Audiences will thrill to the visually fascinating Bells on Temple Square during its annual winter concert on Friday, 16 November, in the Salt Lake Tabernacle. The concert, titled Winter Festival of Sound, will feature wintry holiday hymns and American folk songs.
Conductor LeAnna Willmore says, “Think of all of the happy thoughts associated with the ringing of a bell – the announcement of the arrival of a friend ringing your doorbell, the holy ringing of church bells, the tinkling of sleigh bells. Winter Festival of Sound is a celebration of this most cheerful sound and the feelings associated with it.”
Audiences will find watching the prestigious 28-member bell choir just as fascinating as listening to it as the musicians’ arms move in fluid precision and exact timing. During the concert, the bells will be joined by other musicians, adding to the merriment. “We have the honor of collaborating with masterful musicians on various instruments,” Willmore said. “It will be a splendid way to welcome the approaching holiday season.” Associate conductor, Larry Smith, who will join Willmore in conducting portions of the concert, added, “Our concert is always early in the holiday music season. For many families this is becoming a traditional way of beginning their year-end celebrations.”
Winter Festival of Sound will open with “Festa,” an introductory processional musical setting, following by a selection of American folk hymns, including “Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing” and “Simple Gifts.” The music will transition to a fast and exciting rhythmic section of the program, which will feature marimba in addition to the bell ensemble. The final portion of the concert will feature Christmas music, including such holiday favorites as “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing,” “It Came upon the Midnight Clear” and “Jingle Bells.” The program will conclude with “Bell Carol Fantasy.” The evening will also include performances by Temple Square organists Bonnie Goodliffe and Linda Margetts and instrumental ensembles composed of members of the Orchestra at Temple Square.
The Bells on Temple Square was organized in 2005 under the auspices of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. Like the members of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, the Orchestra at Temple Square and the Temple Square Chorale, the members of Bells on Temple Square are all volunteers.
The concert will begin at 7:30 p.m. in the Salt Lake Tabernacle. Free tickets are available beginning Tuesday, 23 October, at 10:00 a.m. with a limit of four per person. Tickets can be obtained online at www.lds.org/events, over the phone at 801-570-0080 or from the Conference Center ticket office.