Emanuel Ringers

For the latest video at the service Click HERE

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Tuesday, July 31st, 2012

The Echo Center in Liverpool

One note rung by 24+ people from choirs from all over the world, the note rising above the tables of bells like a chorus of shared music. The name and the space reverberate with the form and function of this international symposium.  I have been away for several symposiums and had forgotten what it feels like to be surrounded by beautiful bell ringing.  Not that every time I play, that same level of skill always surrounds me; here the directions are given to us in four languages, two of which I understand, and our directors stand tall among the ringers.  24 synchronized choirs, many from the others side of the globe have gathered together to share stories, create friendships, and create music.  

Luckily our traveling bell pads, aka bubble wrap, has been replaced by resilient blue foam.  As you ringers know and have learned, foam is the best padding for a bell table.  Both KCR and Emanuel are next to each other and we are only three rows from the front. The bells and ringers, have arrived safely ready to ring.  

Yesterday we rehearsed ten pieces of music from 2:00 until 7:00, just a little longer than our regular two hour rehearsal.  We did have time for breaks spread out through the afternoon, a true test of our poise, stamina, and flexibility.  We applauded each conductor, for their skill, knowledge, and humorous approach to massed conducting.  The songs sound beautiful in this space, rising to the ceiling with joy, community, and skill.

We know our repertoire;  we are working on infusing the music into the notes on the page.  Just our "cup of tea"!!  Thank you for following our stories, stay tuned for more to come.


Mark White

Opening  Ring

Monday, July 30, 2012

Sunday, July 29th, 2012

Kimberly and Kate

Today we had to be at breakfast at 7:30am to be on the bus by 8am to play at Christ Church. Setting up was a bit of a hassle because we were required to be silent (we weren't allowed to speak) and we didn't have enough tables for all the ringers. We made due by having non-ringers be human music stands to hold the books for the ringers.  We played three songs, which went really well.    The service was a bit different than ours (High-Church, Anglican) and since we were in the front rows we kept looking back at the congregation to see what were supposed to do.  After the service, we got a quick tour of the Cathedral, which was gorgeous!  After we had a quick pack up, we headed back to the hotel. For lunch, we were set free in Chester to eat whatever we wanted. For lunch, I (Kimberly) had a huge burger which was really good!  I tried some fish-n-chips with the people I was with.  Kate had a cheese and ham sandwich, but she didn't like it:(. After we ate, we walked around Chester being tourists and taking pictures of everything!  We also found this really cheap store that was amazing!  We got some cute clothing and even some of us got the same clothing.

At 3:45 we all met up in the lobby of the hotel for our tea tour on the canal. We were greeted by our tour guide,Theo, dressed up in his authentic Roman attire (it was funny). The first thing we noticed, when we got on the boat, was the food! The Roman guy, Theo, explained to us what his weapons were used for and the history of Chester.  When we started our journey down the canal, he put on a video about Chester while we ate our delicious food. We docked during our journey for the tour guys to explain to us what the locks are for and what they do. When we got back from the tea tour, we had a bunch of free time to eat dinner. We went into town to get dinner but most of the restaurants were closed, so we ate back at the hotel. The dinner was really good! Then it was lights out at 11:00 pm and we were passed out!

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Climbing the hills in Wales

Today, I woke up at 5:50 am, put my jacket on, and went to the downstairs floor of the Hostel. We had to be extra quiet so as not to wake anyone else up. After we did a head count to know who all was going with us, we started hiking. We went through a campsite and past a pasture where one of the sheep, "baa'd" at us. We went over a ladder, following the little river thing up the mountain. When we reached about the halfway point, we took a break right before the third ladder. Grace was talking about how when we go over this ladder we have to hurry so that we don't anger a certain ram. We ran up the mountain a little to get out of said ram's territory, and when we turned around and looked at all that was below us, it felt like (to me)we had won the Olympics! (Consequently, most of us watched the opening  the night before). It got steeper and steeper as we went higher and higher. It also got colder and harder to breathe because of the altitude. By the end, everyone's shoes were completely soaked. We made it to the top and took lots of photos. We couldn't sit down because if we had, our muscles would have locked and tensed and that would have been bad. We looked down and saw what we accomplished and (to me) it felt like I had conquered the world! We worked our way back to the Hostel.  As we were walking down, I looked and saw the sun illuminating some of the other mountains. It was breathtaking. We then had breakfast and put our shoes in the drying room to dry. After breakfast, Ashley held a toast for *"Team Ram" who trekked to the top of **"Mount Sheep!" Then, we walked down a hill to the bus and rode to the train station. We took a train to the top of Mount Snowdon and my mother and I (and some other people) walked about 30 or 40 meters to the very top. It was in a cloud so the people who went all the way up went not a cloud, but the fact that it was a cloud also meant that it was very cold. We went in, got some food, rode down the mountain, and headed off to our hotel in Chester where we were staying that night.

* Team Ram: Me (Rachel), Ashley, Grace, Sandra, Erika, Kristen, Kim, Allison, and Kate.
** Mount Sheep is what we called the mountain. It wasn't the real name.

This is where prince Charles became Prince of Wales

We are all princes and princesses here!

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Friday, July 27th, 2012

Friday, July 27th, 2012

Kristen and Grace

Today we had the earliest morning of them all so far, at 6 am for most of us. Dragging our luggage on to the tour bus, we left the hotel in Ireland for the last time. Finally, we were our way to the ferry for our joyful trip to Wales. It took close to an hour to board the ferry.  While we waited, we ate our bagged breakfast full of delicious surprises....and jam. The coach bus drove onto the ferry and is still with us throughout our trip through the United Kingdom.  Some slept, some played cards, and some played farckle ( a new dice game brought by Grace from her generous grandmother). While we were on the ferry, Kristen got a lion balloon, which soon latter popped. (She blamed Seamus, our driver, that we love and adore.) We spent a good three hours ridding along the Irish Sea on the magnificent Stella (our name for the ferry). After reaching Wales, we boarded the coach once more for our trip to Caernarfon (the beautiful town that housed the castle that we would be touring that afternoon).  The landscape on our way to the tour was full of sheeeeeeeeppp (weeppies) and had beautiful views, too. Finally, when we had arrived at our destination, we were able to get lunch and do some shopping. Most people got traditional Welsh food, others got KFC-which is obviously more traditional then cafe's. When everyone had finished their shopping sprees, it was time for the tour of the castle. The group watched a fantastic video, that did not put half of us to sleep, and was not cheesy Sarcasm. The rest of the castle was a self tour, so exploring every inch of the corridors and towers was an invigorating experience! We then had more free time to run around the town and look at all the cute things about the town. There was a fountain with children playing in front of it with a ice cream shop along side that made a great day even better.  After finishing our shopping and group pictures in the castle grounds, it was time to board the bus and make our way to the hostel. Our place to rest our heads that day was a quarter of the way  up a mountain in Snowdon, Northern Wales. The bus could not go up the mountain, so we had to walk up....luggage and all. After the best walk of our lives (hahah), we dropped our stuff off for the night and went out to explore.  Kim, Sandra and I found a stream and dipped our feet in. Sweet Lord, it was soooooo cold. We Started to walk around and met up with some others in the group and decided that we should try to walk up the mountain. It was almost successful until we had to walk past a house where a man was standing. We all got a little nervous (Ashley) and turned around and then went to dinner (which was provided by the workers at the YHA hostel-soup and chicken. Since it was my birthday, we got cake and cupcakes and apple crisp for dessert. After dinner, we tried one more time to get up the mountain. The sites on the way up the mountain were positively beautiful. I can't even stress how amazing it was. We were close to 100 yards away from the summit when one of the adults asked if we could come down because it was going to get dark (it didn't set for another hour and half, after all, we are in Wales). So we, regretfully, went down the mountain. Sandra, Kim and I once gain went on an adventure as Ashley was taking pictures of the lambies. We made a friend with a girl named Safire from Liverpool and walked around for awhile, when we realized that we should climb the mountain in the morning. So, we went back and told everyone what we were doing and went to bed.  It was probably the best birthday ever!      

Friday, July 27th, 2012

A cooperative blog from David and Mark White

Caernarfon Castle
We left the hotel @ 6:30 in the morning.  I was so tired I could barely keep my eyes open.  We drove through Dublin arriving at the dock in bay number 24.  While we waited our turn, we were one of the last to drive onto the Stena Adventurer, we ate our scones with butter and jam.  We got off of the bus, on the fifth floor out of ten inside of the ferry.  We walked up the green staircase that was really blue, to a table outside of Teen Town on the seventh floor.  There was an arcade, cinema, and several snackbars.  Mom and I played Gin Rummy and Dad and I walked out to the deck by the back of the Ferry. 
Our destination was Hollyhead in Wales.  We drove to Caernarfon Castle and had lunch in a sunny plaza next to a very cool castle.  The castle was huge and the staircases were like a stone ice cream cone with a rope railing to hold on to.  We saw the beautiful Princess Jean standing three stories up on a ledge.  We called to her saying, “We are here to rescue you fair Princess.”   We went to have ice cream.  We got back on the bus and drove to our Hostel way up on the side of a hill.  There was one problem, the bus wouldn’t fit up the steep narrow road, so we walked carrying our packs.  The walk was very hard, instead of feet, I was left with “bloody stumps”, not seriously, but I felt like that. 
I am glad to have the top bunk with clean green sheets to rest my head.  Wales is a beautiful country, and thanks to Dad who helped me type this. 
Submitted by David W. 

Saturday, July 28th, 2012

July 28th 2012

Hey, it's Jessie! Today has been the coolest day, so far, in my opinion. We woke up and had breakfast at the hostel. In case you were wondering, yes, Grace, Sandra, Kimberly, Erica, Rachel, Kristen, Allison, Kate and Ashley got up to the top of their mountain. They got up at 6 AM to do it. I would have gone with them, but I was up until 1 am watching the opening ceremonies of the London 2012 Olympics, which was awesome, but I'll talk about that some other time. The walk down the hill wasn't any where near as bad as the walk up. We put our overnight bags on the bus and then walked down the street to the Snowdon train station. From there, we took the steam train up  to the peak which was at 3560 feet (1085 meters) the highest in all of Wales. The train ride was an hour long but it was worth it because the views were INCREDIBLE. I LOVE fantasy movies and these mountains looked just like something out of Lord of the Rings or a story about the Arthurian legends. We took a bunch of pictures but it's just so much more impressive and indescribable in person.

When you get off the train, you walk through the visitors center which has a panoramic view looking down the side of the mountain ( PIC if we have one). Walk outside and up two sets of stairs and you're at the summit. It's a pretty small area and it has one of those compasses that tells you how far it is to other places. On a clear day you can see out all over the mountains. Unfortunately, it was cloudy and all we could see was white. Plus, it was really windy and cold-but it was still fun. We were about to go back inside the visitors center when it cleared up a bit and we could see. It was one of the coolest sights I'll ever see, as well as probably the highest point in the world that I'll ever go to. We were only allowed 30 minutes at the summit, so we got back on the train. The train was cramped, but still really cool. Wow, I  gotta come up with a new word to describe stuff with besides cool. Anyway, the train looked just like English trains you see in 1940's movies.       

We left Snowdon and drove half an hour to a small town which I don't know the name of.  (Betws-y-coed) We had lunch and looked around a bit. Now we're driving another hour to Chester.

Written by Jessie

Friday, July 27, 2012

Thursday, July 26th, 2012

White pudding is amazing. Not that I actually knew what it was until this morning. I ate quite a bit of it regardless. This may have been a mistake, as we shortly thereafter took a bus ride to a local Gaelic sports club to play some, and eating a large breakfast might not have been the best move. The games were fun regardless, though sweaty. I've never been great at sports, but this time no one else was either because none of us quite knew what we were doing.

The first game I was in was called Hurling. Basically, imagine field hockey mixed with baseball. You're allowed to do basically anything with the ball and your stick (or “hurley”), but you can also hold the ball, though not pick it up from the ground, and also launch it through the air with said stick. My team didn't do so well, but that's okay. It was fun anyway, and fortunately we avoided the injuries that you may expect to come from a game involving launching a hard ball at high speeds at people.

Injuries weren't entirely unheard of, of course. Our next game was Gaelic football, not to be confused with either American football or European football, aka soccer. That being said, it does resemble soccer in some ways, though you can also carry the ball for four steps. Getting it into the goal is worth three points and getting it above the goal is worth one; this rule, incidentally, is also present in hurling. Anyway, one of the Emmanuel girls, Jesse, got hit in the face with someone else's face. She's fine now, and was fine in time to eat a sandwich after the fact with the rest of us, but she had to miss the third game, handball, which is kind of like tennis with your hands and bouncing the ball off the wall to your opponent.

After that, and the delicious sandwiches, we toured a stadium run by the same people who maintained the sports club, the Gaelic Athletic Association, or GAA. Then we had a tour of Dublin on WW2-era DUKWs, more commonly known as “duck boats”, which involved historically-inaccurate Viking helmets. It was called a “Viking tour”, so this was to be expected. (On our first day, a tour guide had been quite annoyed at the horns on said helmets, which actual Viking helmets didn't have.) There was also a lot of silliness involving roaring at random people as if we were Viking warriors, which is apparently a traditional part of the tour.

We then returned to the hotel and finally had a chance to shower after the games. We stayed there for a while, and then went off to dinner at a different hotel. I had something described as “pork belly”, largely out of curiosity, which tasted actually pretty great. There was Irish music and dancing until about 10:45 PM, at which point we returned to get to sleep.

Written by Patrick C. 

Today was a very athletic day in my opinion. We got up, had a wonderful breakfast, then made our way to the GAA athletics building. Once we got there, we learned the basics of hurling (the sport!), handball, and Gaelic Football. Afterwards, we had a delicious lunch then we went to the GAA stadium where many Gaelic sports are played.

Written by Jake W. 

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Video message from our friend Kanto Choir of Japan

Kanto Gakuin Choir is a dear friend of both Emanuel and Katonah going back many years.
They were, however, not able to come to the Symposium this year.       With additional students they now have 14 players  this year and  are looking forward to participating in the next Symposium in Korea two years from now.

You can watch their latest practice in Youtube.

Concert at the Christ Church, Dublin.   July 25, 2012
"Canon in D"

At the bell tower

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Dublin, July 25, 2012

Kimberly and Sam

We had an early morning, due to jet lag. We all met up at breakfast (in our uniforms) at eight this morning, ready to eat an Irish breakfast; this included grilled tomatoes, croissants and strange round concoctions...and we still don't  know what they are..... Breakfast was followed by a tour at Trinity College of the Book of Kells (Eileen read out of it in Latin) and the library.  The Book of Kells is a book of the Gospels transcribed by Monks c. 800 AD with colorful illustrations.  It was very interesting! We then went upstairs to the library to find thousands of handwritten historical books along with pictures, instruments and what I thought was really cool, the  Nobel Peace Prize.  Afterward, we rehearsed for the concert at Christ Church.  A steady audience was present for the rehearsal,  as well as for the concert. Sandra thinks she did super duper well in the concert as do the rest of us!  At the end of the concert, the audience approached the tables and asked many questions about the bells.  Then we all got ice cream (yummy) and went on a tour of the Christ Church belfry. We climbed all the way up to the bell tower.  We were not able to see the bells( too dangerous) so we only saw the ropes to the bells. We were able to ring the bells and learn the scientific change ringing method.  Finally, we were able to change out of our bell attire (which we got many comments on.) For dinner, we all split up and met back up for a musical pub tour. We hopped to three different pubs where we learned about and heard  the traditional Irish music.  We got free gift bags which included hats, maps and coupons.  We are sitting in bed ready to sleep, so good night Ireland!

Monday, July 23th

By Erica and Ashley

So begins the fellowship of the ring--I mean the bells ( sorry, The Lord of the Rings will be a prominent theme throughout our travel adventures; that and...One Direction).
We all worked so hard to learn our music beforehand. The Katonah & Emanuel ringers had three rehearsals to prepare for the symposiums on the last three week days before we left, the 18th,19th, and 20th. And hard work it WAS. The ringers were pressed for time in rehearsal so each piece was strictly timed and we got through as many as we could. So that weekend we all prepared for the trip and (for some) STARTED packing. It was tedious process. When we got to the church on Monday afternoon we greeted each other, compared bag weights (no one wants to pay that $100 fee) and shared our excitement for the trip. Eileen Lawrence told us about a tradition at her church where when a member has or will experience a big event (like traveling), the congregation presents them with a loaf of bread. Because Eileen was a member to be traveling, that's what she got. She shared it with us all in a special type of communion. Instead of Pastor  Paul individually communing us, we communed each other, passing the body and blood of Christ around to each other. We then loaded the bus, said our goodbyes to families and were on our way. We rode an hour and a half to Newark airport. We checked in our bags got, something to eat and waited...and waited (our flight getting in was about a half an hour late, as was our takeoff due to inclement weather).  Once we got in the air it really sunk in; we were going to Ireland, then Wales then England! It's very clear that the excitement has finally hit us all on our trip to the 15th International Handbell Symposium of 2012.

Dublin, Ireland Concert, July 25th, 2012

After a long flight, the group was exhausted but there was a big, fun-filled day ahead of us! We joined our tour guide, Seamus, for an introduction to Dublin. It was awesome to see the different architecture of the city compared to New York. We were able to view the President's house in Phoenix Park. To finish up the tour, we stopped at a nice street to walk around for shopping and lunch. We observed the locals rushing to work as we leisurely strolled through the pedestrian walkway. After a scrumptious sandwich, we walked into cute little shops. We then proceeded to the hotel to check-in and freshen up for the afternoon tour. Once back on the bus, we headed into medieval Dublin where we walked to the oldest city wall built in 1240AD. Next we learned about the history of Christ Church, the concert venue for tomorrow! It was interesting to listen about the Vikings and how they built their homes. We experienced typical Ireland weather, there was light mist throughout the day so good thing we were prepared! The group had a nice welcome dinner at the hotel and celebration for our birthday girl, Ashley! At 9:00 we called it a night to get some much needed rest for another full day of touring and ringing!

Authors:  Allison and Sandra

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Arrived in Dublin Safely

Just wanted to let everyone back home know that we arrived in Dublin safely.      After a stroll in the heart of the city (in misting and drizzling rain ) we checked in to our hotel and are ready for the city bus tour this afternoon.   (This note will be removed as soon as the follow up is uploaded.)

Our guides for the week Seamus and Orla,

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Ready for the trip to Ireland and England

After three nights of intensive group practice of combined ERI and Katonah Ringers, we are ready for the trip to the International Symposium.   Thank you Nancy for the picutres.

Monday, July 16, 2012

We are a week away for the Emanuel Ringers and Katonah Celebration Ringers trip to Ireland and England.

Our last 3 rehearsals this week on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday from 6:45 to 8:45 PM. (8:30 on Friday as we have to pack our bells) These rehearsals are open to all who would like to come hear what we be ringing at our lunch time concert in Dublin, Ireland, during the church service in Chester, England and the 15th International Symposium!