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Handbell Ensembles

Concordia University of Edmonton is proud to own the largest handbell collection in Canada, supporting a student- and community-based ensemble. Both ensembles are led by Debbie Rice.

Concordia Ringers

The Concordia Ringers were founded in 2000, following a generous gift by the Concordia Guild. Using a seven-octave set of Malmark handbells and a six-octave set of Malmark handchimes, as well as a five-octave set of Whitechapel bells, this ensemble rehearses twice a week and performs in concerts, on tours, and for special events.

Each season there is potential for an auditioned quartet from within the group.

The performance schedule may include participation in the Sacred Music Festival, the Concordia Christmas concert, and/or a Chamber Music Ensembles concert, as well as weekend tours in the fall and winter. The Ringers receive academic credit for their year, which includes performances, quizzes, and exams.

Students can register for the handbell ensemble by enrolling in MUPE 164/264. No audition is necessary, but students are expected to have some musical literacy.

To arrange for an audition, please contact Debbie Rice.

Jubiloso! Bells of Concordia

Founded in 2002, Jubiloso! Bells of Concordia is an auditioned community-based ensemble. Its primary mission is to perform quality handbell music with artistic integrity, while promoting and maintaining a professional attitude in rehearsals and performances. The aim of Jubiloso! is to perform at a variety of local and regional venues and to participate in other handbell and music-related projects.

Jubiloso! is often featured at CUE’s annual Sacred Music Festival along with other Concordia ensembles. Debbie Rice, a past National President of the American Guild of English Handbell Ringers as well as former Executive Director of the International Handbell Committee, has been Jubiloso’s present artistic director since 2010. For the last two decades Debbie has been conducting biennial international handbell festival tours that have drawn participating ringers from Canada, Hong Kong, Israel, United Kingdom, United States, Ukraine, and five European countries.

Jubiloso! has commissioned many works from composers including Patricia Thomson and John Hooper, as well as arrangements for bells and choir by Trent Worthington, Jacobus Kloppers, and Larry Nickel. The group has been privileged to work with Kevin Ko of the EmBELLishment Handbell Ensemble in Hong Kong and David Harris of the Raleigh Ringers (North Carolina), and continues to work on developing skills in workshops and retreats. Their first CD, JUBILOSO! Bells of Concordia Live in Concert, was released in 2016.

The ensemble performs from a nearly complete set of 7 octaves of Malmark handbells (C2 to C9), a 6-octave set of Malmark choirchimes® (C2 to C8), and a 5-octave set of Schulmerich melodychimes® (C3-C8), augmented with a 5-octave set of historic English Whitechapel bells (C3-C8), as well as various percussion instruments. Jubiloso! includes musicians from all walks of life and performs a varied repertoire. Auditions are currently held bi-annually, but are scheduled as vacancies occur from a list of qualified interested candidates.

Please contact Debbie Rice for an audition and registration information.

Jubiloso! welcomes the opportunity to perform with other groups, in other venues, and at schools.

JuBELLation: A Handbell Orchestra

JuBELLation: A handbell ensemble for beginning and intermediate ringers (high-school age through adults), conducted by Debbie Rice.

Starting on Wednesday, September 11, 2019, JuBELLation will be held every Wednesday from 5:00 to 6:30 pm. The program will run through April 2020 at Concordia University of Edmonton’s campus in the Continuing Education building, room 204 (CE204).

Deborah Rice has been with Concordia University of Edmonton since 2010 and acts as the Artistic Director of Jubiloso! Bells of Concordia, a community-based ensemble, as well as a sessional instructor for CUE’s School of Music. Debbie draws on her vast experience as a professional singer, choral conductor, and passion for teaching to encourage standards for the handbell instrument to be musical and worshipful. She maintains a demanding travel schedule of national, international, and denominational events as clinician, adjudicator, and conductor. International assignments have included Australia, Canada, Estonia, Finland, Great Britain, Hong Kong, Israel, Korea, Japan, Singapore, Spain, and Taiwan. Her next international tour, planned for May/June 2021, includes Poland and the Czech Republic.

Debbie holds degrees in music education, opera, and musical theatre. She has also sung with U.S. regional opera companies, a professional choir, and has studied early music and conducting. With the Handbell Musicians of America, she held elected offices on the National Board as Area Chair, National Secretary, and National President. In 2014 she was named an Honorary Life Member. Debbie has also served as Executive Director for the International Handbell Committee.

Program fees are $245; a handbell binder and gloves will need to be purchased for an additional fee.

For more information, please contact Debbie at deborah.rice@concordia.ab.ca or call 780.479.9355.

To register, please download the  JuBELLation registration form, fill out and “Save As” to retain info, then email it to music@concordia.ab.ca. Or print out and send with payment to:

JuBELLation

c/o School of Music
Concordia University of Edmonton
7128 Ada Boulevard
Edmonton, AB T5B 4E4