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In Search Of...School Bell Choir

By Jennifer Livingston, jlivingston@wkbt.com
Published On: Dec 23 2011 07:54:53 AM CST
Updated On: Dec 23 2011 08:24:30 AM CST

Walk into any high school and It's very common to hear the sounds of a vocal music choir.  But walk down the halls of Blair-Taylor High school and you may hear something totally unexpected. 

This school is home to one of the very few 'school organized' bell choirs and it was started three years ago by band director Karla Hulne.  "I actually wrote a piece for our drum line and thought it would be neat to include some hand bells on one of the pieces. One of my students mentioned their was a set in town. So I contacted the Lutheran Church and they mentioned they weren't being used and any time we needed to borrow them - we could."

And that gave Hulne the idea - what if they 'borrowed them' indefinitely??  She asked and the church happily agreed.  "The tables are theirs, the cushions, the bells. They even have some music they're going to let us borrow as well." 

They had the equipment and the students soon followed.  "I really likes band and our church had a bell choir and when I found out about this, I wanted to be in it."

"The students here are so willing to put themselves out there and try new things. I wasn't really concerned that we won't have the numbers and obviously we have plenty of kids!"

They rehearse at seven in the morning, three days a week.  "The mornings are tough." 

But if just one person is gone, the whole choir is impacted.  "We're all one instrument instead of individuals." " There's no hiding. I'm band, if you don't know your trumpet part, the person next to you might know it. But here, if one person isn't functioning or misses a cue it throws everybody off."

"It's amazing to see where they come from to where the end product is. But when it comes together, it really is magic. To see them working in time, working in cooperation with each other to create a piece that brings happiness to so many people.  It's really remarkable. I'm so proud of them."

"People love to hear it, so what better time of the year to spread some joy."

"I really think bells bring joy to people above all things."

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