Three Rivers Ringers
Pittsburgh’s Premier Handbell Choir
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Ring in the Christmas Season with the Three Rivers Ringers on Saturday, December 13 at 2:00 PM at Emlenton’s United Methodist Church. Experience the beauty of the holiday season in their Winter Concert Program – Noël. The virtuosity of Pittsburgh’s premier handbell ensemble will be on display in four delightful selections from Tchaikovsky’s The Nutcracker, Joel Raney’s exotic We Three Kings, and timeless favorites like O Christmas Tree, Stille Nacht and more. They take the magical sound of handbells to new heights  – come join us and be amazed and inspired!

As a teaser for the concert, enjoy listening to LeRoy Anderson’s Sleigh Ride on youtube, which opens their program.

Three Rivers Ringers’ Program

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Sleigh Ride  Leroy Anderson, arr. Martha Lynn Thompson

Over the River and Through the Woods traditional American tune, arr. Valerie Stephenson

Marche from The Nutcracker Suite Peter Tchaikovsky, arr. William H. Griffin

Dance of the Sugarplum Fairy Peter Tchaikovsky, arr. Fred Gramann

O Christmas Tree traditional German carol,  arr. Sandra Eithun

Stille Nacht traditional German carol,    arr. Betty Garee

Fiesta Navidad  traditional Welsh Carol    arr. Dan R. Edwards

Tomorrow shall be my dancing day traditional English Carol   arr.  Jason W. Krug

Danse Arabe       Peter Tchaikovsky   arr. William H Griffin

We Three Kings John H. Hopkins, Jr.,  arr. Joel Raney

Danse Russe Trepak Peter Tchaikovsky,    arr. William H. Griffin

The First Noel 17 C. English Carol     arr.  Cathy Moklebust

About the Concert

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Allegheny RiverStone Center for the Arts is pleased to bring the Three River Ringers, another first-of-its-kind experience, to the Allegheny-Clarion River Valley in what it hopes will become an annual tradition for you and your family.  The audience certainly will be amazed as the Three Rivers Ringers perform virtuosic movements from The Nutcracker, in addition to traditional holiday selections in its Christmas Program Noël.

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The inspiring 2014 Christmas Concert of the Three Rivers Ringers ensemble will take advantage of the Emlenton United Methodist Church’s excellent acoustics in its sanctuary and intimate seating arrangement, offering traditional Holiday favorites which include selections from a perennial favorite, The Nutcracker.  Emlenton UMC Reverend Kent O’Neil is pleased and excited to host this event in the spacious sanctuary of the beautiful Emlenton United Methodist Church and encourages everyone to attend.

This professional handbell choir of 14 ringers, founded in 2010, has quickly established itself as the premier ensemble of its type in the tri-state region.  Selected by audition, members perform on a 6-octave set of Schulmerich handbells, silver melody bells and 3 octaves of chimes.  They are noted presenters of educational clinics at handbell festivals and are dedicated to advancing the art of handbell ringing through performances of the highest artistic quality.

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Originally founded by five handbell musicians from Pittsburgh in March 2010, the Ringers have grown to include sixteen members selected by audition. It is recognized as Pittsburgh’s premier handbell ensemble and its excellent reputation has spread to neighboring states by way of performances in Ohio and West Virginia. They are dedicated to advancing the art of handbell ringing through performances of the highest artistic quality as well as educational programming. The Ringers also produce the Western PA Handbell Festival, which is an event filled with clinics and seminars led by nationally recognized artists and draws hundreds of attendees.

Compressed DOG PictureArtistic Director Nancy Lutz along with Managing Director and Associate Conductor Andy Seay have worked tirelessly to secure bells and hand chimes of the highest quality. Nancy states: “We brought this group together so that ringers and enthusiasts could experience this instrument to its fullest musical potential.” Their inventory consists of 6 octaves of Schulmerich handbells and 6 octaves of Schulmerich and Malmark hand chimes. This extraordinary collection offers an extremely wide range of notes and colors, thus allowing arrangers creative freedom in transcribing well known classics such as The Nutcracker for the unique requirements of the ensemble. Each musician has to use several bells, sometimes as many as eight, and place their notes with exacting precision. This skill may even require the use of three bells in one hand. Each bell can be played at least 19 different ways using various techniques, not even counting dynamics!

Chase away those early Winter chills and let the Holiday Spirit shine among your family, friends and neighbors. Let the bells ring forth!!

Nancy Lutz

conductor-in-church-2-269x300Nancy Lutz is the founding Artistic Director of the Three Rivers Ringers, fulfilling a long-time vision of creating an outstanding community handbell ensemble in Western Pennsylvania

Nancy is also Director of Handbells at Mt. Lebanon United Methodist Church where she leads two excellent adult ensembles and a youth quartet.

Nancy has been deeply involved in the Handbell Musicians of America (the Guild) since 1998 and served on the Board of Directors since 1999, retiring in 2012 as the appointed secretary. Nancy was presented with the first President’s Award at the National Seminar in 2012 for her years of service. During her time with the Board, the organization completely changed its governance model and underwent a rebranding that included a name change from the American Guild of English Handbell Ringers.

Mentoring new handbell directors and other handbell ensembles is of particular interest to Nancy. She enjoys leading workshops for directors and ringers, doing so extensively throughout the area on behalf of AGEHR.

Nancy is a founding director of the Western Pennsylvania Handbell Festival, an event for beginning and intermediate level handbell ensembles which holds an annual festival each spring. She has been honored to direct this festival along with several others.

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Three Rivers Ringers is Pittsburgh’s premier community handbell ensemble.

Three Rivers Ringers (TRR) was founded in 2010 by five handbell musicians with a passion to achieve musical excellence with challenging repertoire while pushing the boundaries of the handbell medium. Today, they are a 501(c)3 non-profit corporation and members of the Greater Pittsburgh Arts Council.

This unique group of musicians is selected by audition and represents a wide breadth of experience. They rehearse at Mt. Lebanon United Methodist Church and use some of the church’s handbells and equipment. Their directors and members have volunteered significant time to develop and manage all aspects of the organization—from finances to marketing, and—of course—many hours of rehearsal. They are funded by contributions from the ensemble, our Board of Directors, and community members.

TRR had a successful 2012–13 concert season, giving 14 public performances (plus private events), premiering a major new work for handbells and narrator, and featuring a wide range of classical music in the spring. They have also begun to acquire equipment of our own; in addition to tables, mallets, and a new set of Schulmerich Silver Melody Bells, they are extremely pleased to announce that after only 3.5 years of existence, Three Rivers Ringers has taken delivery of its own 6-octave set of Schulmerich handbells and 3 octaves of Schulmerich chimes!

Three Rivers Ringers exists to advance the art of handbells.  They  are available to give concerts throughout the tri-state area, and also offer educational programs for ringers and directors.  In 2013–14, they gave 10 public concerts, made our first trip to Ohio, and worked on their first commercial recording project.

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Matthew Adler holds a degree in Electronics but is a catalyst technician for a plastics manufacturer. He’s been a member of church & community music groups for 20+ years playing handbells and tuba. He and his wife, Erlina Mae, have been married since July 2010 and welcomed their first child in August 2013.

Deb Artim has been playing handbells for 12 years and piano since she was four years old. She is the organist and choir director at Sampson’s Mills Presbyterian Church and works as an instructor in Neuroscience at the University of Pittsburgh.

Linda Boice earned a degree in Music Education from Grove City College and serves as Minister of Music at Center Presbyterian Church in McMurray where she directs vocal, handbell, wind, and recorder ensembles. She and her husband reside in Washington, PA and have two daughters who attend Grove City College.

Sarah Boice – Bio coming soon

Karen Hecht Brown has been ringing handbells for over 20 years and is also a member of the Southminster Handbell Ensemble. She enjoys working at the Mt. Lebanon Public Library and volunteering for Produce to People. Karen and her husband have a son who is a senior at Colgate University.

Bobbie Calhoun lives in South Park and has been involved with music since she was a child. She initially played flute and piccolo, but has focused on handbells for 20+ years. She has degrees in Mechanical Engineering and Education, and a minor in Music Education. She has two children and four grandsons.

Beth Dakin has been ringing handbells for 25 years in choirs in Virginia, Georgia and Pittsburgh. She has a PhD in Genetics and works as a researcher in the Biology Department at Duquesne University. Beth and her husband have a son and a daughter.

Cynthia Donahoe lives in Mt. Lebanon and is Clerk of Session at South-minster Presbyterian Church. In addition, she directs the Southminster Handbell Ensemble and sings in the choir. She is a Stephen Minister and is on the Board of South Hills Interfaith Ministries. She and her husband have three daughters.

Mark Etzel has been ringing bells since the age of 9, beginning at Southminster Presbyterian Church, in Mt. Lebanon, PA, where he currently serves as the Assistant Director of Music Ministries. Mark is currently studying at the Mary Pappert School of Music, affiliated with Duquesne University, for his Bachelors of Science in Music Therapy. What he enjoys most about ringing is the potential it has for bringing young people together, regardless of their personal differences. Mark hopes to realize this potential in every group he influences and is a part of, both here at home, as well as abroad.

Dan Fernandez has played handbells for 23 years with choirs in New Jersey and the Pittsburgh area, and serves on the Board for Three Rivers Ringers. Dan is a graduate of Carnegie Mellon University and works for the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra. He also plays clarinet, sings bass and enjoys hiking.

Jeffrey K. Funk began ringing at Susquehanna University, continued at Penn State where he earned his PhD, and also played at Mt. Lebanon United Methodist Church. He works as the lab manager for an environmental company and is Treasurer/Secretary of the Pittsburgh Area Planted Aquarium Society.

Helen Krichbaum – Bio coming soon

Linda Minnotte is a founding member of TRR and current President. She began the Mt. Lebanon UMC Chapel Bells and rings with them. Additionally, she has rung in national events since 2006. She lives in Mt. Lebanon with her husband Rick, and has a daughter at the University of Oklahoma.

Alison Peters learned handbells by joining Southminster Presbyterian’s Handbell Ensemble 11 years ago. She is a CPA who has her own CPA firm and works as the Financial Administrator for Mt. Lebanon Library and Southminster Church. She has 3 children and is thrilled to be ringing with her daughter.

Elizabeth Peters was introduced to handbells at Southminster Presbyterian Church. She currently attends University of Pittsburgh for Accounting and Chinese and is director of Pitt’s Handbell Ensemble. She enjoys composing music and plays organ for Crafton Baptist Church.

Samantha Reid, a Pittsburgh native and proud Penn State Alum, works as a Clinical Specialist/Diabetes Educator for Roche Diabetes Care. She is involved with the Southminster Sonorilo handbell team, volunteering with Cairn Rescue USA and all the while, planning for her July 2014 wedding.

Andy Seay is the Associate Conductor of TRR and has rung handbells for 15 years. Andy plays handbells at Mt. Lebanon United Methodist Church, composes for handbell ensembles, and has directed a children’s chime choir. Originally from Chesapeake, VA, Andy holds two degrees from Carnegie Mellon and works for the Pittsburgh Symphony.

Megan Snider is originally from southeastern Ohio and has been ringing handbells for 13 years. Megan and her husband moved to Pittsburgh four years ago to work for Petland in the Pittsburgh Mills, and spend their free time experiencing all Pittsburgh has to offer with their three children.

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