Borrowers no longer, the bell choir Harmony Ringers now has its very own bells.
The group, under the umbrella of A Chorus for a Cause, had been borrowing bells first from Zion UCC in North Canton and then Westbrook UMC in Canton.
They jumped at the chance to own their own their own top-of-the-line Malmark bells when Voices of Canton, Inc. (VOCI) ended its bell choir more than a year ago and put their instruments up for sale. Harmony Ringers then made a bid for the bells.
"They accepted it and we did the happy dance," said Susie Buckey, marketing director for A Chorus For a Cause and Harmony Ringers. "It really does make a difference in the sound of the bells, not only the volume but the quality of the sound.”
The group was able to raise $15,000 to purchase the bells. That money came through fundraisers through the youth and children's choirs and donations. Some group members even purchased individual bells.
"Everybody worked really hard to make this happen," Buckey said.
In all, the group acquired bells in five and a half octaves — in other words, 90 bells and an additional 90 chimes.
In addition to purchasing the bells, the group also decided to pick up all three of VOCI's groups. The director of the three groups, Christine Allison, was also the director of the A Chorus for a Cause adult chorus.
The group is now preparing to show off their new instruments at a free-will offering concert Dec. 1. "Ringing in Christmas" kicks off at 7:30 p.m. at St. Paul's Catholic Church.
Up next is "A Night of Rejoicing" at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 9 at Westbrook United Methodist Church in Canton OH.