Handbell Choir

Rob's Handbell Choir Page

my world is vastly different, handbell choir is like this...
People aren't objects you know

I monopolized the scanners, I have pictures up here. This page will be devoted to one of my favorite pastimes, ringing in my church's handbell choir. You will find out what it is, where we've traveled and how much fun it really is. If you're not thrilled, go back to the mainpage.

Well, I guess I can put some information up here. First of all, my church is Plymouth Congregational, a UCC chruch in Lawrence, Kansas. Handbells originated in England a long time ago(don't ask for a specific time period) along with the change ringers. Now change ringing is those big bells in towers, when they ring in patterns.

Handbells are obviously held in your hand, they're made of brass, copper and tin, and have a handle on them. Each bell is one note, our church has a 5 octave set, plus a duplicate 3 octave set, and a 3 octave set of chimes,from C below the bass clef(c3) to C way above the treble clef(c8). I rang c3 to f-sharp3, that's 7 bells, the c3 bell weighs 8.5 pounds, and I rang one bell in each hand, with many fast changes to be made throughout songs. They can be played many ways, ringing foremost, as well as plucking, using mallets, and hitting them on the foam tables, mainly for defining the accents and such.

The music is written like piano music, only there are so many notes that it's impossible to play them all on the piano. We ring about half religious music, and half popular or classical selections. My favorite was "Passacaglia" by Handel, since I had so much to do, it was quite entertaining for the audience. The archive is quite huge, ringing stuff like "Barber of Seville" "Sabre Dance" "Stars and Stripes Forever" as well as "I'm a Jayhawk" and "Pink Panther" in addition to the religious music.

Plymouth Congregational has a choir each for 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th graders, high school, and adults. Each summer, the junior high and high school choirs combine, for whoever wants to go, and plan a tour. In my 6 years or so in choir, we've been to(in order) Casper, Wyoming and S. Dakota; Ames, Iowa(I didn't go, drivers' ed that year); St. Joseph, Missouri; Greencastle, Indiana with stops in Missouri and Illinois; Minnesota; and Hawaii. Previous trips before my time included Boston, Hawaii again, and England. What we do is play a lot of concerts for a lot of people, mostly at churches and festivals, sometimes out in public, and tour wherever we are. Unfortunately we end up touring the educational sites, not by our choice :)

These festivals are usually put on by the American Guild of English Handbell Ringers.
We've been outstanding, both in performing and in our maturity, so if you're interested in this subject, perhaps you'd like to hear us, send me some email at therob@eagle.cc.ukans.edu and I'll hook you up with the directors' addresses. I don't know where they're going this summer.

Places we've infiltrated
In addition to volcanoes, we can throw people down waterfalls too
Then we can make them eat sand
But what if the UFOs landing off to my left get them first?
I mean, look at the size of that thing!
Of course, we know who's in charge now (Below, Me, on the left, age 16)

Eventually, I'll learn how to shrink the table, but that would take effort.

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