HSU Alumnus Leads AISD Soundwave Handbell Choir

May 8, 2019 Macee Hall, Staff Writer

(ABILENE, Texas)–Abilene Independent School District (AISD) is home to the Soundwave Handbell Choir, a specialized music program made up of developmentally disabled students from both Abilene High School and Cooper High School. This school year, the program celebrated its 40th anniversary. Since 2015, the choir has been led by HSU alumnus Eric Logan, who was a member of both Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia, the professional men’s music fraternity, and Alpha Psi Omega, the professional theatre fraternity, during his undergraduate years.

The Soundwave Handbell Choir performs.
The Soundwave Handbell Choir are directed by Eric Logan during one of their performances.

The group performs at local schools, retirement communities, hospitals, and churches, and they also provide entertainment for many civic groups and at many community events. The program uses an adaptive style of music notation created by Letha McGrew, who founded the choir back in 1978 as the Woodson Handbell Choir. The group also went by the Abilene Gold Handbell Choir before being renamed the Soundwave Handbell Choir in recent years.

Throughout its many years, the choir has performed at such notable events as the American Guild of English Handbell Ringers national conference in 2005 and the Arts Education Days at the Texas State Capitol in 2011. The choir even traveled to the White House in 1991 to perform and have been invited to perform the national anthem at many Texas Rangers baseball games.

It is stated in the group’s bio that “this successful program flourishes due to the devotion and caring of AISD and its former directors, Letha McGrew and Cathy Taylor, both retired.”

Logan attended Cooper High School and stayed in Abilene to attend HSU. While at the university, Logan participated in both music and theatre. He performed in many musicals and plays with Hardin-Simmons theatre, as well as with community theatre programs in Abilene and with the Abilene Opera Association. Off campus, Logan interned with Longhorn Recording Studios before working for KTLC and KBCY, two Abilene radio stations. Since then, Logan has acted as a disc jockey, performed in the popular music duo, AKA, and has led worship at First United Methodist Church in Clyde since 2003.