Bell Jubilee - Volume XII

by Allegro Handbell EnsembleAllegro Handbell Ensemble
Allegro Handbell Ensemble: Bell Jubilee
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An hour of concert and holiday selections recorded by the 2005 Allegro Handbell Ensemble.

Bell Jubilee includes an hour of concert and holiday selections recorded by the 2005 Allegro Handbell Ensemble. This is the group's twelfth album.

From the Insert

"Allegro," as an Italian musical instruction, means "fast." It was also the name of a toy alligator brought along on the group’s second tour in 1976. The mascot’s name stuck, and the ensemble had a name: The Allegro Handbell Choir.

Begun by John Macdonald in 1967, the group gained national recognition and made its first European tour under the leadership of Dwight K. Menard, in whose memory Elegy (track 13) was commissioned by the musicians who performed under his direction between 1971 and 1978. A friend of Mr. Menard, composer William Payn originally titled the work Tombeau. Other works commissioned and premiered by the ensemble include With the Angels Let Us Sing (track 10), which was commissioned in memory of Linda Tice, whose daughter was on tour with the choir at the time of her mother's death. At the request of the family, Carl Wiltse included a quote from Silent Night in his composition.

Michael Surratt was selected to take over the reins of the Allegro Handbell Choir in 1979. At the time, the group performed fifty to sixty concerts each year and was generally regarded as a professional-level ensemble. In 1998, the ensemble was the recipient of a generous donation of five octaves of Malmark handchimes, manufactured in Plumsteadville, Pennsylvania, which complement their five octave set of Schulmerich handbells, cast in Sellersville, Pennsylvania.

On several of the European tours, there was confusion about how the group would perform. Audiences would sometimes ask when the choir would sing. It was finally determined that, in Europe, the word "choir" specifically implied a vocal group. For the 2000 Summer Concert Tour, the group changed its name again and became the Allegro Handbell Ensemble.

Mr. Surratt has conducted the Allegro Handbell Ensemble for over 25 years, and the group continues its educational programs, despite increased demands on time for today’s high school students. The ensemble performs regularly for civic, charitable, and community groups, as well as in local elementary schools and holiday programs.

The Allegro Handbell Ensemble has toured throughout the United States, Canada, Europe, and parts of Mexico. The group presents a wealth of information about themselves, their instruments, and other recordings on their website at

Track List

Track Title Time Composer, Arranger
1. Bell Jubilee 1:15 Ellen Jane Lorenz
2. Fanfare for Bells 1:16 Mary G. McCleary
3. In the Hall of the Mountain King 2:50 Edvard Grieg,
arr. Michael Keller

"Play Sound"

Spirit Song 3:08 John Wimber,
arr. Cynthia Dobrinski
5. Joshua Fit the Battle of Jericho 1:45 Spiritual,
arr. Martha Lynn Thompson
6. Siyahamba 4:32 South African Freedom Song,
arr. Robert J. Ward
7. Prisms 2:32 William A. Payn
8. Cantus Invenilis 2:16 Valerie W. Stephenson
9. Nocturne No. 3 5:06 Michael Helman
10. Jesus Shall Reign 2:56 John Hatton,
arr. Anna Laura Page

"Play Sound"

With the Angels Let Us Sing
"Commissioned for the Allegro Handbell Choir
in memory of Linda Tice."
3:56 Carl Wiltse
12. Phantom of the Opera 5:41 Andrew Lloyd Webber,
arr. Douglas E. Wagner
13. Hava Nageela 3:23 Israeli Folk Song,
arr. Douglas Floyd Smith
14 Elegy
"Commissioned in memory of Dwight K. Menard
by the 1971-1979 Allegro Handbell Choirs."
6:17 William A. Payn

"Play Sound"

Deep River
Michael Surratt, piano
3:23 Spiritual,
arr. Janet Linker and Jane McFadden
16. The Nutcracker 4:33 Peter I. Tchaikovsky,
arr. Kevin McChesney
17. Hungarian Rhapsody No. 2 5:15 Franz Liszt,
arr. Douglas E. Wagner

"Play Sound"

Now the Green Blade Riseth 2:03 French Carol,
arr. Kevin McChesney
19. Bell Boogie 1:57 James C. Smith

Total Time 64:15

Recording Credits
from the insert

The Ringers (clockwise from top): Peter Elias, Hillary Bozeman, Brandon Woodle, Madeline Lubenow, Johnathan Wroble, Ingrid Elias, Thure Ross, Cara Stevens, Cassie Lubenow, Rebecca Woodle, Kate Davey, and Anna Tuggle.

The Director: Michael Surratt

Michael Surrat

Recording Engineer and CD Mastering
Gerald G. LeCompte

Graphic Design and Copy
Daniel Reck, forzandoArts

Personnel: Bruce Chlevin
Instruments: Schulmerich Carillons, Inc.

Produced By
Advanced Audio Technology
Carol Stream, Illinois

Recorded Live June 23, 2005
Sanctuary of Union Church
Hinsdale, Illinois

Copyright 2005
Allegro Handbell Ensemble and the Union Church of Hinsdale. All Rights Reserved.