A Joyous Sound
The Handbell Choir at Passavant Community, made up of both residents and staff, has a shiny new set of bells, thanks to some generous donations and a grant from the Area 2 AGEHR (American Guild of English Handbell Ringers).
“This is a very significant accomplishment to have attained our funding goal in this very short time period, which demonstrates genuine support for our cause, interest, persistence and admiration for this unique music form and collaborative process,” said Helenkay Smith, nutrition specialist and director of the Handbell Choir.
Smith explained that participation in the Handbell Choir provides intellectual, physical and creative stimulation for older adults. “The reading of the music, the movement of the wrists and hearing the sounds can all help prevent cognitive decline. Our group plays many spiritual hymns and tunes that also provide spiritual comfort for those playing the bells and those in the audience,” she said.
“Our unique ensemble of residents and staff playing together forms a special camaraderie that really is binding us together,” she added.
The group had been using a set of 45-year old handbells initially borrowed from the New Castle Presbyterian Church. “The bells were in disrepair, which made them a challenge to ring.”
Inside the handles of the new bells are inspirational messages that acknowledge the memorial gifts, honorary gifts and donations that made the purchase possible.
The Handbell Choir meets weekly to prepare for their seasonal performances and also participates in seasonal worship services.
Members of Passavant Community's Handbell Choir rehearse with their new bells.
The handles of the bells are lined with inspirational messages that acknowledge the memorial gifts, honorary gifts and donations that made the bell purchase possible.