The Ouachita Baptist University Women’s Chorus and Handbell Ringers will present their spring concert Monday, April 5, at 7:30 p.m. in Mabee Fine Arts Center’s McBeth Recital Hall.
“The Women’s Chorus is made up of female students from a variety of majors,” said Mary Worthen, assistant professor of music and director of Women’s Chorus. “The group has really done an excellent job all year by coming together and making beautiful music.”
The Women’s Chorus will perform a variety of selections such as “She Weeps Over Rahoon” by Eric Whitacre with text by James Joyce, an arrangement of the American folk tune “Shenandoah,” “Set Me as a Seal” by René Clausen, “Homeland” by Sir Cecil Spring-RIce and Z. Randall Stroope and two Renaissance chorales by Palestrina.
“The women are very excited to take on theses challenging pieces, and have done a great job preparing both inside and outside the classroom,” Worthen said. “Their beautiful voices and spirits have been an inspiration to me all year long.”
The Ouachita Handbell Ringers will also be performing at the concert. The group is under the direction of Dr. Rob Hewell, associate professor and chair of the Ouachita’s department of church music.
“The group, which changes members each semester, is comprised of eight very talented students,” Hewell said. “They are doing things that previous groups of this size have not been able to do. Instead of staying within two octaves, which is typical of groups of this size, this group has taken on extra bells extending to three different octaves.”
“I’m looking forward to showing off all of our hard work,” said handbell ringer Kelsey Bates, a sophomore music education major from Marion, Ark. “Most people don’t realize how complicated ringing can be.”
Music for the Ringers’ portion of the program will include: “Surprise Postlude” by Matt Johnson, “Procession in C Major” by W.A. Mozart and arranged by John D. Horman, “At Pentecost” by Lee J. Afdahl, “Rondo in E-flat” by Michael Helman and “New Life” by Matt Johnson.
Both the Ouachita Women’s Chorus and the Handbell Ringers are open to students of all majors. The concert is free and open to the public. For more information, contact OBU’s School of Fine Arts at (870) 245-5129.
By Jeffery Harmon