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Meet the Tech Savvy Teens who Captured our Attention with their Awesome Twitter Videos!
The ReBELLious Handbell Choirs of Bishop Watterson High School in Ohio first caught our eye when they started tweeting us videos of what they were working on in class. (We especially enjoyed the appropriately eerie sounding Passacaglia in C Minor they shared on Halloween!) We just had to reach out to their director, Christen Joyce, to learn more about these young ringers.
The groups are only in their second year of being offered as an art elective course, but Christen is already having to turn prospective students away. She's teaching three different 45-minute classes at two different experience levels. Handbells I for beginners and Handbells II for her returning students. The handbell students ring in class everyday and each class includes freshman through seniors. She says despite the age differences the classes have quickly become more than classmates - they're a family. You can feel her pride when she talks about how her students have come together, even making T shirts and bumper stickers to signal their inclusion in this special group.
As new as these courses are, they have already made a big impact on their school. They are quickly outgrowing their 3 octave set of Schulmerich bells and hope to purchase a 4th octave soon. They perform at Mass throughout the year and end each semester with a performance at the Choir concert. Community service is also on the menu for this holiday season; they plan on ringing at a nursing home and local elementary schools this Christmas. Their favorite piece is “Come, Christians Join to Sing” by Anna Laura Page because they love anything with cool techniques (The fact that it is also the Alma Mater of Ohio State doesn't hurt either - Go Buckeyes!).
If you are on Twitter, be sure to check them out @bwhschoir. They have some truly great videos that show how much these kids love their new instrument and each other.