Part of a thriving music ministry, handbell choirs are offered for all ages at St. Matthew. Our handbell program serves as a music education tool for our children’s choirs, and prepares ringers to assist in worship sevices. Our handbell choirs also represent St. Matthew at local and regional AGEHR festivals. The choirs ring on a 3 octave set of Malmark chimes and a 5 octave set of Malmark English handbells purchased in 1983. The bell choirs are directed by Minister of Music, Scott Fredericks.
St. Matthew Ringers is an adult bell choir for intermediate level ringers. They rehearse on Thursday evenings, 6:45 – 8:00 pm. They ring in worship several times a year, and participate at Area II and Area III AGEHR festivals.
Beginner Bells is occasionally offered as a mini-session (4 weeks) once each year in the spring to introduce adults and high school youth to the art of handbell ringing. This “just for fun” group learns the various handbell techniques and prepares a piece or two for their own enjoyment.
Jubilation Ringers is an adult handbell quartet which plays occasionally for services and concerts. Quartet ringing is for more advanced ringers and involves each ringer holding 2 or 3 bells in each hand.
Junior Bell Choir is for children in grades 4-6, and meets as part of the Junior vocal choir experience. They rehearse Wednesdays, 4:30 – 5:20 p.m. and learn music basics such as note reading, rhythm, dynamics, and bell techniques. They ring in worship occasionally and participate in a youth handbell festival in the spring.
Primary Chime Choir (Grades 2 & 3) meet on Tuesdays 4:30 – 5:15 pm during the Primary children’s choir rehearsal. They are introduced to chime ringing and learn the basics of music notation. Occasionally, they ring in worship.
Cherub Chime Choir (Grades K & 1) ) meets as part of the Cherub choir rehearsal on Tuesdays 5:20 – 6:05 pm Children learn how to hold, ring and “damp” a chime, and they are introduced to whole, half, and quarter notes. As they learn simple pieces, they are able to experience the joy of making music through chime ringing.