Twenty-one ringers, one chaperone and one director left for Trent University in Peterborough on Thursday May 21st for the Ontario Guild of English Handbell Ringers biannual festival. This was the first festival experience for our 8 Rockin’ Ringers and one Ingram ringer.
The weather was chilly but we certainly kept warm with all the walking between our campus residences, the dining facility and the Athletic Centre where all the bell choirs were set up for rehearsal and concert.
There were approximately 339 ringers from all over Ontario. We had a terrific director, Fred Gramann, the Director of Music at the American Church in Paris, France. We had Mass rehearsals and Section rehearsals, workshops, a bit of down time and lots of fun together.
A big thank you to Gillian Mitchell who did an awesome job as our chaperone and to Janet Benedict who helped our Rockin’ Ringers too.
We returned very late Saturday night May 23rd and most of us made it to church the next morning although perhaps looking a little worn out.
We applied for and received 4 bursaries from the Guild to help ringers attend the festival and we allocated $2300 from the bell fund to pay for the accommodation.
A handbell festival is a lot of work but a great chance to be together, to develop independence, to be responsible for yourself and to be a good representative of St. John’s. I was really proud of everyone and we are already planning and thinking about our trip to McMaster University for the next OGEHR Festival in 2017!