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Bells of Glory giving once-in-a-decade performance

From left, Debbie Fimbres, Jodi Larsen, Marley Becker, Nona King and Dawn Uhles concentrate on their music as they ready for their upcoming concert.

KINGMAN - The Bells of Glory will "peal out" Saturday during the handbell group's first public concert in 10 years.

The performance will take place at 2 p.m. at Grace Lutheran Church, 2101 Harrison St. Admission is free, and about 20 former members will join the group's 10 members. Musicians also will play other instruments along with the handbells, including a clarinet, oboe, piano and hand chimes.

"It's a lot of work to get ready for this, but it's going to be a wonderful concert," said Mary Reiman, who has directed the Bells of Glory for 20 years. "We're hoping for a full house. I want everyone to come to the concert, because we're a very talented group and people need to hear us."

Songs will include "Noah and the Ark," where the bells sound like animals, "Now the Green Blade Riseth, and "Fantasy On Hyfrydol." The concert will last almost two hours and feature all the techniques used with handbells, such as staccato rings and mallets.

Reiman said the bell group started 20 years ago when the church had extra money and wanted to do something different with it. Reiman said the church bought a three-octave set of bells at first with tables and pads, then later added fourth- and fifth-octave sets.

The group will be playing "Visions" during the concert, one of the first songs members learned after the bells were originally purchased.

The Bells of Glory practice every week except during the summer, said Reiman, and play regularly during church services. There's a concert every 10 years so the public can hear what members can do with the bells.

Gail Fruhling joined the group in January to spend more time with her daughter, Abi, who also plays. Fruhling said she is nervous and excited about the concert, which will be her first.

"I'm enjoying this so much," said Fruhling, who plays several musical instruments and was a band teacher. "It's a totally different approach to music and takes me out of my comfort zone.

"What I like about the bells is that even if someone plays a bad note, they still sound good."

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