Enchantment is an auditioned community handbell choir whose purpose is to promote the art of English handbell ringing in the community through performance, education and outreach. Our full ensemble currently has thirteen members. Our members also have the opportunity to form small ensembles, such as quartets or “Twelve bell” arrangements that require only six ringers, twelve bells [obviously], and no tables.
We rehearse on Tuesday evenings from 5:45 to 8:30 p.m. (with a brief break for snacks). We also hold occasional additional rehearsals as needed (usually one Thursday per month and an occasional weekend rehearsal) for small ensembles or working out specific sections of pieces. We begin each concert season with a day-long retreat to read through the music and ensure the feasibility of assignments. Assignments generally vary by piece, but we take ringer preferences and abilities into account (e.g., bass or treble clef, four in hand, bell weights). We have no specific director or conductor. Instead, several of our members rotate responsibilities for directing pieces (and usually ring at the same time–no easy feat!).
We offer at least two full concerts per year (usually in December and May), and we share our love of handbells through additional community concerts and events. In addition to full concerts that involve an entire truckload full of tables and equipment, we also prepare small ensemble pieces that require less space and equipment.