Digital program

Strikepoint, from Duluth, Minnesota, is a church-based, community/professional handbell ensemble. Led by artistic director Bill Alexander, this eleven-member group performs in a directorless ensemble setting. High school, college students, and community members have joined with selected ringers from the four handbell ensembles at Duluth’s First United Methodist Church to provide a consistently high level of musicianship since Strikepoint’s beginnings in 1984. 

Strikepoint has toured extensively throughout the United States, Canada, Hawaii, Hong Kong, Japan, England, Scotland, Wales, and Sweden. They play on six octaves of bronze Schulmerich handbells with additional aluminum Malmark bass bells, seven octaves of chimes, two octaves of Silver Melody Bells, and three octaves of Petit and Fritzen handbells, along with a range of other instruments as needed. 

Their music has been featured on many local, national, and international radio, television, and online programs as well as live performances with the Duluth Superior Symphony Orchestra, the Arrowhead Chorale, and other professional musical organizations. They have produced nine albums, their social media posts have a large following, they are highly regarded as pioneers and innovators, and they are considered one of the very top handbell ensembles in the world. 

Noted for capturing the enthusiasm of audiences with a dynamic style and accessible music, Strikepoint’s concert selections can range from Bach to Lady Gaga and include familiar and new music. Strikepoint’s most recent album, “Reflections,” is often praised for its ability to calm the mind and restore the spirit, making it a popular choice for meditation, yoga, and music therapy. 

Attending a Strikepoint concert guarantees a thrilling, fast-paced musical experience that will leave you feeling exhilarated.

Bass to Treble: Derek Bromme, Tasha Kapp, Jacob Ginocchio, Bill Alexander, Jennifer Hinnenkamp, Christine Winkler Johnson, Pamela Nelson. Nancy Eaton, Gwen Woerpel, Libby Gaalaas, Sue Marquardt

Bill Alexander

Bill Alexander has been director of handbells at First United Methodist Church in Duluth, Minnesota, for the past 44 years. His program includes ringers of all ages and ability levels in four choirs, including Strikepoint, an ensemble that has toured extensively throughout Hawaii, Canada, Japan, Hong Kong, England, Scotland, Wales, Sweden, and most regions of the continental United States. 

Bill is an esteemed handbell teacher and conductor, sought after for regional, national, and international events. His extensive experience in instrumental conducting, ability to work well with both young and adult musicians, and comfort in leading large ensembles have made him a popular choice as a clinician and massed ringing conductor. 

For the past 48 years, Bill has been a private, public, and independent school instrumental music educator, as well as a handbell educator and conductor. His venture into retirement and his inability to comprehend its meaning have him even more engaged in all things handbells. He still, naively, aspires to someday get enough sleep and have time to mow his lawn.

Program Notes, Texts, and Translations

Personent Hodie 

Modern setting of a 14th century hymn, set with carillon bells, antiphonal trumpets, and a choral processional, evoking the feeling of a Medieval liturgical play depicting the Advent.

Let resound today
the voices of children,
joyfully praising
Him who is born to us,
given by most high God,
and conceived in a virginal womb.

He was born into the world,
wrapped in swaddling clothes,
and laid in a manger
in a stable for animals,
the master of the heavens.
The prince of Hell has lost his spoils.

Three Magi came,
they were bearing gifts,
and sought the little one,
following a star,
to worship him,
and offer him gold, frankincense, and myrrh.

Let all the junior clerics
and also the boys
sing like angels:
“You have come to the world,
I pour out praises to you.
Therefore, glory to God in the highest!”

Gloria from Mass in C, K. 317

Mozart (age 23) was the new court organist and composer at the Salzburg Cathedral, where the mass was likely first performed on Easter Sunday, 1779. The work became the preferred music for royal and imperial coronations, thus earning it the nickname “Coronation.” Gloria is the second movement of the piece.

Gloria in excelsis Deo,
Et in terra pax hominibus bonae voluntatis.

Laudamus te, benedicimus te,
Adoramus te, glorificamus te.
Gratias agimus tibi propter magnam gloriam tuam.

Domine Deus, Rex coelestis,

Deus Pater omnipotens.

Domine Fili unigenite, Jesu Christe.

Domine Deus, Agnus Dei, Filius Patris.

Qui tollis peccata mundi,

Miserere nobis.

Qui tollis peccata mundi,

Suscipe deprecationem nostram.

Qui sedes ad dexteram Patris,

miserere nobis.

Quoniam tu solus sanctus, tu solus Dominus,

Tu solus altissimus, Jesu Christe.

Cum Sancto Spiritu in gloria Dei Patris,


Glory to God in the highest,

And peace on earth to men of good will.

We praise You, we bless You,

We worship You, we glorify You.

We give You thanks for Your great glory.

Lord God, King of Heaven,

God the Father Almighty.

Lord only-begotten Son, Jesus Christ.

Lord God, Lamb of God, Son of the Father.

You who take away the sin of the world,

Have mercy on us.

You who take away the sin of the world,

Hear our prayer.

You who sit at the right hand of the Father,

have mercy on us.

For You alone are holy, You alone are Lord,

You alone are the Most High, Jesus Christ.

With the Holy Spirit in the glory of God the Father,


Gloria (Translation from the Book of Common Prayer, 1662)

At the time of its composition, John Rutter was still a young 28-year-old British composer waiting to be discovered. Gloria was commissioned by the Voices of Mel Olson, a choir in Nebraska, and was first performed in May 1974 (interesting fact: Thomas Wiig, a member of the Arrowhead Chorale’s Board of Directors, sang in the world premiere!). Originally scored for choir, brass, percussion, and organ, the work is set in three movements, each uniquely expressing a portion of the text in exalted, reverently supplicating, and joyously dancing styles. Citing the influence of Francis Poulenc, Igor Stravinsky, and William Walton, Rutter created a timeless piece, described by critics as “evergreen,” and “music with an unfailing knack to get to the root of the text, exquisitely balanced vocal writing, melting harmonies; and a willingness to be astringent, and rhythmically powerful.” (Malcolm Riley, Gramophone Newsletter 2011)


Gloria in excelsis Deo. 

Et in terra pax hominibus bonae voluntatis. 

Laudamus te. Benedicimus te. 

Adoramus te. Glorificamus te. 

Gratias agimus tibi propter magnam gloriam tuam. 

Gloria in excelsis Deo.

Glory be to God on high, 

and on earth peace, good will towards men. 

We praise thee. We bless thee. 

We worship thee. We glorify thee. 

We give thanks to thee for thy great glory. 

Glory be to God on high.


Domine Deus, Rex caelestis, 

Deus Pater omnipotens. 

Domine Fili unigenite Jesu Christe. 

Domine Deus, Agnus Dei, Filius Patris. 

Qui tollis peccata mundi, 

miserere nobis. 

Qui tollis peccata mundi, 

suscipe deprecationem nostram. 

Qui sedes ad dexteram Patris, 

miserere nobis. 

O Lord God, heavenly King, 

God the Father Almighty. 

O Lord, the only-begotten Son Jesus Christ; 

O Lord God, Lamb of God, Son of the Father, 

that takest away the sins of the world, 

have mercy upon us. 

Thou that takest away the sins of the world, 

receive our prayer. 

Thou that sittest at the right hand of God the Father, 

have mercy upon us.


Quoniam tu solus sanctus. 

Tu solus Dominus. 

Tu solus altissimus, Jesu Christe. 

Cum Sancto Spiritu, 

in gloria Dei Patris. Amen. 

Gloria in excelsis Deo. Amen.

For thou only art holy; 

thou only art the Lord; 

thou only, O Christ, 

with the Holy Ghost, 

art most high in the glory of God the Father. Amen. 

Glory be to God on high. Amen.

Ding Dong! Merrily on High

The melody, originally a secular dance tune, was paired with the bell-ringing lyrics in the mid-19th century by English composer George Ratliff Woodward. Woodward’s keen interest in church bell ringing no doubt influenced his lyrics. Charles Wood, best known as Vaughan Williams’ teacher, arranged this for publication in 1924. 

Ding dong! merrily on high in heav’n the bells are ringing: 

Ding dong! verily the sky is riv’n with angel singing. 

Gloria! Hosanna in excelsis! 

E’en so here below, below, let steeple bells be swungen, 

And i-o, i-o, i-o, by priest and people sungen. 

Gloria! Hosanna in excelsis! 

Pray you, dutifully prime your matin chime, ye ringers;

May you, beautiful rhyme your eve-time song, ye singers. 

Gloria! Hosanna in excelsis! 

Sussex Carol

The lyrics were first published in 1684, but not until Cecil Sharp and Ralph Vaughan Williams heard it sung was the tune first notated – which was in Sussex, hence the title. Bob Chilcott was one of the early members of the King’s Singers, where he nurtured his talent as a choral arranger. His setting of Sussex Carol is characterized by dance-like asymmetrical rhythm propelling the joyous melody in unison and counterpoint.

On Christmas night all Christians sing, 

to hear the news the angels bring.

News of great joy, news of great mirth, 

News of our merciful King’s birth.

Then why should men on earth be so sad, 

Since our redeemer made us glad? 

When from our sin he set us free, 

All for to gain our liberty? 

When sin departs before his grace, 

Then life and health come in its place.

Angels and men with joy may sing, 

All for to see the newborn King. 

All out of darkness we have light

which made the angels sing this night:

‘Glory to God and peace to men, 

Now and forever more, 


Candlelight Carol

Composed in 1984 and first recorded by Rutter’s own Cambridge Singers, this carol was inspired by the 1490 painting Nativity at Night by Geertgen tot Sint Jans. It was commissioned by John Romeri, director of music at the Church of the Assumption in Bellevue, Pennsylvania.

How do you capture the wind on the water? 

How do you count all the stars in the sky? 

How can you measure the love of a mother, 

Or how can you write down a baby’s first cry? 

Candlelight, angel light

Firelight and star-glow

Shine on his cradle till breaking of dawn. 

Gloria, gloria, in excelsis Dei! 

Angels are singing; the Christ child is born.

Shepherds and wise men will kneel and adore him, 

Seraphim round him their vigil will keep;

Nations proclaim him their Lord and their Savior, 

But Mary will hold him and sing him to sleep. 

Candlelight, angel light

Firelight and star-glow

Shine on his cradle till breaking of dawn. 

Gloria, gloria, in excelsis Dei! 

Angels are singing; the Christ child is born.

Find him at Bethlehem laid in a manger: 

Christ our Redeemer asleep in the hay.

Godhead incarnate and hope of salvation: 

A child with his mother that first Christmas Day.

Candlelight, angel light

Firelight and star-glow

Shine on his cradle till breaking of dawn. 

Gloria, gloria, in excelsis Dei! 

Angels are singing; the Christ child is born.

Angels We Have Heard on High

Originating in 19th century France, the carol was first translated into English in 1060 by James Chadwick. The text is macaronic, meaning it is in two languages: the vernacular and Latin. The Latin “Gloria in excelsis Deo” is set in melismatic style. Mack Wilberg’s version, which incorporates different voice groupings and textures with ascending harmonic motion and a formidable climax, is one of his most powerful settings. 

Angels we have heard on high

Sweetly singing o’er the plains, 

And the mountains in reply

Echoing their joyous strains.

Gloria, in excelsis Deo.

Shepherds, why this jubilee? 

Why your joyous strains prolong? 

What the gladsome tidings be

Which inspire your heav’nly song?

Gloria, in excelsis Deo.

Come to Bethlehem and see

Him whose birth the angels sing;

Come, adore on bended knee

Christ the Lord, the newborn King. 

Gloria, in excelsis Deo.

See him in the manger laid, 

Whom the choirs of angels praise;

Mary, Joseph, lend your aid, 

While our hearts in love we raise. 

Gloria, in excelsis Deo. 


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Wishing to enjoy this festive season by attending our holiday concert but don't have the extra funds? ⠀
Reach out to us at 218-348-7162 to learn about available Angel Tickets - gifted by those with a love of sharing choral music!
The Chorale will collaborate with organ, brass, orchestra, and the Strikepoint Handbell Ensemble to fill our new concert home, First Lutheran Church of Duluth, with the glorious sounds of Christmas during Holiday Traditions & Jubilations: GLORIA! ⠀
Learn more and purchase your tickets on our website.
Thanks for having us @dovetailcafeandmarketplace we had a great time! 🎶

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We are excited to participate in the third annual Season Splash, this Thursday, September 7 at 6:30pm at Wade Stadium. This event is a free outdoor thank you celebration from Duluth Arts organizations to celebrate live performance arts in our community!⠀
Interested in helping us share the wonder of choral music? Become a supporter of the Arrowhead Chorale.⠀
Your tax-deductible contributions help our group achieve our goals including:⠀
Commissioning new choral works⠀
Bringing guest artists to the region⠀
Increasing collaboration with area arts organizations⠀
Producing professional CDs⠀
Are you passionate about singing and wish to share the joy of music with the region? We are holding auditions later this month for all vocal parts! 

Interested singers are invited to join us August 29 & 31 at First Lutheran Church. Email to learn more and to schedule an audition. 🎵
Who are we? 
Arrowhead Chorale is proud to bring fine performances of distinctive vocal ensemble literature to the Arrowhead region of Minnesota, Northern Wisconsin, and beyond! Our goal: to engage and inspire singers and audiences through our high-quality performances of diverse choral music and unique education opportunities.
❗We will be holding auditions next month for all voice parts❗⠀
If you have a love of singing, join us August 29 and 31 at First Lutheran Church. Interested singers can email to learn more or schedule an audition. 🎶⠀
ICYMI: the women’s ensemble at Wade Stadium singing the National Anthem before Sunday’s game. Thanks for having us, @duluthhuskies ! ⚾️🎶🇺🇸 

#icymi #baseball #merica #duluthhuskies #nationalanthem #womensensemble #singing
Take me out to the ballgame! ⚾️🎶 Catch the Duluth Huskies game this Sunday 7/2 at Wade Stadium and stop by concessions for a cold one from the celebrity bartenders — the Arrowhead Chorale women’s ensemble! ⚾️🎶 We’ll be singing to earn our tips!
Meet the Chorale!⠀
Mandy's love of music started at a young age. She began singing with her 3 sisters for events and her family created a family band that would play around the state. She received an instrumental music ed degree in 2015 and went on to get a master's in French Horn performance from Montclair State University. She stayed in New Jersey as a teacher and performer until the pandemic hit and moved back home to Minnesota. After taking a 10 year break from singing to focus on horn, she is excited to be back at it with the Arrowhead Chorale.⠀
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