Handbells Ring on Sunday May 21

Handbell quartet: Hyosang Park, Bill Gardner, Curt Hillegas, Robert Scheffler. Photo by Charles Phillips

If you loved the handbell concert on May 7, here is good news.  The handbell quartet will play for both services on Sunday, May 21 (that’s the Sunday Rev. Don Brash will preach). Also that day Hyosang Park will give a solo concert at Hillsborough Reformed Church at 4 p.m. That’s Sunday, May 21, at 4 p.m.

If you have always wanted to try handbells, come to the “handbell open houses” after the Here is Hyosang Park’s bell solo “It’s a Wonderful World.”

And, on the Facebook page for Princeton UMC, here is the familiar Mallotte version of the Lord’s Prayer. 

Handbells: May 7

“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.

Celebrate with Bells!


Celebrate the season with a free Christmas music concert every Sunday at 5 at Princeton United Methodist Church, corner of Nassau and Vandeventer. This Sunday (12/4) hear handbell choirs and a solo handbell artist — Hyosang Park of Duo Grazioso. It’s free! Questions? Call 609-924-2613 or office@PrincetonUMC.org or go to http://princetonumc.org/

On 12/11 enjoy a musical “Twas the Light Before Christmas directed by Tom Shelton plus a potluck dinner and carolilng. On  12/18 choirs and instrumentalists play Christmas carol favorites.   We hope you will join us!

Singing Joy and Ringing Faith


Today, to illustrate “giving thanks” for 9:30 service at Children’s Time,  Tom Shelton presented five of the youngest choristers singing folk favorites like  “Kumbayah,” “I’ve Got the Joy in My Heart” and “This Little Light.” It was such a blessing to hear them. Here is the video — see and hear for yourself!

This choir rehearses on Wednesdays at 4:30 and is open to all at no cost. It will join the older children to sing at the 9:30 service on December 4 and to present “Twas the Light Before Christmas,” an Advent musical, on Sunday, December 11, at 5 p.m.

Even the very youngest children, the three-and-four-year-olds, can enjoy singing. Shelton visits their class on some Sunday mornings.

Duo Grazioso: Hyosang Park, left, solo handbell artist, with pianist Akiko Hosaki

At both the 9:30 and 11 a.m. services, the congregation was blessed by hearing the handbell choir play two spirituals. Enjoy video,  taken from the balcony. Hyosang Park directs the ringers in arrangements by B,  Ingram of “Nobody Knows the Trouble I’ve Seen” and “Swing Low.”

The next opportunity to hear handbells ring will be Sunday, December 4, at 5 p.m., when Park directs the Handbell Choir and the Handbell Ensemble. As a special delight, Park will play solo handbells, along with Akiko Hosaki, as part of Duo Grazioso.

It was a joyful time of giving thanks.

Hyosang Park, solo handbells on 6/7

Hyosang 1

One person, two bells is the usual method for playing handbells. In fact, fewer than a dozen solo handbell artists using four octave handbells concertize in the Eastern United States.

This rare kind of concert will be held on Sunday, June 7, at 4 p.m., when PUMC’s music director, Hyosang Park performs. Hyosang and pianist Akiko Hosaki comprise Duo Grazioso, and they attract wide renown.

Duo Grazioso will also make a special appearance on Saturday, May 9 at 4 p.m. when the ringers from Westminster Choir College will perform. Tickets are $20, $15 for seniors.

Hyosang directs the PUMC handbell choir, which plays for worship on second Sundays. Four ringers from that choir == Anna Gillette, Alex Farkas, Robert Scheffler, and Bill Gardner — will contribute to the June 7th program.

So come and bring your friends and those who love handbells! This concert is free, and the freewill offering will benefit the Ministry Fund.