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Handbell Choir Holds Spring Ring

A Report by Sofia Walker '11

The Handbell Choir at their annual Spring Ring

As one might expect when dealing with a chiefly liturgical instrument requiring 14 musicians to be played, there are certain constraints on handbell performance. Grant Moss, the director of Smith's Handbell Choir, explained their limitations at the recent Spring Ring, an annual handbell event. "In the fall we always do Broadway tunes, and then there's Vespers, which is all Christmas music. But this, in the spring, this is ours and we can do what we want."

As family and friends filed into the sanctuary of Helen Hills Hills Chapel, members of the choir chatted and mingled with the audience. When the pews were full, they commenced their chosen program. They started with a medley from The Phantom of the Opera, and then segued into a selection of Beatles songs, including "I Wanna Hold Your Hand." Moss announced most of the songs, but occasionally let the audience guess what was being played. At one point the audience was a mass of concentrated faces that relaxed into laughter and pleasure as everyone recognized the melody of "Eleanor Rigby." Other selections included "Wishin' and Hopin'," "Rainbow Connection" from The Muppet Movie, and the theme from Pirates of the Caribbean.

The concert ended with a surprise: the choir offered their director a bouquet in gratitude and recognition of a great year together. One parent declared herself greatly moved. "It's just so wonderful to see them making music and creating a great community."