s Lutheran Church, Donna Garzinsky – director.
The public is welcome to attend the free festival concert. Seating is limited and available on a first-come basis. For more information, call 908-273-3846, x2512.
St. John’s Lutheran Church is located at 587 Springfield Avenue in Summit.