Rooke Chapel Ringers in concert Saturday

LEWISBURG – The Rooke Chapel Ringers will perform in concert at 8 p.m. Saturday, in Rooke Chapel at Bucknell University, 701 Moore Ave.

The concert, which is free and open to the public, will be conducted by William Payn, professor of music at Bucknell.

The program features original compositions by Payn and Bucknell junior Christian Humcke; traditional carol, hymn and spiritual settings; and popular classics arranged for handbells.

Organized in 1983 under Payn’s direction, the choir consists of 16 members selected by audition and who represent every major field of study at Bucknell, including the humanities, social sciences, natural sciences, business administration, education and engineering.

The Ringers play regularly for Protestant worship services on campus and participate in the traditional ringing-in-of-Christmas at Candlelight services in Rooke Chapel each December. This popular performance, taped and repeatedly televised by PBS for national distribution, was nominated for an Emmy Award in 1996, 2004 and 2011; the service was last taped in December 2009 for airing in 2010 by WVIA-TV, the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre PBS affiliate. A special DVD/CD package is available for purchase at performances.

In addition to touring through New York, New Jersey, Virginia, Ohio, Maryland, Washington, D.C., and Pennsylvania, the Ringers have performed in New England, Canada, Colorado, California and the Pacific Northwest.

Since its founding, the choir has participated in two festivals at the Riverside Church in New York City, was chosen to play for the Pennsylvania Music Educators Association Conference in spring 1985, and, in 1986, toured for two weeks in Switzerland and Austria. The choir has participated in three festivals at the Riverside Church in New York City with Payn as massed ensemble conductor.

The Ringers performed for Handbell Exploration ’95 in Arizona, and the Hershey Handbell Exploration at the Hershey Hotel in 2000 and 2004. In 2004 and 2006, the choir performed with the Syracuse Symphony for three holiday concerts each year.

Payn has achieved prominence as a conductor and composer. In constant demand as a handbell clinician and festival conductor, Payn has conducted in four national festivals and numerous area festivals as well as for the International Symposium for the Handbell Musicians of America.

He served as clinician and guest conductor for the Handbell Ringers of Japan and the handbell ensemble at Kwansei Gakuin University in Japan.

This is Payn’s final concert with the Rooke Chapel Ringers before his retirement.