Members of the United Methodist Temple Handbell Choir have been creating beautiful music for the past 37 years. Their unique combination of octaves played together by dedicated musicians is definitely something to see, but more astonishing… something to hear.
Established in 1978, the handbell choir consists of members of all ages, who diligently practice literally hours per week trying to get every sound just right and in sync. The program began, said director Susan Allpress, when someone donated three octaves of hand bells to the church years ago. Now the program has grown to over five and a half octaves of bells, which takes a special talented player to maneuver.
Allpress has been involved with the handbell choir for 19 years. As a retired educator- who is still teaching music part-time at Stevenson Elementary- Allpress says she loves the sound, and loves the dedication of all those members who have given hours of their time to bring it all together.
“I was a member of church already when I got involved,” said Allpress, who has a degree in music and wanted to use it other than in the classroom setting. “I enjoy when we get the final product. I also love how dedicated they all are to practicing,” added Allpress speaking of the musicians.
The United Methodist Temple Handbell Choir is currently practicing for their up-and-coming “Relay for Life” concert to be held Dec. 8th at 7 p.m. at the church. The concert is being held to raise funds for the American Cancer Society. Ellen Boortz will be performing as wel,l and there will be an appearance by the Fifth Street Brass as well.
The handbell choir will be playing a jazzed-up version of “Go Tell It On The Mountain,” “On This Day Earth Shall Ring,” and a variation of Mariah Carey’s “All I Want For Christmas Is You.”
The handbell choir is always looking for more members, said Allpress.
“You have to be dedicated to be a member. But it is very worth your time,” Allpress said. “We encourage all those who want to try it, to come and see if they like it. You can start with one octave and work your way up.”
Current members include: Allpress and her husband John, Nancy Powell, Jane Vick, Tom O’Kelley, Melynda Riley, Darla Sparks, Shawn Sandsom, Betty Sayre, Joan Ferris, Geri Olson, Susan Fox and Marguerite Kirkpatrick.
To contact Chris Cooper, email email@example.com or call 270-726-8394.