Musical Advent Calendar – Day 10

Three Rivers Ringers Tenth Anniversary Celebration

Today, I am pleased to offer you something very special indeed. Ten years ago, under the coordination of MLUMC member and director of handbell choirs Nancy Lutz, a new community initiative began under the roof of our church: the inaugural meetings of the ensemble known as Three Rivers Ringers. “[TRR] is the fulfillment of my long-time dream of creating Pittsburgh’s first community handbell ensemble, dedicated to excellence in performance and creativity in programming,” said Nancy about the ensemble’s formation.

A decade later, and that dream has flourished into a nationally known and respected musical ensemble. TRR’s resume includes performances at the biannual General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) in 2012, at the Handbell Musicians of America’s National Seminar in 2016, and holiday performances with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra in 2015 and 2016, in addition to a performance included in the major motion picture “Love the Coopers” in 2015, and the organization and hosting of the Western Pennsylvania Handbell Festival, emphasizing the group’s dedication to outreach and education. Furthermore, the group has released a number of recorded albums, including “Ringing in the Season” (2014), “Swingin’ Bronze” (2017), and “Earth shall ring” (2019).

In celebration of their 10-year anniversary, TRR is hosting a special retrospective concert of their music this evening, 10 December 2020, at 7:00 PM. Because of COVID-19 restrictions, the concert cannot be held live, and is instead a curation of the group’s favorite pieces spanning their decade-long tenure. Keep a close eye on the performers – in addition to Nancy, you will see some other faces that you recognize, including (but not limited to) MLUMC’s own Linda and Rick Minnotte!

Although this is not a concert of exclusively Advent music – or even exclusively sacred music –  I think you will find the concert to be alternatively touching and exhilarating, I hope you will find it to be a proper response to the Psalmist’s exhortation found in Psalm 150:

O praise God in his holiness; 
praise God in the firmament of his power.

Praise God in the cymbals and dances,
praise God upon the strings and pipe.
Praise God upon the well-tuned cymbals,
praise God upon the loud cymbals.
Let every thing that hath breath praise the Lord

The concert can be found at the link below, beginning at 7:00 PM this evening (you can also view the program after the fact, in case you have a conflict at that time). I hope you’ll join me in tuning in from your computer or mobile device and enjoying the incredible sounds of Pittsburgh’s premiere handbell ensemble

Mitchell Stecker, Director of Music