The Morningside Handbell Choir joined the church's music program in 2009, established by James Klotz. Under the direction of member and elder Jeff Peters, the ringers rehearse weekly and play during selected worship services and for special occasions, such as the annual fall churchwide retreat and the Atlanta PRIDE worship service. In November 2015 the choir is thrilled to be invited to play for the tree-lighting ceremony at Atlanta Station.
The handbell choir performs on a four-octave set of Schulmerich handbells. The choir was launched with a three-octave set of bells given to the church by Donnamae Klotz Rost. The ringers also play a three-octave set of handchimes which are on long-term loan.
Both experienced and novice ringers make up MPC's handbell choir. Bells offer a good way to learn to read music and improve musicality. In addition to 'plain' ringing, members of the handbell choir practice special techniques such as playing the bells with mallets and muting the bells with thumbs.
Handbell choirs originated in England as a way to practice the change-ringing of church tower bells in relative comfort and quiet. Handbells developed into instruments with a repertoire all their own, with both original music and adaptations of familiar melodies. Anyone interested in learning to play the bells and chimes should contact Jeff Peters. Openings are available for regular and substitute ringers.
The Morningside Bell Choir played the Offertory on October 10, 2010.
Thursday evening rehearsals are informal and usually filled with laughter.