We are a community based handbell choir that is based out of Potsdam, NY.
Our journey as a community choir has been over a 20 year journey with many musical souls along the way. Our first beginnings as a community choir began from the halls of the First Baptist Church in Potsdam when the regular young church members who were the makeup of the choir started to graduate from school or just became a bit too busy to participate any longer. The church graciously offered to let the director, Michael Walters ask a few friends if they would be interested in joining. And so it began.
For over 20 years we have welcomed many who have wanted to join a choir that was laid back and relaxed and flexible about their personal needs and their desire to create music. We have helped young children and adults learn to read music by starting them slow with one bell and coloring the notes. We have watched these not so young children anymore grow up to now hold 4 bells in hand easily and graciously play at a moments notice when the need arises.
We color music when needed to help find the bells easier, we make music bigger enabling someone with less than perfect vision to be able to read and share in playing handbell music where she might have never felt she had the opportunity to before.
In 2010 we were not sure what our fate was going to be as the First Baptist Church began its process for closing its doors after much prayer and consideration by the congregation. The church wanted our ministry to the community to continue.
So we were setup with a small endowment of sorts and the First Presbyterian Church of Potsdam has graciously allowed us space to practice our bells and store our equipment – even going so far to customize a closet to suite our needs perfectly – giving us this opportunity to continue our ministry to the community.
It is now 2019 and we are loving that we can still get together, have fun and play music with quite the variety. We are looking forward to where our willingness to play will take us.
So far we have played at many places besides the traditional church setting. Two weddings, the back of a pick-up truck for the Potsdam Bi-Centennial parade, and going on over 15 years annually playing for the Silas Wright Open House in December and the Canton WinterFest Church Concert Series in February are just a few.