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For Whom the Bells Toll

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Embellish presents its Spring concert on Tuesday, April 30, in the beautiful and intimate setting of the Recital Hall in Calvin College’s Covenant Fine Arts Center. The concert will offer a fun exploration of the different foundations of ringing, from simple tolling to change ringing on tower bells, as bells have rung through the ages and developed into modern-day handbell ringing.

Selections will include Cathy Moklebust’s original composition, “Five Incriptions,” based on “virtutes,” ancient Latin sayings which were inscribed on bells to state a function ascribed to them; and two favorite pieces by Embellish’s Honorary Associate Director Fred Gramann: “Change Ring Prelude on Divinum Mysterium” and “Prelude on Herzliebster Jesu.” They will also play William Gross’s original work “The Bell Toll Blues,” a heavy blues piece based on sounds commonly heard on bells, such as a clock tower chime, and even a little Christmas melody! Another original work is Sondra Tucker’s African-inspired “Khumbula Ubuhle,” commissioned by Embellish in memory of local community activist Dirk Koning.

The concert will feature the full arsenal of Embellish equipment, from their 6 ½ octave set of Malmark handbells, to the racked 6 th and 7 th octave chimes. This concert will also feature a brand new instrument: a set of Schulmerich Silver Melody Bells recently donated by the Johnson family in memory of Mark Johnson. These new bells will offer an unusual brightness and sheen to enhance the rich sound of the bronze and aluminum bells in the Embellish set.

Percussion, demonstrations, and narration will keep things moving on this family-friendly program. After the concert, audience members are always invited to meet the ringers, try out the bells, and take “bellfies.”

More information is available at

For Whom the Bells Toll
  • Times:  7:30 PM - 9:00 PM
  • April 30, 2019 to April 30, 2019
  • Calvin College Covenant Fine Arts Center Recital Hall
  • $12 Adult Advance/$14 Adult at Door; Kids Free