The Agape Ringers
Under the baton of founder David L. Weck, this auditioned handbell ensemble has been astonishing audiences from England to New England and from San Juan to the Pacific Northwest with their beautifully-orchestrated presentations of entertaining and varied music. From their first appearance in 1992 with the West Towns Chorus, ensemble members have thrilled to share their love of handbell ringing in more than 200 solo performances, as well as concerts with the North Shore Choral Society, the piano/organ duo of Joel Raney and Jane Holstein, and the Illinois Brass Band. In addition, they have been heard by directors around the ringing world on all promotional recordings for Hope Publishing's handbell catalog since 1992.
The sixteen musicians have a collective ringing experience of over 375 years, and perform on 75 Malmark handbells and 73 Malmark ChoirchimesŪ. The Agape Ringers has performed by invitation for five national events of the American Guild of English Handbell Ringers (AGEHR), including the National Seminar in Dallas in 2005. Members of ensemble are passionate about the art of handbell ringing; they share their skill and enthusiasm with ringers through workshops offered with AGEHR-Illinois and by serving in leadership roles at the local and national levels. Featured performances have included the AGEHR Area X Festival in Tacoma, WA in 2004, the 2006 convention of the American Guild of Organists in Chicago, and the 2007 Fellowship of American Baptists Conference for Church Musicians in Green Lake, WI.