Bell Choir
Perform upon request
The Brazil First United Methodist Church Bell Choir got its start thanks to a random conversation between Doris (our first director) and Roberta (one of our founding members), back in 2007.  They were discussing music and the comment was made that wouldn’t hand bells be a beautiful addition to worship. From there, they took the idea to the minister and were told we didn’t have the money in the budget, but if they could raise the funds, that they could start a choir. The two put a small article together for that months news letter saying we would have a dinner to raise money to buy the bells. The very next week the church received a phone call from a parishioner several states away asking how much we needed. In that moment we had a bell choir and a new patron. Colonel Edwin Withers forwarded the funds to buy not only a three octave set of bells, but also enough to order a matching set of chimes and tables to play from.  
   In the early days there was a lot of interest in the bells. It takes 11 people to play the 3 octave set. Under Doris’ guidance we set up 2 full choirs, Belle Canto and Carillon. One was a beginning group for players who couldn’t read music, the other was a moderate group for people who already possessed some musical education.  Our first “real” performance was at the band shell in Forest Park. Live at 5 was doing a tour of cities in the Wabash Valley and Brazil was one of the stops. As part of the festivities they were looking for local points of interest and somehow they heard that our church had bells. We were added to the list of guests and bravely met the challenge. 
   In the years since, we have been invited to numerous local Methodist churches, a few district events, midnight mass on Christmas Eve at Annunciation, next door to the Presbyterians, the community theater, and annually we welcome Santa Claus to Riddell Bank for Christmas. As the years have passed we’ve had several members who had to stop playing for health reasons and a few who have moved away, we’ve partnered with other churches at times to keep enough people to play and had two directors. We’ve been blessed to have amazing accompanists at church on the piano, organ, and synthesizer which has allowed us to continue playing in those times when numbers are down.   Currently the bells play for special Sundays from the balcony on the east side of the church. We practice Wednesday evenings from August through May. If you would be interested in playing with us or sitting in on a few practices to see what we do please feel free to join us any time. We often joke about if you can count to 4 and know your left from right, then you can play the bells. It’s not really quite that simple, but it’s pretty much that simple, we’ll show you which 2 notes are yours and help you get the count. The current bell choir while small is mighty in spirit and fellowship. There’s never a practice that ends without everyone laughing and smiling. Come join us.