Tulsa Festival RingersThis article written by Mike McCrary, Director of Tulsa Festival Ringers

At the 2014 Symposium in Atlanta, one of the silent auction items was a concert with David Weck, Jane Holstein, and Joel Raney. Sheryl Cory, a charter member of Tulsa Festival Ringers, was the successful bidder on this package. Sheryl then surprised TFR by telling us that she had purchased it for our group.

Fast forward to the weekend of May 1-3. The dynamic trio of Dave, Jane, and Joel arrived in Tulsa for what turned out to be a wonderful weekend. We had been communicating since last summer and had planned a concert that consisted of bells alone, bells with organ, bells with piano and organ, and piano and organ duets. TFR had been working all spring to prepare the music – most of which was arranged by Joel Raney.

Saturday began with Jane (organ) and Joel (piano) working out their pieces to make sure that the organ registrations and balance between the two instruments was good. Then the ringers arrived to work with David Weck on the pieces that involved the organ and piano. He also offered coaching for those pieces as well as the pieces that TFR played alone. It was really good for the group to get feedback from someone other than their regular director. We rehearsed nonstop for over three hours – a good experience, but also one that left us more than a little bit tired.

Sunday afternoon brought another rehearsal with a short break for some light supper before the concert at 7:30. We were especially pleased with the audience turnout. May 3 was a big day in Tulsa for concerts, so we had a lot of competition for audience members. The audience enjoyed an amazing concert. We opened the concert with TFR playing three pieces alone before adding Jane, Joel, and David to the mix. From the first note to the last one, the music was wonderful. Joel’s arrangements were fun, challenging, and, best of all, very musical. The organ/piano duets were incredible. A full concert of just Jane and Joel would be a fabulous musical experience if you ever have the chance to hear them.

The audience was most appreciative and the ringers all felt that it was one of the best experiences of their ringing careers!