Friday, December 21, 2012

Advent Calendar: Christmas Music

Geneabloggers is once again hosting the Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories encouraging family historians to write about their holiday traditions.

Nan Tucker Ringers Aldersgate UMC 2012
Nan Tucker Ringers 2012
Raised row left to right:  Bryan, Brenda, Jim, Perry, Ron
Going around the tables left to right:  Gail, Karen, Valerie,
Kim, Dee, Linda, Connie, our director Sue,
ME, Kathy, Anne
(photo courtesy of Mike McCoy)

Nothing says “Christmas” like the sound of English handbells.  The handbell choir at my church plays throughout the year, but the bulk of our repertoire is Christmas music.  When December rolls around, we are quite busy playing for nursing homes, a local garden center’s Poinsettia Tour and Holiday Gala, and the Community Christmas Celebration.

We are a 5-octave choir.  My main bells are D and E 5; if you can picture piano keys, that’s the D and E above middle C.  It’s a hot-spot musically, meaning I play all the time unlike the very high bells and very low bells that add so much color to a piece. That doesn't mean I'm better than they are.  In fact, it's easier to play a lot. When you play only now and then, it's easy to lose count and miss a measure.  If you play at the wrong time, it's almost always very obvious in a not-so-good way.

If you would like to hear the Nan Tucker Ringers of Aldersgate United Methodist Church, click on the church name and then scroll to one of these dates:
  • 12/19/2010 – a 30-minute Christmas program from 2010
  • 11/22/2009 – 2 pieces for Thanksgiving.  Select one of these if you don’t want to sit through 30-minutes of bell music.

I’m not sure why there is nothing more recent.  

Merry Christmas!

© 2014, Wendy Mathias.  All rights reserved.


  1. When I was growing up, I went to a church that had a handbell choir. Listening to them was always one of my favorite parts of the service.

    Merry Christmas!

  2. Ooh! Handbell choirs are so beautiful! You are quite the talented lady Wendy!!

  3. You all do a great job and you always sound so beautiful!