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Nonprofit View: Westminster Ringers offer distraction, hope for the spring season | COMMENTARY

It is difficult to believe that 24 years ago a dream of a premier English handbell ensemble would bloom. As we enter our spring season, the Westminster Ringers, Inc. organization continues to provide our community, whether geographically close or from afar, with advanced handbell repertoire at the highest possible level of musical sensitivity and technical clarity.

This year, like none other, has presented itself with obstacles not seen in all our prior years. The virus may have put a stop to our in-person concerts, but it has not stopped our determination to provide our community with music for the season.

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Even though our concerts are virtual, they provide a nice distraction from the difficulties we are experiencing. In December, our two groups, Accelerando and the Westminster Ringers provided a virtual concert called The Characters of Christmas. It brought us joy to tell the story of Christmas through the eyes of the many characters who are part of the story. In February, both groups presented, virtually, a concert entitled Love, Hearts and Chocolate. In this time of isolation, we wanted our community to remember that we are in this situation together and the love we have for each other will prevail.

Currently, we are working on repertoire to bring new hope as we enter the spring season. Reverberations is a concert that presents original handbell repertoire. Although you may not recognize the melodies, they are especially written for our instrument and will get your toes tapping and your spirit soaring. Reverberations is scheduled for its premiere on June 6. Please check our website to see if this concert will be virtual or in-person.

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In addition to our concerts, our groups travel to other organizations who own handbells and who seek more training on our instrument. We enjoy our time with other ringers, as we work together to hone our skills and become better musicians.

Although we rehearse in Carroll County and proudly use the city of Westminster in our name, our ringers come from all over central Maryland and Southern Pennsylvania. Each ringer auditions to become a member of the group; each bringing a high level of skill and commitment.

Our ringers and organization are known throughout the state for our heartfelt performances and representing our art form. Our ensembles skillfully maneuver our seven octaves of Malmark bells and seven octaves of Malmark handchimes to take the notes beyond the page, beyond the phrases, and into your hearts to tell a story that touches your soul.

Please take time to check out our presence on the internet. Our website is www.westminsterringers.org. You can also find us on Youtube, Facebook and Instagram.

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As we enter our 25th year, the Westminster Ringers organization will continue to provide concerts to our community and abroad. Whether we can provide you with a virtual experience or even better an in-person concert, we hope that our music lifts you up and gives you hope.

Debbie Henning is a founder and member of the Westminster Ringers.

Each Monday, the Carroll County Times publishes a column from a local nonprofit, allowing them to share information about their organization and the issues facing it, as our editorial. To be considered, email cctnews@carrollcountytimes.com with the subject line “Nonprofit View.”

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