Wilson VanTineThis article was written by Wilson Van Tine, Area 9 Chair Elect

What an amazing summer for Area 9 with Pinnacle right in our own back yard here in Dallas. I hope everyone had a chance to go to Pinnacle because it was an amazing experience for me. I got to actually perform in front of the crowd as part of Houston Bronze Ensemble’s feature concert on Saturday night. It is an incredible experience to actually perform for all of your handbell friends from around the country as well as the actual composers who wrote the music you are playing. There is nothing like when the composer comes up to you and tells you how much they enjoyed listening to you play their piece!

What made this Pinnacle really special for Area 9 was that all of the nightly feature concerts were actually choirs from Area 9. Houston Chamber Ringers started us off with a really fun concert that actually got you on your feet dancing. Next up was Concert Bells of Fort Worth with an incredibly moving concert dedicated to David Davidson. Houston Bronze Ensemble performed on Saturday night with a concert of new music and handbell classics making full use of their full 7 octaves of handbells. Wrapping the week up was Council Oak Bells which really showed how amazing a church choir can be.

Area 9 was also represented by two showcase concerts in the afternoon. Brookhaven College Handbell Ensemble performed very musically while the Austin Handbell Ensemble made me smile with their rendition of Soft Kitty.

But the amazing handbell activities in Area 9 didn’t stop with Pinnacle. As we head into September, I hope you have an amazing time with your church and community handbell groups. Be sure to check out the Area 9 Boot Camp events which are happening in September. Finally, it is never to soon to plan for next summer. I have my cabin booked for Summit 2016: The Ocean Journey. I can’t wait to experience my first cruise with all my Area 9 handbell friends. Not only do I get to go on a cruise, I get to rehearse handbell music with the amazing Stephanie Rhoades. Stephanie is truly one of the top handbell conducts in the world. She really knows how to bring the feeling out of the music. She gives meaning to the music. Be sure to book your cabin on the cruise before they are all gone. You won’t want to miss this Area 9 experience of a lifetime.

Have an incredible fall and happy ringing.