St. Paul’s UCC Bell Choir
The choir has had two directors in its 20+ year history: Ruth Dodds (1992-1996) and Patricia Jaberg (fall 1996-present).
The Bell Choir rehearses weekly and plays for worship monthly during the school year.
Information on Our Instruments
Handbells are cast of pure bronze in the approximate proportions of 80% copper and 20% tin. The metal is heated in crucibles to 2,150 degrees F and then poured into sand molds. The cooled casting is then turned on both the inside and outside. Turning the bell on the inside is where the tuning takes place. Tuning a handbell requires knowledge, skill, and experience. The ability to guide the cutting tool to bring the partials of the bell into exact alignment and pitch is the mark of a true bell craftsman. After each cut, the lathe is stopped. The bell is struck, and the vibrations are read on a tuning scope, permitting reading the partials to an accuracy of 1/100th of a semitone. After polishing, the handles, hand guards, clappers, and yoke mechanisms are fitted.
Choir chimes are extruded aluminum tubes made from a combination of tin and aluminum alloys, based on the principals of the tuning fork with an external clapper mechanism attached.