I have been a member of my handbell choir for four years. It has been a long and some might say tumultuous journey. It has also been one of the greatest experiences of my life. (Side note: I could write like a million lists about the handbell choir. Clearly. I've written a short novel here. I'm sorry)
  1. YEAR ONE, "The handbells, like learning to ride a bike"
  2. HIGH: Joining the handbell choir
    It was the second day of college and I locked myself out of my room. I had already done it like five times and didn't want to get the RA again so I wandered the halls of my dorm, saw a poster for handbell auditions. They were in fifteen minutes, I went to the audition and got in. This was also the first time I met the conductor, Karen, whom I could only describe as the female version of Toby Flenderson and Jerry from Parks and Rec mixed together.
  3. LOW: Getting punched in the face by Big-Nose Joe, my arch nemesis
    During one rehearsal, I ACCIDENTALLY bumped into Big-Nose Joe and SUPPOSEDLY he was ticklish and his "reflex" was to punch me in the face. I told myself that his nose was just so big that it probably threw off his depth perception and he didn't really mean it. He did. Big-Nose Joe was kind of an awful person. He just always complained about how he hated all of us and how handbell choir sucked.
  4. HIGH: The Spring Concert
    On the set list: selections from Pirates of the Caribbean, Star Wars, the Phantom of the Opera, and Disney Pixar's Up. It was the best night of my life. We had props, balloons, during the Phantom piece Karen wore a mask like the Phantom himself. It was terrifying, honestly. Oh my god, people LOVED this concert and the whole choir felt like rock stars.
  5. LOW: Getting the spring concert shut down by The Man
    As it turns out, the HC was technically under the Campus Ministry Department and technically is a nonsecular group and technically music from Disney Pixar's Up is considered secular and technically we're never supposed to play a concert like that ever again technically. Just imagine a bitter old man hearing the angelic sounds of a handbell choir playing music from Up and being so enraged to complain about it and shit on the dreams of a rag tag group of kids who just want to play some bells.
  6. HIGH: My first Handbell Dundies
    One of the members mentioned that at the end of the year we have this banquet at Chili's and give out awards. I respond, "Oh so like the Dundies?" And they were like "What? No. We just give out awards at Chili's" And I was like ooooooohkay.
  7. YEAR TWO, "Paying my dues, $10 club fees plus eternal servitude"
  8. LOW: Getting forced into being Treasurer
    After two weeks, the original treasurer quit the choir. This should have been a warning sign. I was asked to become the new treasurer and I accepted. Looking back, I'd say "treasurer" is a nice word for being Karen's personal bitch boi.
  9. HIGH: Mastering techniques, learning five in hand, and just being badass in general.
    Around my second year, I started to realize that I was low key really good at handbells. I started playing the top octave bells and could basically play an entire octave by myself. I started developing bruises in between my fingers where the bells would go. Oh and got WICKED forearm strength.
  10. HIGH: Learning how to handle Karen
    After a semester of meetings with Karen, that feeling of wanting to bash my head against the wall after every conversation was not going away. There were two things that helped me get past this.
  11. 1.Realizing that Karen said really inappropriate things and she didn't even realize it. Once she said "Don't give away the D all at once" (talking about the bell) and the entire choir started laughing and she had no idea. This other time she said "Mass of our Lady parts" but said "lady parts" really fast. Lol lady parts.
  12. 2.Realizing that while she is the worst, her whole life was dedicated to handbells and that was kind of really endearing. During a combined rehearsal with another choir, the other director started yelling at Karen. And the entire handbell choir collectively gave the other director the middle finger(in our heads).
    Like Karen is the worst, we know. But NOBODY messes with Karen. Except for us. She may be infuriatingly annoying and hard to communicate with but DO NOT make her feel bad.
  13. HIGH: Halloween Rehearsal
    I made a paper mâché nose, wore a baseball tee and went as Big-Nose Joe. It killed. Am I proud? No. It's fiiiiiine. Imitation is flattery. Whatever, he punched me in the face.
  14. HIGH: Handbell Parties
    Just imagine like the wieeeeeerdest group of kids getting drunk and talking about handbells. I DD'd one night and just observed and it was the wildest thing I'd ever seen.
  15. HIGH: My second Handbell Dundies
    Once that semester, Karen was sick and asked me to run rehearsal. So my award that year was "Best assistant to the assistant conductor" I framed it.
  16. YEAR THREE, "The Presidency"
  17. LOW/HIGH: The lost semester
    I was abroad the first semester. Didn't stop me from trolling their asses on the group message.
  18. HIGH: After-rehearsal office hours
    After returning from my time abroad, I expected to be welcomed back with open arms. Instead, I showed up to a room full of people going "who's this and why is she our president?" So, as my first act as president, I began office hours after each rehearsal at a cafe. But not just any type of office hours. If there was one thing I knew, it was that people loved hot gossip. And I had alllll of it. I lured the new members in with smoothies and chatted and gabbed my way into their hearts.
  19. Am I proud of this? No. Did it promote community? Hell yeah. Everyone loved my handbell gossip.
  20. LOW: The Civil War of 2015
    Years after the whole secular music debacle and pleading with the campus ministry, one of the new members decided to take matters into his own hands and proposed the formation of a second handbell choir. One not under the campus ministry and one that played only secular music. This idea was absurd for several reasons, and I very clearly told them that it was a bad idea. The handbell officers were a house divided. The only other people on my side were Karen and Big-Nose Joe.
  21. After much debate the other officers, ignored Karen and I, and started filing the paperwork for another secular handbell choir. I kid you not. Half the choir seceded.
    As it would turn out, starting another handbell choir is expensive and oh I don't know makes absolutely no sense. Karen and I ended up being right about everything. And now we only talk about this civil war in hushed, reverent tones.
  22. HIGH: Big-Nose Joe admits he likes the handbell choir
    Albeit, he was a little tipsy but he finally admitted that he actually enjoyed being in the choir. I realized then that all along Big-Nose Joe had the maturity of a nine year old boy. Oh, Big-Nose Joe punched you in the face? That just means he likes you.
  23. YEAR FOUR, "The Presidency where I delegated things"
  24. HIGH: Through extensive fundraising, the Handbell choir makes enough money to finally invest in a set of hand chimes.
    Every respectable bell choir has a set of chimes.
  25. LOW: The hand chimes arrive and three of them get STOLEN on their first day
    I get a call from Karen calling an emergency officers meeting because the hand chimes were stolen! At 11:00pm, we had a police officer in the choir room taking pictures of the chime cases with the missing chimes. Karen filed a police report. Choir morale was at an all time low. A week later, Karen discovered a manufacturer's note from the hand chimes company. As it turns out, the shipment was partial and the remaining three chimes were on their way!
  26. Let me just say this one more time. Karen, a grown ass woman, filed a POLICE REPORT for HAND CHIMES that DIDNT EVEN EXIST. OH MY GOD KAREN.
  27. LOW: Someone tried to get rid of our water break
    At one of the meetings, an officer brought up getting rid of our water breaks to have more productive rehearsals. I shut that right down BECAUSE IT WAS LUDICROUS. I am nothing if not a president for my people. Take away their water breaks? What are you, a MONSTER?
  28. LOW: the Handbell Musicians of America workshop that I was really hungover for
    We had to leave for the workshop at 5:00am the next morning but I also had this pregame that I had to go to the night before. I was juuuuust gonna go and have like one drink and I ended up getting back at like 3am. I swear to gahd I set my alarm but I think I turned it off in my sleep. Someone eventually woke me up and we got to the workshop on time. So there I was, hungover as all hell, surrounded by 100 handbell players about to play handbells for 6 hours.
  29. LOW: Karen tries to turn the choir into a totalitarian government
    This happened last week. As elections came up, Karen wanted me to start getting the word out. But here's the thing. There are four open officer positions and four members eligible to become officers. And yet, Karen insisted that I hold elections. Election Day came and I called a vote. Only the undergraduate members were allowed to vote and then she said that senior members didn't get a vote. That would mean four members were eligible to vote for the four open officer positions. Let that sink in.
  30. HIGH: The 9th Annual Dundies, hosted by ME
    As president of the Handbell Choir, I have dubbed myself chairman of the 9th annual Handbell Dundies committee. I have assembled my committee and I don't want to give too much away but I will say that I have started writing a killer opening number.
  31. Alright, that's it. That's a tiny snapshot of the history of the handbell choir.