Ringing Them Bells on a Sunday Afternoon


MMU bells at Hallmar today. The dining hall has a nice atrium skylight, reflected in the bells.

I spent part of this fine afternoon, a little under an hour, playing bells at Hallmar Care Center at Mercy Medical Center.

On one level, I was dreading this concert. Last year, it was really hard for me, for some reason. I just didn’t seem to count well, got lost in several songs and ended up feeling awful.

To make this year’s concert a bit more of a challenge, I had offered to tape the concert using a digital video recorder. Wonderful. I was not only facing the concert that I messed up on the most last year, but I was offering to record the experience.


Keys on Hallmar piano that Carolyn played.

Well, the anticlimax was spectacular. I know I messed up a few times and struggled to keep time, but overall the concert was, well, just fine, thank you. I left feeling pretty good and took an extra long bike ride home to celebrate.

And, when I got home and downloaded the video, while the framing was a bit iffy, the sound quality, I thought, was surprisingly good.

I don’t know where the video will appear, but I extracted one song’s worth. I’ll leave it to Carolyn Sternowski, our director, to decide what to do with the rest, but here is Amazing Grace, performed today by the MMU Hanbell Choir—and note how relieved that old guy in the back row seems:



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5 responses to “Ringing Them Bells on a Sunday Afternoon

  1. jenion

    Loved this!

  2. Pat

    I listened to this on your bike blog. I saw your look of intense concentration, but if you hadn’t said it, I wouldn’t have known you had any problems. It sounded beautiful.

    • crgardenjoe

      I don’t think I had too much trouble on this song–there are some 8th notes in “Amazing Grace” and I am not fond of 8th notes, but I think I was at least playing along. Frankly, I don’t think there are a lot of mess ups in the other songs, either, a few missed notes or measures that I don’t think the listener would notice, much. It was fun to view the video just to hear the songs–my own bells are so loud I don’t usually hear what the whole group sounds like.

  3. Nalena

    I loved the video Mr. Joe! Good job!

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