George Swanson, our former Minister of Music, formed the Rocky Hill Congregational Church Bell Choir over 30 years ago. George had had a bell choir in his former church and wished to form one here at RHCC. The original bell choir started with 3 octaves of bells and 8-10 male and female volunteers. They chose the name Stepney Bells (Stepney was the original name of the parish that would become the town of Rocky Hill). In 1990 as interest in bell ringing grew, a second bell choir was formed composed of younger women in the church. They chose the name 'Jubilate Bells'. The Stepney Bells dissolved in 1995 leaving the Jubilate Bells as the only choir.
The Bells practice for 2 hours each week under the direction of current music director Will Kanute. They play during Sunday Services once each month as well as for special services at Christmas, Lent, Easter, and Music recognition Sunday. They have also played at area convalescent homes, and in the Memorial Day parade.
Currently, the Jubilate Choir has 12 members ranging in age from 9 to over 65. They have 5 full octaves of bells and their repertoire ranges from Pachelbel and Haydn to Chopsticks and Caribbean themes.
The choir looks forward to introducing bell ringing to our friends in Sweden.
Sample sound clips (MP3 format):
March of Praise (extract) (size: 400 Kb)
Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing (extract) (size: 1.1 Mb)
Updated April 2003