Handbell Ringers Sought

September 1, 2023 | Posted in Church News

As announced in the Sept 2023 OAKNOTES:

Our prayers have been answered. The JuBELLation Ringers welcomes OPC members Barb Ayers Cavendish, Sue Sanford and Debbie Trumble, as well as returning ringer and former OPC member Wendy Heleen. They will be joining Bert Erickson, Bob Erickson, Jim Haleen, Betsey Sellers, Bev Taylor and Hodge Worsham under Michael Frank’s continued directorship.

Many thanks to those who have responded to our need … but there is still room for additional ringers. Just 2 more will enable us to utilize the lower bass octave of bells and chimes, and 4 more will enable Bert to return to directing. If you’d like to join us, please contact Bert Erickson at rkerxn@gmail.com. Rehearsals will be held on Wednesday’s from 4:00-5:30 pm in the choir room and will resume on Sept. 6. We look forward to sharing our music in worship on Sunday, Oct. 15 at the 11:00 service.


As announced at the March 19, 2023 worship service:

The handbell choir has enjoyed sharing our music with you each month and we have received kind words of appreciation and affirmation, but I’m sorry to announce that today will be the last time you’ll hear us ring this year. As you may have read in the annual report and will see in the upcoming newsletter, we’ve struggled with membership for several years. But with Michael’s help (thank you, Michael), occasional temporary subs from the choir (thank you, Beth, David and Jan), our dedicated ringers (thank you, all) and some creativity, we’ve been able to keep things going. However, we’re losing two more ringers after today, so despite all of these efforts, it’s just not possible for us to continue.

It’s been a privilege to direct the handbell choir for the past 22 years. While it has been a labor of love, it hasn’t gone without challenges – with the biggest being recruitment and retention of members. Unfortunately, having too few ringers is one challenge that I can’t solve on my own.

We’d like to be able to return in the Fall and would love to continue sharing our music ministry for many years to come. But in order for us to do so, we need your help.

Two new ringers would enable us to continue on as we have. However, we are not at our full potential and have 2-octaves of bells and 2-octaves of chimes that remain unused. Six new ringers would enable us to utilize the entire instrument and allow me to return to directing.

We’re an intergenerational group and welcome anyone who can read music from 7th grade on up. The commitment is small – just a 1 ½ hour rehearsal weekly on Wednesday evenings from September through May. We ring in worship once a month and at the Carol Walk and Jubilant Praise concert. Won’t you please consider joining us in September?

Thank you.

Roberta Erickson, Director of Handbells

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