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Two Iowa Lakes Handbell Students Chosen to Perform at Carnegie Hall

November 26, 2019

(Estherville, Iowa) Two Iowa Lakes students have been selected to participate in The Great Christmas Ring at Carnegie Hall. Jada Duis and Brooklynn Erickson, members of the Iowa Lakes Handbell Ensemble, will travel to New York City to perform with other handbell musicians as part of Distinguished Concerts, International, New York’s annual presentation of Handel’s Messiah.

A limited number of individuals have been selected for this truly special invitation. The 700-member handbell ensemble has been chosen from handbell choirs all across the country. Though Carnegie Hall presents Handel’s Messiah annually during the holiday season, this will be the handbell group’s inaugural performance at Carnegie Hall.

Jada Duis of Ocheyedan (left) and Brooklyn Erickson of Spirit Lake (right)
Jada Duis of Ocheyedan (left) and
Brooklyn Erickson of Spirit Lake (right)

Jada Duis, daughter of Brad and Amy Duis, is a sophomore music major from Ocheyedan. Brooklynn Erickson, daughter of Alan and Jody Erickson, is also a sophomore music major from Spirit Lake.

Duis had this to say about being selected, “Words cannot describe how grateful I am for this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. I am so excited to do what I love in a place that is so magnificent. It’s truly heaven for all musicians, both aspiring and established.”

“I haven’t traveled much at all, so the opportunity to go to New York and perform at Carnegie Hall is amazing,” said Erickson. “It’s a dream come true.”

The Great Christmas Ring will be held on Sunday, December 1, 2019, at 2 p.m. The performance includes holiday favorites played on handbells and handchimes and will be presented from the tier level in Isaac Stern Auditorium at Carnegie Hall under the baton of Kevin McChesney.

An additional concert at Central Park’s Naumburg Bandshell will take place on November 30, 2019. The event will run from 3 to 4 p.m. and will be conducted by Kevin McChesney, Neesa Hart, and Phillip Wayne.

Carol Ayres, Iowa Lakes Instrumental Music/Jazz Band Professor, is very proud of the two Iowa Lakes students selected. “We are so excited about our students being chosen to be part of this remarkable and memorable experience," said Ayres. "What an amazing opportunity for them to be a part of this inaugural performance!”

For More Information:

Carol Ayres, Instrumental Music/Jazz Band Professor, at 712-362-7962

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