James Russey on the 8th Day Talks about Strikepoint Handbell Choir at Manistique Zion Lutheran Church June 22nd

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Strikepoint Handbell Choir at Manistique Zion Lutheran Church June 22nd

Strikepoint Handbell Choir at Manistique Zion Lutheran Church June 22nd

Manistique, Michigan – James Russey, a long-time handbell Choir enthusiast and retired Music Professor that received his Ph.D. from the University of Michigan, spoke about Zion Lutheran Church (435 Oak Street) in Manistique, MI hosting the Strike Point Handbell Choir 2018 season kickoff concert at 7 p.m. Friday, June 22.  Among the topics discussed:

  • The origin and history of handbell music in English churches
  • The unique skill and sound of handbell choirs
  • The increasing complexity and popularity of handbell choirs in the United States
  • The power of music to tell a story even without words
  • Passing down of music traditions within families and communities
  • The quality of the Strikepoint Handbell Choir – Audio Sample: http://www.strikepoint.com/_Media/2-01-strikepoint.mp3
  • The audience as participants in the performance
  • Music building teamwork and cooperation

From the Zion Lutheran Church Strikepoint Press Release:

Strikepoint, one of the world’s top handbell ensembles, will be performing at 7:00 p.m. on Friday, June 22 at Zion Lutheran Church (435 Oak St.) in Manistique. Admission is free but a freewill offering will be taken. This is the first performance of the group’s 2018 summer tour.  Additional performances can be found on the calendar page of the  Strikepoint Website.

Strikepoint, from First United Methodist Church in Duluth, MN, was established in 1984 and has been touring annually since 1986. Their travels have taken them to England, Scotland, Japan, Hong Kong, Sweden, Canada, Hawaii and throughout the mainland U.S., with performances in four national capitals. They have performed at St. Paul’s Cathedral in London, Disney World in Florida, and both Disneyland and the Crystal Cathedral in California. In 2016 they were cultural exchange ambassadors to Växjö, Duluth’s Swedish sister city, and were featured performers for that region’s Minnesota Days celebration.

Zion Lutheran Church 435 Oak Street Manistique, MI

Zion Lutheran Church 435 Oak Street Manistique, MI

Strikepoint rings 6-plus octaves of bronze Schulmerich handbells, 7 octaves of handchimes, 2 octaves of Silver Melody Bells and a variety other instruments. The 11-member directorless ensemble is unique among touring handbell groups as a combination church/community professional group and a youth/adult group. Bill Alexander, a nationally known handbell clinician and conductor, is the leader of the ensemble.

Strikepoint is noted for capturing the enthusiasm of audiences with its dynamic style and accessible music. Program selections can range from delicate Tchaikovsky to rocking Beatles tunes to a boisterous Macedonian folk song, and include both familiar and new music. Reviews of Strikepoint concerts have praised their “athleticism and showmanship,” “rhythmic precision, musical nuance and technical confidence,” with an “exceptionally creative bent!”

Strikepoint’s recordings have been featured on National and Minnesota public radio and other nationally broadcast programs. Their newest recording, Reflections, is “music to calm the mind and restore the spirit,” and has been used for meditation, yoga and music therapy.

Strikepoint concerts are designed to delight listeners. Among the comments most frequently heard after concerts, a favorite is, “If we’d known it was going to be this good, we would have made all our friends come.”

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