Handbell students take on New York City


Story by Destiny Love

A chorus of handbells ring through Central Park as the bustling sounds of the city are temporarily ignored for the enjoyment of the holiday music.

“This trip is going to be exciting, but also crazy. We have packed a lot of stuff in the span of three days for our multiple performances,” said senior Aaron Seay. 

All of the arts programs have their own trips that they take for performances. However, this trip for the handbells holds many new experiences for the group.

“We will leave Thursday, Thanksgiving morning early. We will arrive in New York City Thursday afternoon. On Friday we will be performing at Radio City Music Hall as a pre-show to the Radio City Rockettes,” said choir and handbells director Angela Hampton. 

Fifteen students will be attending the NYC trip with Hampton and assistant director Briston Hatchell for their performance. Many of the students have been in handbells for several years, but this performance could be a once in a lifetime opportunity. 

“I am most excited about getting to experience NYC for the first time with a great group of friends and playing with so many ringers,” said senior Delaney Agnew. “We are performing a bunch of the common Christmas songs like ‘Joy to the World,’ ‘We Wish You a Merry Christmas,’ ‘Deck the Halls,’ and ‘Jingle Bells.’

The trip to New York City will have many other new opportunities for the young musicians. 

“It will be a really great experience for us. Not only for being able to play there, but we will be playing with a lot of ringers from the New York area and beyond. We will also be conducted by one of our favorite conductors for handbells: Kevin McChesney, so the kids are really excited to meet him and play under his direction,” said Hampton.

A lot will be going on this Thanksgiving weekend in New York City, but the handbells group is ready to take on this new performance opportunity.

“The handbells have never gone to New York before. We travel every other year. Being there Thanksgiving weekend, that is a really big time in NYC with the Thanksgiving Day Parade and the shopping and just being New York. This is a really different opportunity,” said Hampton. 

This will not be the first time a music group from FC have performed in New York City, but it is another to add to the books with more planned in the future. 

“It is every musician’s dream to either say they have played in Radio City or Carnegie Hall,” said Hampton. “I think it is something they will be able to look on later in their life and say ‘I got to do that.’”

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