Handbell ensemble coming to Austin Friday

Published 8:45 am Monday, July 10, 2017

Strikepoint, an acclaimed Duluth-based church handbell ensemble, will perform at Westminster Presbyterian Church in Austin at 7 p.m. on Friday, July 14.

Ann Flisrand, who directs two handbell choirs at Westminster and the community ecumenical handbell choir, said those attending will witness an unforgettable performance from the internationally-renowned group of musicians, led by “coach” Bill Alexander.

“They have been touring annually since 1986, in the U.S., Europe, Japan,” said Flisrand. “They are unique and they represent total teamwork.”

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College students and community members come together to form the group, selected from five bell choirs at Duluth’s First United Methodist Church.

Duluth-based Strikepoint, an acclaimed handbell ensemble, will perform at Westminster Presbyterian Church in Austin at 7 p.m. on Friday. Photo provided

The choir rings six-plus octaves of bronze Schulmerich handbells, seven octaves of hand chimes, two octaves of Silver Melody Bells and three octaves of the Petit and Fritzen handbells, made in Holland; along with other instruments ranging from classical violin and Spanish guitar to pennywhistle and fire bell.

The group is noted for capturing the enthusiasm of audiences with a dynamic style and accessible music. One review praised the group’s “athleticism and showmanship, not to mention musicality,” and its “exceptionally creative bent.”

Their recordings have been featured on National Public Radio and Minnesota Public Radio, as well as other nationally broadcast programs. Its newest recording, “Reflections,” is described by the group “music to calm the mind and restore the spirit.”

Concert selections can range from Bach to a rocking Beatles tune to a Sousa march, according to their website.

Westminster is located at 802 Fourth St. SW in Austin. Admission is free, but there is a $10 suggested donation.