Yorkminster has one of the most extensive church handbell programs in Hampton Roads! Our ringers range from brand-new to highly experienced, with several who have played professionally.
Handbells are incorporated monthly into worship, as well as being heavily featured in our church's Christmas cantata, Christmas Eve and Easter services. In addition, all of the bell choirs perform together in an annual spring concert.
Advanced handbell choir
The Carillon Ringers are a full handbell choir ringing on five octaves of Schulmerich Handbells and five octaves of Malmark Choirchimes. They rehearse during the school year on Thursdays, from 7:00 to 8:30 p.m. in the handbell room, and help lead worship 4-6 times a year. They often attend the Spring AGEHR Festival and other handbell concerts and events, and several members of the group have played professionally with the Virginia Handbell Consort.
Open by audition to adults and high school youth.
Beginner handbell choir
The Genesis Bells practice on Tuesdays, from 7:00 to 8:00 p.m. in the handbell room. No musical experience is necessary—come ring a joyful noise with us, we'll teach you the ropes!
Open to all youth and adults.
Bells of York
We occasionally assemble some ringers to perform an ensemble piece, using two or more ringers. Ensemble music is arranged specifically for small groups, so don't be scared off! This type of ringing comes with additional challenges and opportunities to learn/implement new skills such as weaving. If you are interested in beginning an ensemble piece, please let our director or manager know.
Children's handchime choir
Our children's handchime choir practices on Wednesday evenings, from 6:25 to 7:00 p.m. in the handbell room during the school year. They typically help in worship several times during the year. No musical experience is required—the children will be taught how to read music and make beautiful music as a team. It is a fun way to learn to ring!
For children in grades 3-6.
Young children's handchime choir
Like their older counterpart, this chimes choir also practices on Wednesday evenings from 6:25 to 7:00 p.m. during the school year. They meet in the children's wing, with fun games and lessons focused on the fundamentals needed to play chimes: rhythm, pitches, tempo, following a director, and coordinating sounds as a group. The Chiming Cherubs play in church several times per year, usually providing simple chords alongside the Cheerful Chimers.
For children in grades K-2.