In 2002 Winchester United Church purchased a three octave set of hand bells manufactured by Malmark of Pennsylvania. An adult and a children's choir started rehearsing at that time under the direction of the church's organist and choir director, Jim Watson. In 2004, Robert Jones took over the bell choirs, performing in several churches in the area as well as our own sanctuary.
Since 2012 the hand bell choirs have been under the direction of Colleen Howard. The children's choir no longer exists, but has become a group more suited to members with little or no music reading experience, and has been renamed the " Bell's Angels." The original adult group has also taken on a new name, "Raise a Little Bell."
With Colleen's departure from this position, we are now searching for someone come come and take over as the choir director.
The hand bell choir director will lead a group of amateur musicians in learning how to perform a variety of songs as a choir. The choir will perform both sacred and secular musical selections, and will present their ministry of music at various occasions throughout the year.
Duties and Responsibilities:
- Schedule and lead weekly rehearsals of one or more hand bell choirs at Winchester United Church. Coordinate with the administrative assistant and music director to assure availability of the church hall for rehearsals.
- Instruct volunteer musicians at all levels of musical skill and knowledge, from learning to read sheet music, to practicing rhythms, to working in concert with others in the choir.
- Obtain and curate a volume of appropriate hand bell music that the choir will use to learn and perform. There is currently a library of music, but we are always looking for new pieces.
- Coordinate performances, both within and outside the Church, with the minister and the musical directors of the Winchester Pastoral Charge.
- Experience instructing students in basic music theory and execution
- Experience as a handbell ringer - at least two years
- Experience leading handbell choirs, vocal choirs, or instrumental ensembles
- Experience producing short musical programmes