The Performing Arts Series of the Gold Canyon United Methodist Church presents the internationally renowend Shrine of the Ages Choral and the Harter Memorial Handbell Choir, both from Northern Arizona University, in concert on Saturday, March 9 at 7:00 pm in the fabulous acoustics of the church’s 1200-seat Sanctuary.
Directed by Dr. Edith Copley, Director of Choral Studies at Northern Arizona University, Shrine of the Ages Chorale has performed at regional and national conventions of the American Choral Directors Association and the Music Educators National Conference. Shrine tours regionally each year as well as internationally, including the Peoples Republic of China, Western Europe, New Zealand, Australia and Istanbul. Shrine has also performed at Carnegie Hall in New York City and toured Sweden, Estonia, and Latvia in May 2017. One of the very finest collegiate choral organizations in the world, the Shrine of the Ages Chorale consists of undergraduate and graduate students of various majors who have dedicated themselves to work toward a common goal of growth through the study and performance of outstanding choral repertoire.
The Harter Handbell Choir was founded in 1989 by Doug Benton (now the church’s Director of Music Ministries) with a generous donation of a five-octave set of Malmark handbells by the children of Harold M. Harter. Doug continued to grow and direct the the program through 2000. They have performed in State and Regional Handbell Festivals, the Arizona Music Educators Association In-Service Conference and were privileged to be invited and to perform at the 1996 International Handbell Symposium. The ensemble performs challenging handbell literature on six-octaves of Malmark handbells and six octaves of Malmark Choirchimes® and is open to all students by audition at the beginning of each semester. The Harter Handbells are currently directed by Ryan Phillips, a Master of Music graduate student.
Doug Benton, the church’s Director of Music Ministries, says, “We presented the incredible Shrine of the Ages Chorale to a near full house several years ago and I am very excited that they chose to return here again! I have been trying to get the Harter Handbells here since I joined the staff at the church in 2003, and am especially excited to finally have them perform here! I continue to work with them every fall and I can tell you, like Shrine, the Harter Handbells are truly one of the finest collegiate handbell ensembles in the country! Bring your family, friends and neighbors to hear the best of the best in choral music and handbell music! You will be very glad you did – and so will they!”
This concert is open to the public at no charge as an offering will be received. Everyone is asked to please bring at least one non-perishable food item per person for the GCUMC Food Bank.