Amazing Kids! Magazine

Handbells

By Christine Han, Age 17, British Columbia

 

The melodious rising and falling notes of the hand-bells filled Shanghai’s National Concert Hall with joy. As the last “ding” echoed through the hall, the bell performers were greeted with long and thunderous applause. Yes, I was one of them, standing on the stage, my heart swollen with pride and my eyes watering with joyous tears. We did it!

The time and effort we had put into practising, fundraising and organizing was instantaneously forgotten. Our successful performance made everything seem worthwhile.

Hand-bell choir has become a pivotal part of my life, and I have grown because of it. In 2011, as one of the youngest members of the Bells of Shaughnessy Hand-bell Choir, it was a brand new activity for me. Actually, playing hand-bells helped shape me into a person who follows instructions well, excels at being part of a team, and strives to reach her full potential.

In 2013, I became vice captain of the choir. In that role, organizing and preparing for the Chinese concert tour was my foremost duty. Indeed, I enjoyed every moment of it. I was responsible for many of the group’s overall activities including designing the choir’s website, communicating with sponsors in China, and organizing the trip schedule. Meanwhile, I personally needed to practice my solo piece, memorize my emcee script, and rehearse with my peers. From this experience, I learned that being a leader involved more than just knowing how to lead and organize a particular group; rather a leader accepts responsibility, listens to and considers the interests and ideas of others and deals with situations calmly, thinking critically before reacting.

Reflecting on my hand-bell career, the Shanghai performance has had a lasting impact on me. Minutes before we went on stage, Fiona, a choir member began throwing up and almost fainted. Her temperature was 40 degrees and she was too sick to perform. Hand-bell performance is most definitely a team event, each member having an integral part to play. After a short discussion with the conductor, we knew we had to use our substitute for this performance. Acknowledging the fact that we were missing a key member, each chorister put his or her best effort into that performance and staved off a potential disaster. Because of this, I realize the importance of team work and everyone doing their part.

Truly, hand-bell has taught me that crises can be overcome with team work.