Eight bell choirs from United Methodist churches in Northern California will be part of the fifth annual UM Bell Festival, “Bells and Voices,” Saturday, November 8 at 5 p.m., at Lake Merritt UMC in Oakland.
In addition, 25 voices from the Temple Hill (Mormon) Choir in Oakland will join with the bell choirs on the vocal parts of five mass ring pieces. The Temple Hill group has been invited to present a vocal piece of its own, as well.
The eight choirs are from Ukiah UMC, Hillsdale UMC in San Mateo, Foothills UMC in Rescue, Community UMC in Half Moon Bay, First UMC of Watsonville, First UMC of San Leandro, St. Paul’s UMC of Manteca, and Bethany UMC of San Francisco (the host choir). Five of those choirs also will present their own group solos.
Director Dorothy Straks has selected five mass ring pieces of “bells and voices,” intended for a variety of worship settings—contemporary, traditional, processional, Christmas, and benediction. The range of material includes pieces such as, “For the Beauty of the Earth” and “Calypso Christmas.”
Lake Merritt UMC is at 1330 Lakeshore Avenue in Oakland, overlooking Lake Merritt (parking in the back at 1255 First Avenue). The concert is free to the public, although a free-will offering will be taken.