We would like to thank everyone that assisted in making this tour an astounding success. There is no way would could have done this without your support and generosity, and for that we are so grateful.
We were able to play for more than 900 people while we were in Scotland and Ireland, many of which had never heard or seen handbells. Not only was it amazing to see the astonishment from the audience members at the level of performance , but also their joy in coming forward to the tables to examine the bells and ring them as well.
Each church greeted us with open arms and a level of hospitality that truly reflects the love of God. They made us feel welcome and did their best to accommodate our needs. Tables are a different size in Scotland and Ireland, so we had to get creative at a couple of venues in order to get all of the bells needed out.
The students could not have been better behaved; when we asked them to go to bed, they went to bed; when we asked them to get up, they got up; when we asked them to be in a certain place at a certain time, they showed up on time. They treated each other and the chaperones with love and respect. As I see it, we left as a group of ringers, and returned as a family…so much that I began to call the students my children. At the concert as each student introduced themselves, they did so with my last name. Additionally, the chaperones became aunts and uncles and brothers and sisters. We are blessed to have such amazing adults that gave up two weeks for this tour and assisted in making it such a success.
The students and chaperones represented God, The Union Church of Hinsdale, and The Allegro Handbell Ensemble with love, gratitude and fun.
– Stephen C Edwards
Director of Music and Worship
The Union Church of Hinsdale, U.C.C.