Valley handbell choir’s love of music rings true

LOGAN—The vibrant tones hang in the air in the basement of the First Presbyterian Church as the choir comes to an end of a song. Watching and listening attentively to Cathy Ferrand Bullock, conductor of the Westminster Bell Choir, the members of a local handbell group create music that rings across the hills of northern Utah. Most of her Utah State University students know Bullock as an exacting journalism professor and a successful freelance writer. But Bullock is also an accomplished musician who is passionate in her love of music—particularly English handbells. “There are different kinds of bells,” Bullock said. “We’re ringing English handbells, and when you’re talking English handbells, you’re talking about a particular kind of bell with a particular kind of clapper mechanism.” The 22 members of the Westminster Bell Choir meet for three hours of practice every Thursday evening, with the less experienced ringers getting some extra practice and attention from Bullock for the first half of practice. The first group of ringers plays level-two music, which has three octaves, while the more veteran musicians play compositions with four octaves, explained Ellen Wakeley, a USU graduate student in Watershed Science.

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