May 24, 2013
WAPAKONETA — The nationally acclaimed handbell ensemble, “Raleigh Ringers” had such a good time a few years back in Wapakoneta, that they ask the city to host them again. And Sunday that will happen when the Raleigh Ringers perform in the Wapak Perorming Arts Center.
“They are a very interactive group, and they really get the audience involved. The last time they were here the local audience was so receptive that they ask if they could stop by again on their tour,” said Wendy Schlenker, bell choir director at St. Paul United Church of Christ in Wapakoneta, which is hosting the event.
“We feel very lucky to have them come here. They are known world-wide. A lot of time our choir listens to samples of their music,” Schlenker said.
The group, founded in 1990 and based in Raleigh, N.C., performs unique interpretations of sacred music, as well as secular and popular music, including classic rock 'n roll arranged just for handbells. They boast one of the most extensive collections of bells and bell-like instruments of any handbell ensemble in the world. They have released five CDs and a DVD. They have taken their music to 36 states and France and have appeared on radio.
“They are so much fun to hear. You know, handbell ringing is so different from any other type of music. Players are responsible for one note, and if you should miss that note, it throws all the rest of the players off,” Schlenker said.