The Calvin Handbell Ensemble, directed by Stephanie Wiltse, is a group of twelve ringers, playing a five-octave set of Malmark Handbells. In addition to playing in the annual Fall Music Festival and in local churches, the Ensemble gives a concert each semester. The Handbell Ensemble last toured in 2001, in Southern California.
The Handbell Ensemble rehearses on Mondays from 6:00-8:00 p.m.
The Calvin Handbell Ensemble was founded by Helen Kaiser in 1986. The group was formed when Mrs. Kaiser taught a Handbell Class during Interim. After the course was over, Mrs. Kaiser and the students enrolled in the course went on to form the Calvin Handbell Ensemble. Mrs. Kaiser served as director of the Handbell Ensemble for 14 years. In 1999 Nancy Van Noord took over as director. Under her direction, the Handbell Ensemble took a week-long tour to California during Calvin's spring break in April, 2001. In the fall of 2001, Stephanie Wiltse became the director of the Calvin Handbell Ensemble.
When the Handbell Ensemble first started, a borrowed set of handbells was used for practice and performance. These borrowed bells were soon replaced by a five octave set of Malmark bells donated to the Music Department by the Calvin Oratorio Society. These bells range in size from a few inches to some weighing over nine pounds.
In addition to playing in the annual Fall Music Festival and in local churches, the Handbell Ensemble gives a concert each semester.
Contact Stephanie Wiltse for membership information.
No tours are scheduled at this time.
Handbell Ensemble - Calvin College Fall Music Festival 2008