The Agape Ringers at St. Mark Lutheran Church Feb. 24

February 20, 2013

Online Staff Report

The Agape Ringers, Chicago’s premier handbell ensemble, will perform in concert at St. Mark Lutheran Church, 675 N. Mulford Road, Rockford, at 7 p.m., Sunday, Feb. 24.

This exciting, auditioned handbell ensemble from Chicagoland enjoys an ongoing collaboration with pianist/composer Joel Raney, and has performed with jazz trumpeter Orbert Davis, the Rockford Symphony Orchestra, the North Shore Choral Society, the Illinois Brass Band, the Elgin Choral Union, the West Suburban Symphony and the West Towns Chorus.

The 16 musicians have a collective ringing experience of more than 430 years, and perform on 76 bronze Malmark handbells and 73 Malmark Choirchimes.

Founder and director of The Agape Ringers, David L. Weck, is an editor at Hope Publishing in Carol Stream, Ill., where he is solely responsible for creating and developing the company’s handbell catalog. Weck serves as a guest conductor at handbell events all over the United States and Canada, as well as Puerto Rico and Japan.

The Agape Ringers is noted for beautifully orchestrated presentations of entertaining and varied music. Listeners are entranced by the ensemble’s energy, precision and musicality.

Since its founding in 1992, The Agape Ringers has made more than 270 appearances across North America, Puerto Rico and England. The ringers have been featured as performers and teachers for events such as the Fellowship of American Baptist Musicians Conference for Church Musicians in Green Lake, Wis., and local, regional and national gatherings of the Handbell Ringers of America.

In the summer of 2012, the ensemble wowed the Midwest on their 11-day tour, teaching and performing in Missouri, Nebraska, Kansas and Minnesota.

As The Agape Ringers celebrate 20 years of ringing excellence, they are excited to release their first DVD, Splash of Gold, recorded live, in concert.

Learn more about The Agape Ringers at www.agaperingers.org, and on Facebook and YouTube by searching for “The Agape Ringers.”

The February program encompasses a variety of musical styles, including transcriptions of the classical works “Little Fugue” by Bach and “Danse Macabre” by Saint-Saens, Joel Raney’s setting of the Oscar-nominated The Prayer, original compositions for handbells, and Martin Gould’s “American Salute.”

The concert is free and open to the public. A freewill offering will be accepted. For more information, call (815) 398-3557 or visit stmarklc.com.

Posted Feb. 20, 2013

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