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Hallelujah for Handbells

It seems simple enough. Pick up a bell, and make it ring. But if you’ve ever been a part of, or enjoyed watching a handbell choir, you know it’s a lot more than that. Just ask Marilyn Droke of the Shepherd’s Bell Ringers from Shepherd of the Hills Lutheran Church in Kimberling City, Mo. They’ll be coming to Fort Scott Presbyterian Village to perform on Sunday, February 24, at 3 p.m.

“I have been involved with Handbells for 40 years, but we still attend handbell workshops and clinics regularly which enables us to grow musically,” said Marilyn.

Marilyn started out directing a church handbell choir, then taught the Handbell Choir Class at College of the Ozarks for 33 years.  

“During those years the pastor of Shepherd of the Hills Lutheran Church invited the college choir to perform for the church during the Christmas Season.  We became acquainted with this church and performed for them for many years. The Pastor called several years later and asked if I knew anyone who could direct their handbell choir and I decided I would like to do that. This has been a very rewarding experience for around 10 years now!”

There are 10 members in the choir, and they meet once a week for rehearsals and play at least once a month in their home church.  

“We have been the beneficiary of several memorial gifts that have allowed us to purchase additional instruments for our set.  We have been invited to play at other churches in the area and enjoy doing so. Ringing is a wonderful activity, stimulating to the brain and muscles of the body.  It’s also a time to bond together in a social manner.”

Marilyn recently met Executive Director Ginger Nance, and was asked about playing for Presbyterian Village.

“I asked the group if they would be interested and they agreed with no hesitation even though it involves a road trip of several hours.  We are confident that the performance will be interesting to watch and listen to. The music will provide a spiritual experience as well as one filled with joy and peace, bringing back happy memories.  We will include hymns that all should be familiar with as well as entertaining music that is fun to watch and listen to. It is a blessing for us to have the goal of sharing our talents and hard work. “

Join us February 24 at 3 p.m. as we enjoy the sounds of Shepherd’s Bell Ringers from Shepherd of the Hills Lutheran Church in Kimberling City, Missouri

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