The Central Alabama Handbell Festival 2017 is fast approaching! This year we celebrate 30 years of ringing handbells. Pleasant Hill UMC (4809 Bell Hill Road, Bessemer, Alabama 35022) is our host. Ed Rollins is our Clinician and Workshop leader. Seventeen handbell choirs will join together in five rehearsals over two days that culminate in the Festival Concert at 3:00 p.m. on Saturday, February 25. The Festival Concert is free and everyone is invited! Come enjoy the great music with us!

A bit of past CAHF history:

Vestavia Hills UMC hosted the first CAHF. Others who hosted the CAHF include Pleasant Ridge Baptist, Mountain Chapel UMC,   Canterbury UMC, St. Mark UMC, Leeds First Baptist, Huffman Baptist, Southeastern Bible College, Spain Park High School and, our current hosts, Pleasant Hill UMC. Hosting the CAHF is a very big undertaking. Our sincere thanks to all who hosted the CAHF.

At least 85 Handbell Choirs have attended at least one CAHF over our 30 years. Many of them have attended multiple times. Each handbell choir that attends spends many hours rehearsing the festival music. They polish and pack bells, load everything they will need at the   festival and come from near and far away. Once at the CAHF the rehearsals continue…five of them. The Closing Concert is the final product.

The selection of music is very important to the CAHF. The music needs to be easy enough to include novice ringers and difficult enough to challenge advanced ringers. This is no easy task! Throughout the history of the CAHF much careful work went into selecting the music for each festival. The list of music for the past festivals includes more than 143 titles. Many of the composers/arrangers of these pieces served as past clinicians.

Can’t wait for this weekend! Happy ringing,
Kelley