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Ringing the bells

| December 23, 2013

DSC_0029The River View eighth grade bell choir, under the direction of Mark Wagner, performed several songs of the season in front of Wal-Mart on Thursday afternoon, Dec. 19 as part of their effort to ring in the spirit of Christmas. The students are in Wagner’s general music class and he said that the students have enjoyed the bell choir experience. “Many of these students have never played an instrument”, Wagner said, “but they really enjoy this.” The choir performed seven songs between the two groups performing.

The students took turns performing with the bells and staffing the Salvation Army kettle at Wal-Mart.

Olivia Wilhoyt, a member of the hand bells choir, said, “I think its fun just because it is all about teamwork. Everyone has to pitch in to make it sound good.” Wilhoyt said she enjoys the Christmas songs because, “They’re classic Christmas songs and it’s just fun to play for them other people and make people happy. I like Jungle Bells; it’s fun and easy, too.”

Wilhoyt said, “I think it’s really good that we get to do this. It’s a fun time of year and not something we get to do every day. I think the hand bells are really fun and if someone has the opportunity they should do it.”

Another member of the choir, Hannah Poorman said she likes the hand bell choir because, “I get to bring joy to people that see us do this and also help out. We have been working on this for four weeks so we put a lot of time and effort into it when we are in class. We all had to judge each other so it was kind of hard but we made it.” Poorman said she had never done hand bells before the class and, “Believe it or not, it is actually a lot of fun to get to listen to your favorite Christmas music in bells.”

Wagner said that the students also visited the Autumn Extended Care Facility and Riverside Towers. Every eighth grader in the River View district takes the semester long general music course which teaches them to play the guitar and the hand bells. “Many students who would not necessarily call themselves musicians at the beginning of the course are quite surprised to find that they can make beautiful music, and use it to impact others in a positive way. As a music teacher, I hope the performance experience plants a seed for continued improvement in music for the rest of their lives. Beyond the music, I hope that the experience shows them the sense of accomplishment of working together for a common cause and that the real joy of Christmas is in giving – not receiving.”

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Category: Education

About the Author ()

Mark Fortune, along with his wife Nancy, is the former owner and founder of The Coshocton County Beacon, the highest circulated newspaper in Coshocton County. He has over 40 years in the publishing business with sales, marketing, and journalism experience. After selling The Beacon to the AloNovus Corp., in January 2020, Mark has been a Business Development Strategist with the company. They publish a network of weekly news publications with almost a half million distribution weekly, a quarterly tourism magazine and a digital division. Mark enjoys history, and has a passion for genealogy, currently researching and discovering his Fortune ancestry. He and his wife Nancy live on a small farm outside of Coshocton.

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