“How can I keep from singing,” a concert at Princeton United Methodist Church on Sunday, May 7, at 5 p.m., might well be entitled “How can I keep from ringing” because the musicians are handbell artists. Hyosang Park will direct the handbell choir and ensembles. With pianist Julia Hanna, she will also be featured as a solo handbell artist. The concert is free, and donations will benefit the Appalachia Service Project mission team.
The handbell choir plays at the 9:30 and 11 a.m. services on third Sundays including Easter Sunday, April 16.
Handbell concerts are rare, and even rarer are solo artists — fewer than a dozen concertize with four octaves of handbells in the Eastern United States. “We aim, not only to bring the sound of handbells to a wider public, but to also enable nonprofit organizations help those who are in need,” says Park. As the director of music at Princeton United Methodist Church, she has master’s degrees in both sacred music and piano performance from Westminster Choir College of Rider University. She has private piano students and also teaches at St. Jerome Catholic School in West Long Branch.
For 40 years Princeton United Methodist Church has sent teen and adult volunteers to the Appalachia Service Project (ASP) to make homes warmer, safer, and drier. ASP is a Christian ministry, but it is open to those of any faith. It aims to inspire hope and service — instilling compassion for other people and a fresh appreciation for one’s place and purpose in the world.