Emanuel Ringers

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Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Note from Eiko Wednesday, August 1st, 2012

After reading Mark's blog -  I sit and listen to the rehearsal right after our solo performance, and looking at the banner Bells of the World 15th International Symposium. 15th means that it was 30 years ago that RoseMarie Wildman traveled with a bunch of middle school and high school ringers.  One of them was me. 30 years later I bring as the conductor the same choir but with a new group of ringers. Venues and accommodations have changed from the first one held at Humbolt University in California. But what has not changed is all the people from around the world who have come to participate. 30 years ago I remember becoming friends with Kanto Gakuin Handbell choir over volleyball and pizza. Over the years we have continued that friendship by meeting up every 2 years at symposia and sometimes having friendship concerts  in the US and Japan. Today there are more countries that have joined us - Choirs from Singapore, Hong Kong and Korea. What I truly like about this symposium is that it is not about competition - as we  all know that the choirs come from churches, schools and the community with all  different amounts of rehearsal time - What is important is that we can all ring the same music - and in one room where so many different languages are spoken, our common language is music. 
As we prepared for our solo today, the Hakuoh University Choir (known by us as the choir with the pink dresses), were rehearsing for their concert this evening. Our choir, I have to say there were a few that literally had their jaws on the floor. But again I had to remind them that if we had as much rehearsal time as they did that we would have more of a chance to sound as close to good as they are.  It is great for  our choir to hear how bells can be played so beautifully, percisely and musically. We look forward to their concert this evening. It raises the bar for us.
Our solo went well, though I was playing so don't have the perspective as if I were in the audience. It was a privelage to ring for Eileen as this, I think, plans to be her last International Symposium. In 2000 in Birmingham, I rang at RoseMarie's last Symposium directing the Emanuel Ringers.

The excitement is all ready building from some of my ringers about Korea. I have picked up the information about it - I think I have to start planning now!

From Eiko Cornelius
Combined Emanuel and Katonah Ringers play "Jerusalem" by Eileen Laurence at the 15th International Handbell Symposium in Liverpool, England

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