DAVIS, California—Dorothy Straks, Chair of the Worship Task Force for Annual Conference Session, will be the mass ring director for the fifth straight year when Davis United Methodist Church hosts the 7th Annual California-Nevada United Methodist Bell Festival, Saturday, November 6 at 5 p.m.
Straks said the venue is being moved from the East Bay to the Sacramento area this year in an effort to enlarge the group by accommodating bell choirs which have said they would participate if the concerts were closer to their homes. Davis UMC indicated an eagerness to host, she added.
This year's concert will feature Advent and Christmas music. "Before Thanksgiving, yes, we know!" said Bruce Pettit, logistics manager, in the invitation which went out in August. "But we are conscious of your expressed desires to purchase music that you can also use in your home churches."
The mass ring pieces will be arrangements especially for bells of familiar holiday favorites such as "Angels From the Realms of Glory," "Coventry Carol," "Deck the Halls," and "Lo, How a Rose E'er Blooming."
Each of the choirs will be invited to perform a group solo – either keeping with the Advent/Christmas theme, or not. Individual bell ringers from churches may fill vacant slots in other choirs.
The annual UM bell ring began in 2004 in the former Golden Gate District. It was the inspiration of Bethany UMC (San Francisco) bell manager Susan Griffin, a deacon who is also an attorney, appointed to extension ministry for the California-Nevada Annual Conference. It gradually spread to other districts, before going Conference wide in 2008.
The August invitations were sent to bell choirs which had asked to be contacted, or which were suggested by their district offices. Any bell choir missed in the invitation may indicate interest in participating by responding to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Rehearsals will begin at Davis UMC at 9 a.m. on November 6, the day of the concert, and the choirs will share a potluck lunch.
There will be no audience admission charge for the 5 p.m. concert, although an offering will be taken.
Davis UMC is located at 1620 Anderson Road, Davis, CA 95616. To plan your route, visit the Davis UMC webpage on the Conference website at cnumc.org and use the Google™ Maps feature!