Bell ringers chime in at national concert

Among the handbell choir members performing July 6 at the annual convention of the National Association of Pastoral Musicians in Rosemont, Ill., were, second from left, Elly Hull, Becky Seward, Mary Kowalczyk and Barb Ehrmann of St. John Vianney Parish in Bettendorf.

Four adult handbell choir members from St. John Vianney Parish in Bettendorf were among 70 “ringers” from throughout the nation who performed in concert July 6 at the National Association of Pastoral Musicians convention. Becky Seward, the parish’s director of liturgy and music, and bell ringers Barb Ehrmann, Elly Hull and Mary Kowalczyk of the parish’s Celebration Ringers participated.

They rehearsed for six to seven hours each of three days leading up to the concert and performed 12 numbers with the other handbell ringers, Seward said.

Joining the St. John Vianney group were ringers Cynthia Clisham of St. Louis, Lenore Thompson of Bedford, Texas, Megan and Sean Bieschke of Morton Grove, Ill., and Margaret Simmons and Kathy Prentki of Anchorage.

They performed for the opening program of the 32nd annual Convention of the National Association of Pastoral Musicians at the Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont, Ill.


Directing the 70 handbell ringers were Donna Kinsey and Jeffrey Honoré. Kinsey is a well-known clinician for handbells and music educators. Honoré is a pastoral musician at St. Benedict’s in Fontana, Wis., and director of the Milwaukee Archdiocesan Choir, arranger/

composer of liturgical music for choir, organ and handbells, and a handbell clinician.

“This was a wonderful way to share our faith and talent with such a diverse group of Catholic musicians. The clinicians were great, and we learned so much about handbell technique,” Seward said. “Would we do it again? You bet!”

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