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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.’”

Continued Q&A with Diversity club

By Annalise Bassett and Destiny Love

Senior Sydney Palmer – Member of Diversity Club

The Bagpiper: How does diversity club bring students together?

Sydney Palmer: Diversity brings students together because we are able to recognize our differences and how they make us ourselves.  

BP: What does a typical meeting of this club look like?

SP: We have meetings in Mrs. Waiz’s class during fourth period, and it includes the council talking about current issues in the school, reading survey responses, and discussing experiences that have occurred at FCHS involving discrimination.

BP: How does Diversity Club bring students together?

SP: This club brings minorities together so they have a place to talk about their concerns but also connect on another level. The diversity advisory council was not meant to exclude anyone, and we just want everyone to know that it was created to educate everyone on the importance of diversity!

BP: What is your favorite celebration/event?

SP: We don’t really have events.

BP: Why is this club important to you?

SP: This club is important to me because I want to show that our school is accepting of everyone and defeats the stereotypes.

BP: How does this club affect your life?

SP: It affects my life because I’m able to empathize with the struggles minorities have gone through and understand what I can do to help.

BP: What do you like about the club?

SP: I like that it’s a place for everyone to talk about anything they need to discuss.

BP: Why did you originally join the club?

SP: I joined the club because I wanted to promote diversity in our school

BP: What other clubs are you a member of?

SP: I am in Diversity advisory council, student council, renaissance club, and interact club.

 

Junior Nicole Holland- Member of Diversity Club

The Bagpiper: How does diversity club bring students together?

Nicole Holland: The Diversity Advisory Council brings people together by bringing in all kinds of people. we all have different hobbies but share one end goal and that’s spreading awareness of other cultures in our school, whether you’re white or colored.

BP: What does a typical meeting of diversity club look like?

NH: A typical meeting is us gathered in a classroom, typically ms. waiz’s room and we throw out ideas of how we can grow and improve. we discuss problems in our school and how we improve them.

BP: What do you like about this club?

NH: This club makes me feel like my opinion is heard and cared about, and i know a lot of the other members feel that way as well. there are many students who felt like they were different from everyone else and this is a place where we can all relate and understand we aren’t alone in our experiences.

BP: What are your goals for next year?

NH: The Diversity Advisory Council has already experienced a lot of backlash in it’s opening stages, but we’re all fully prepared to go through it and we’ll continue until our message is heard. we’ll be expanding our council and it’s influence as time continues.

BP: What does this club mean to you?

NH: To me this council means a chance for me to make an impact. it’s been too long that my voice and opinion has been shut down, and this is my chance to help someone else experiencing discrimination.

BP: How has the club affected your life?

NH: The Diversity Advisory Council has positively affected my life. it makes me really happy to see such a diverse group of people working together to make a change.

BP: What is your favorite thing about the club?

NH: My favorite thing about it is hearing everyone else’s opinions. meeting new people and being able to share experiences without being afraid of judgement feels really nice as well.

BP: What is your favorite event?

NH: My favorite event is in the esports club. next year we’re planning for a LAN party where people outside the esports club can come join us for games and win prizes. hopefully we’ll get more members that way as well.