The Bells on Temple Square: Ringing in California!
The Bells on Temple Square, part of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir organization, is touring again! The bell ensemble has played at various locations in Utah, and its first out-of-state performance was to Rexburg, Idaho, in 2015. This year the ensemble is traveling to Garden Grove, California, for the 2017 Handbell Musicians of America National Seminar. The group was selected to be the featured performer for the July 15 concluding concert, capping off the four-day seminar. LeAnna Willmore, conductor of the Bells on Temple Square, will direct the performance. The repertoire will explore a variety of musical genres from hymns, folk, and classical to jazz, gospel, and patriotic. The public is welcome to the performance in the Grand Ballroom of the Hyatt Regency Orange County on Saturday, July 15, at 6:00 p.m. For those able to attend the Southern California performance, tickets are available at the door for $15 or may be purchased online.
“We are honored to participate in this national event and showcase the talents of the Bells on Temple Square,” said Mormon Tabernacle Choir President Ron Jarrett, who will travel to California with the bell choir. “The Bells have always been a fan favorite, and we look forward to sharing their musicianship with peers throughout the world at this seminar.”
The Handbell Musicians of America are dedicated to advancing the musical art of handbell and handchime ringing through education, community outreach, and communication. The organization provides benefits and services to approximately 5,000 member organizations and individuals, both national and international, representing approximately 100,000 handbell musicians around the world.
Established in 2005, the Bells on Temple Square is a handbell choir of 32 musicians that enhances the concerts and recordings of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and performs two annual handbell concerts of its own in the Salt Lake Tabernacle. The tickets to the bell choir’s concerts are always in demand because of its exuberant musical performance and audience appeal. Their Wednesday night 7:30 p.m. rehearsals—starting again in September when they move back into the Tabernacle—are open to the public. See the website for specific dates.
Check out these dazzling videos of prior performances for a taste of the bell choir’s expertise: “Good Vibrations,” “Go Tell it on the Mountain,” “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy,” and an audience favorite, “The Flight of the Bumblebee.”
There will be a new face helping direct the Bells on Temple Square in upcoming concerts. Geoff Anderson was named the associate conductor of the Bells on Temple Square in May, replacing Larry Smith.
“Larry Smith has been key to the growth and success of the Bells for six years. We will miss his leadership,” said Willmore. “At the same time, I am pleased to have Geoff Anderson on our team as we look toward future success.”
Anderson earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in music education from Southern Utah University and Boston University, respectively. He has experience in instrumental and vocal performance and as music director for many productions. He has also directed state honor choirs and choirs that have performed for sessions of LDS general conference. Anderson is currently the director of choirs at Utah’s Fremont High School, with responsibility for vocal ensembles, the handbell choir, and advanced placement and concurrent enrollment music courses.