Japanese Handbell Choir to Perform at Northwestern College

The Glee Handbell Choir from Meiji Gakuin Higashimurayama High School in Tokyo, Japan, will offer a free concert in Orange City on Thursday, Aug. 1. The event will take place at 7 p.m. in Northwestern College’s Christ Chapel.

The Glee Handbell Choir was established in 1980. The choir has toured since 1981, performing several times in Orange City. The group is directed by Kazuyoshi Inagaki and Takanobu Onoda.

The ensemble tours as a part of Meiji Gakuin Higashimurayama High School’s exchange program. This is the 48th year of the exchange program, established by Reformed Church in America missionary Ron Korver, a 1943 and 1946 graduate of Northwestern, and continued by 1980 Northwestern College alumnus Norimichi Odate. Graduating seniors from the Tokyo high school have visited Northwestern for a three-week winter English program since 2012.

The bell choir’s 90-minute program will include a variety of pieces including “Joyful, Joyful,” some Glenn Miller classics, “Waltz of the Flowers” from “The Nutcracker” and the “Star Wars” theme by John Williams.

The concert is sponsored by the Northwestern College Office of Intercultural Development and Orange City Arts. Attendees will have an opportunity to contribute donations in support of the bell choir’s tour. The ensemble will also perform at 6:30 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 2, at the Centre Mall in Sioux Center and as part of the Aug. 4 Sunday evening service at 6:30 at Carmel Reformed Church.