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Tips and Tricks for Recruiting New Ringers
1. Ask specific people you think would make a good addition your choir.
Instead of asking the congregation at large if they are interested in handbells (and being subsequently ignored at large) approach individual members of your church that you think might be great additions to your group. Look for former musicians, team players, people who learn quickly, etc. Look for people that will complement and bring new skill sets to your existing group.
2. Reach out to younger members of the church or community.
Don't be afraid to ask your middle and high schoolers, or even any college aged members. Most of them will have had some music training in school and are generally responsible enough to participate in a handbell choir. Just make sure they understand the commitment of showing up to every practice and performance.
3. Host a “Meet the Bells” Day.
Offer an open house after services one day. Let people ring the bells, show them what the music looks like, explain how rehearsals go. Once they get to touch and feel the bells, they might catch “handbell fever” just like you did!
4. Have an open rehearsal
If you have a couple members of the church who are on the fence about joining, invite them to a rehearsal. Pair them with an experienced ringer who can show them the ropes. If possible, beg, borrow, or steal bells from another church or a community group (or use chimes if you have them) and allow your potential new ringer to double their more experienced partner's part.