Home > Articles > May 2015 Featured Group: The Jersey Jubilation Handbell Choir
May 2015 Featured Group: The Jersey Jubilation Handbell Choir
After eleven seasons, the Jersey Jubilation Handbell Choir has a handle on handbell ringing. With Christine Braden as director and almost half the choir claiming charter membership, that should come as no surprise. Such depth of knowledge and experience has created quite an interesting and unique group.
You can find them ringing away on five octaves of Whitechapel handbells and six octaves of Suzuki and Malmark chimes every other Sunday. A two and a half hour practice (My hands hurt just thinking about it!) ensures they are ready for their next performance. They have two “home” concerts a year, one in May and one in December, at their host church Ridgewood United Methodist Church in Ridgewood, New Jersey. The rest of each season is filled out with five or six other concerts. They have performed at weddings, libraries, senior citizen centers, and more. One of their favorite performances was in 2012. They rang at the Delta Kappa Gamma Society's (a professional honorary society of women educators) International Convention in New York City to over 2000 attendees. They also regularly attend the Hudson Valley Handbell Festival.
However, Jersey Jubilation is not just about handbells. The choir has reached out to high school musicians (an oboist, cellists, and percussionists) and featured them in concerts; but they don't stop with outside musicians, they also feature talented musicians from within their own choir. Brian Tricoli, a member of Jersey Jubilation, is also a solo handbell ringer and gets featured at each home concert. They also shine the spotlight on Elizabeth Hartman, who plays the flute as well as ringing handbells.
Wrangling such a talented group is not for the weak of heart. Christine Braden, director and founder, is the soul behind the talent. With almost 40 years of ringing on her resume, she has brought multitudes of experience to the handbell community. You may have seen her at Area or National festivals or noticed her name in the dedication of Joel Raney's arrangement of “You Raise Me Up”. Her influence is felt by all those who have heard Jersey Jubilation Handbell Choir perform.
You can find the Jersey Jubilation Handbell Choir online at www.jerseyjubilation.org. They have a list of their upcoming concerts, photos, and recordings for you to enjoy.