Helen Wollf and Sue Gay, directors of the Oliver Handbell Ringers and Singers, pose at the group’s new venue, where they will be performing in mid-December. Submitted photo

Ringing in the holiday season

Oliver Handbell Ringers playing at a new venue for 2018

There’s no denying it. Christmas is on its way.

The Oliver Handbell Ringers are ramping up and getting set to present Under a Winter Sky to the Okanagan Valley.

This year, though, their performances will take place in the Oliver Alliance Church on Dec. 14 and 16.

Eclectic mixes of musicians gather several times per week to work on the art of handbell ringing, which can bring joy to many during this busy season. Handbell ringers members hail from both sides of the 49th parallel and range in age from early 20s to the members that are a bit more than 20. This troupe consists of ringers and singers working under the direction of a pair of dedicated ladies who happen to be a daughter/mother team, Helen Wollf and Sue Gay.

“This craft is different than anything else I do. It takes intense practice, both together and individually. It’s really hard,” said Shana Cachola, one of the ringers. “We work closely with one another and the teamwork is truly something to treasure. It also makes me smile, right from my heart.”

Related: Members of Oliver handbell group selected to join the Okanagan Handbell Chorus

Christmas icon that it is, the bell can transport us to happy, snowy times in days gone by. With the pressures of modern life and expectations running high, the directors of the Oliver Handbell Ringers hope you can take a moment to relax and enjoy the efforts of their hard-working players.

“We hope that our Christmas celebration of music is a gift to all ages,” said Wollf.

Performances are at the Oliver Alliance Church and admission is free (a free-will offering will be taken), and take place on Dec. 14 at 7:30 p.m. and Dec. 16 at 3 p.m.

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Steve Kidd
Senior reporter, Penticton Western News
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