Sixth Bell Festival November 7

August 14, 2009

Bell choirs of the California-Nevada Annual Conference will hold their sixth annual United Methodist Mass Ring Festival and Concert on Saturday, November 7 at 5 p.m. at Lake Merritt United Methodist Church in Oakland. The festival is free to the audience.


This year invitations were sent to church bell choirs in all seven districts - as the Bell Festival Committee anticipates having a mass bell ring at one of the worship services of the Annual Conference Session (ACS) in Sacramento in 2010.


The theme for the 2009 festival is handbell techniques. Mass ring selections, by director Dorothy Straks, will demonstrate such things as swings, shakes, brush damps, thumb damps, martellato lifts, ring touches, mallets, and "singing bells."


Attempts were made to find all the Cal-Nev churches with bell choirs through the district offices, but information about bell choirs is not necessarily data which the district offices have. If any church bell choir was missed in the formal invitations sent in August, please contact logistics manager Bruce Pettit at the Golden Gate District, Music is ordered in advance and rehearsed by individual choirs, before all the choirs rehearse together (at 10 a.m. on November 7).


Director Straks encourages choirs of any experience level to participate, either November 7 or next year at ACS. She also encourages individuals to participate if their full choirs cannot come, because nearly all choirs need substitutes for any given performance.


Last year Bishop Leontine T.C. Kelly and friends at her Lake Merritt retirement home were the festival's special guests. The concert was reviewed on the Area XII website of English Handbell Ringers.


Download flyer here.