Bells of the Desert is in its sixth season.
But the community handbell choir doesn’t have its own bells, chimes or mallets. Instead, the group borrows equipment from Central United Protestant Church and other congregations.
The arrangement works for now, but it’s not ideal.
So Bells of the Desert is launching a campaign to change that.
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It hopes to raise $35,000 so it can buy its own bells, chimes and equipment — allowing it to better fulfill its mission of bringing the beauty and artistry of handbell music to the community, including to young people, leaders said.
“One of our goals as a (nonprofit) is to reach out to the younger generation and introduce them to the musical art of handbell ringing,” said Anna Hahn, the group’s president.
“If we had our own, we would be able to do more things to be out in the community more often,” she said.
A fundraiser is planned for 2 p.m. March 21. Bells of the Desert will perform some musical selections, and appetizers and dessert are planned, along with a silent auction.
Suggested donation for the event is $10.
People also can mail pledges and donations, and they have the option of sponsoring a bell, chime or set of music for the group, which will then be dedicated to the donor.
Bells of the Desert became a 501(c)(3) nonprofit in 2013. It has 17 ringers, plus artistic director Cathy Rohrig.
The group plays a variety of music, from show tunes to hymns. On a recent day, Rohrig and founding member LeAnne Johnson played Come Thou Long Expected Jesus on a handbell tree, or a hanging string of bells interlaced by their handles.
It was beautiful — crisp and ethereal.
When more bells and chimes join in — when the whole choir plays, it’s something truly special, too, said member Kathy Pfister. “It’s really exciting when you do this right, and all of you are working together,” she said.
The fundraiser is at Central United Protestant Church, 1124 Stevens Drive.