The Emanuel Ringers is part of the music ministry from Emanuel Lutheran Church in Pleasantville, New York. This handbell group is comprised of ringers ranging from 8 and up. We ring on 5 octaves of Schulmerich handbells and 7 octaves of Malmark handchimes. We welcome all who want to learn how to ring, you do not have to be a member of the church to participate. Contact Eiko at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information about our Music Ministry at Emanuel
Sunday, August 7, 2022
Today was our last day in Nashville before we head back to New York tomorrow. We started the day by going to various workshops. Most of us went to a Mahjong workshop; Mahjong is a complex yet entertaining tile game from Asia. Then, we got started on the dress rehearsal for our last day of ringing. We then had a few hours for lunch, in which we headed to the mall for some Panda Express and Smoothies. Then, after we were all fueled up, we headed back to the ringing hall for our final concert! It went off without a hitch; there were over 1,000 people watching the livestream. It is always an amazing experience to be able to play with so many ringers from all over the globe. We could not be more appreciative for all your support to make something like this happen! All the ringers then got together for a gala where we had dinner and had to say goodbye to all of our fellow ringers and conductors. There was a closing ceremony, including a final chord. What an amazing, unique, and unforgettable experience.
Saturday, August 6, 2022
This morning we woke up and went to our last massed rehearsal before the concert tomorrow. It went mostly well but there are a few songs *cough* Luna *cough*. Eunkyung was the translator for the Korean director, and we were so proud of her. We all took a group photo, linking hands in the process. It took a while for “Billiam” (William “Bill” Payn) to get there for the photo but all went well. We then went to our second to last workshop of the symposium. We did needle knot making and made cool necklaces. We had lunch at the local pizza place, and went to our next portion of the rehearsal. We had a secret meeting after to talk about some info, or so Sarah, Eiko, and Scott thought. We instead gave them gifts for all the hard work they have done to prepare us for the trip. (We love you guys, but you know that). After a long day of rehearsing and hard work, we had the awesome opportunity to listen to other choirs and individuals play solos like we had a few other days at the symposium as well. All of the ringers were amazing and super talented, my personal favorite was the Bellaholics from Hong Kong with one of their pieces featuring them practically flying across the table malleting bells. After the solos we had free time to hang out and relax, many of us split off and had some food and shopped a bit or got some rest. A bunch of us even played crimes against handbells to pass the time. After getting some Mcdonald’s for dinner everyone settled in and it got late pretty quick.
Friday, August 5, 2022
The Symposium concert will be streamed live on youtube 4 PM EST (3 PM CST) Emanuel Ringers and Katonah Celebration ringers will be center column, 4th row
Today is the day for adults! While the kids rested up a bit prior to rehearsal, our day began early with an early trip to the Handbell Commons, where we visited various publishers to review music for the upcoming season. We made choices for our annual benefit concert and area festivals, and found a few new pieces for worship. Happily, each publisher offered a discount, and no shipping since we were able to take the music with us. A good bargain! We convened at 9am for a monster 3 hour rehearsal. In case you’re curious, that is a lot of ringing. Many folks stretched (Sarah), popped Aleve (Sarah) and sat whenever possible (also Sarah). Eunkyung filled in when a ringer (Sarah) needed a break. At one point Eiko donned her translator hat, and provided translation for the Japanese conductor, Mr. Yoshida (a ringer favorite). Workshops followed rehearsal. Ringers and non-ringers attended a variety of fun workshops, including a sight-read and ring, bell painting, treble bell techniques, and learning the cajon, a box drum. Our afternoon was FREE! A few explored downtown, but most folks ate a leisurely lunch and took the time to relax. Sarah spent time purchasing new chimes, and Eiko took the representatives from Japan to a COVID test site so they can be cleared to fly home Sunday. Tonight we were in for a treat! The Symposium arranged an evening at the Wild Horse saloon, where we were able to enjoy southern cooking, games and line dancing. It was also an opportunity to bond with ringers from other nations. Upon returning to the hotel, many broke in a set of Cards Against Handbells. A good time was had by all.
Thursday, August 4, 2022
Today is the 2nd day of the handbell symposium. We started the day off with a Blue Grass church service. It was fun to see a genre I’ve (Sam) never heard before. The sermon was also very nice and was about how the world isn’t really in peace right now and how if we want it to be in peace then we have to pursue it. We had a lot of fun rehearsing the symposium pieces in the morning, though some of it got a bit tedious, before our workshops. At my workshop I learned how to mallet better from Damien Lim, one of the directors. It really taught me some useful malletting skills. In my workshop, I (London) learned how to string and play bell trees. It was super fun trying to play different songs! After workshops we had a very fulling lunch provided for us. The late afternoon consisted of more rehearsing and as a “break” in between we got to listen to individual choirs and people perform their solos. My favorite was the choir from Korea that had 6 girls who performed beautifully. They played some recognizable tunes and they way they were so in sync mesmerized me. There was also a guy who was 8-in-handing (4 bells in each hand) who played some Christmas tunes that got me into a very good mood. Overall it was a very good second day of rehearsals.
Wednesday, August 3, 2022
Today we had our first massed rehearsal of the symposium! After a quick breakfast (some of us had a very healthy breakfast of Cinnabon), we headed over to the Events Center for rehearsal. We played about half of our pieces in the morning. One of which was directed by Mr. Toshikazu Yoshida, the director of Kinjogakwuin University Choir. He is so fun to play under, and despite the language barrier, we could still see his enthusiasm for the piece. Around noon most of us had our first workshop. I (Julia) went to a class teaching number notations with Kayla, Noreen, Jordan, and London. Number notations is a different way to read music using numbers instead of the traditional notes in a staff. We had a lot of fun despite it being a bit confusing. After the workshop we ran back to Delta Island for a quick lunch before we rehearsed our solo, Transitions of the Heart. They only gave us 10 minutes, so we did a quick sound check before running it though and spot-checking a couple of things. In the afternoon we had the rest of our massed rehearsal. The last director of the day was Bill Payn, who we rang under at the Riverside Festival. I for one was surprised he remembered us. He even came up to us individually for some conversations throughout the day. As soon as he released us, we all ran to the bathrooms to change into our concert clothes for the solo concert. A few other individuals and handbell groups played to show off their unique talents. The concert featured many different ensembles. After we took a quick picture then we headed out back to our hotel rooms to change. We then grabbed dinner and headed out to the welcome ceremony where we could talk to other handbell groups and get to know them. The best part of it was exchanging our pins and getting different foods. Many handbell arrangers and composers came to the welcome ceremony as vendors or just a visitor. My favorite (Sasha) person I interacted with was Mr. Yoshida. I got a picture with him as well as Sarah. There were many different vendors set up in the large room. One was a woman selling cute handbell slogans that you can put on a shirt. Others were handbell companies advertising their goods and some other people were selling fun handbell items! One particular vendor was a program to Adopt a Bell where you can donate a particular amount of money to a specific chime or bell to give to a school. We also found Transitions of the Heart at Jeffers Handbell Inc. We had many people praising the piece’s purpose and message. (Noreen made 2 Australian women cry! (A good cry because of our solo)) After we spent a considerable time at the convention we headed back on our own to decompress and rest after a long first day.
Today was the first day of the trip that we got to sleep in. Sarah took a few of us to the mall nearby and we got some “Knick knacks.” We had a meeting about what we would be doing this week and then some of us were off to our first workshop of the day but for Issac and Eiko it was the second. We learned about doubling down chimes and how to make the chimes sound louder without hitting them harder. It was a really cool learning experience especially for Scott, who immediately went back to his ‘pod’ and told them everything….. anyway we will be implementing these new practices in our rehearsals from now on obviously. Issac, Eiko and I (chloe) went to a workshop at 10:00 this morning where we played a handbell spinoff of Cards Against Humanity. After the workshop, we left Eiko goodness knows where and walked to get coffee because I was on the verge of spontaneous combustion due to caffeine deficiency. Issac got us lost approximately six times but we found our way to the mall eventually and regrouped with the others. Around 3:15 we met to move bells into the ringing space. it took a while to coordinate and set everything up but it was finally finished about an hour later. wE’rE rEaDy FoR rInGinG tOmOrRoW! Mr. Toshikazu Yoshida was the first conductor at the college ring in concert. He was so passionate in his conducting and he even did a whole song just by nodding his head at the choir. Bill Payn was up next with his entire repertoire of personal songs either written/arranged by himself or former students. It was an amazing concert especially since they only had 3 days to practice these pieces. I (Kayla) really enjoyed a few of these pieces and wished we could play them in the future but Sarah knew immediately that it would be impossible for us since we don’t have enough ringers (slight plug to invite anyone to join for the 2022-2023 season).