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Detroit handbell ensemble logo on blue with 30 years and gold confetti

Join Detroit Handbell Ensemble as we celebrate 30 years in the Motor City! DHE is proud to present our 2024 spring concert titled “My Favorite Things” featuring a program full of favorite handbell arrangements selected by the ensemble’s members plus new works commissioned specifically for this special occasion.

Join us at one of our spring concerts: May 11 in Midland or May 17 in Chelsea. In addition, our May 19 concert in Northville is our official 30th Anniversary party! We’ll have photos, historical displays, special guests, and a post-concert reception. Click here for all concert details.

Our long-time friends and fans might wonder, wasn’t DHE founded in 1991? Why are we celebrating 30 years and not 33? DHE historian Paul Kinney says, “DHE's first rehearsal was January 1991, and our first concert was April 14. DHE went on hiatus in 2005-2006 in order to reorganize from being a subsidiary of founding director Sue Berry’s company Handbell Services to a stand-alone non-profit. And like many performance arts organizations, DHE went on hiatus again during the COVID-19 pandemic.” Over its 30-year history, DHE has stood the test of time and continues to spread the joy of handbell music throughout metro Detroit and mid-Michigan. That’s a reason to celebrate!

Multiple people dressed in black holding handbells stand next to and underneath The Monument to Joe Louis statue in downtown Detroit

In celebration of our 30th anniversary, our spring concert program features favorite handbell arrangements selected by the ensemble’s members. Selections include “In the Hall of the Mountain King,” “Motown Medley,” “Dancing Queen,” and more.

In addition, DHE will be premiering three works commissioned for this special occasion. Artistic director Kyle Webber describes the new commissions: “First is a piece by Matthew Compton titled ‘Perpetuum Mobile (Perpetual Motion).’ Written in mixed meter at a rousing tempo, this piece is sure to delight audiences and move us into the next 30 years! Second is a piece commissioned by one of our ringers, Mark Froelich, called ‘A String of Pearls.’ With a nod to the gem that represents a 30th anniversary, the pearl, Sondra Tucker has arranged a gem from the big band era. It will be sure to have your toes tapping.”

Finally, former artistic director Brenda Austin gifted DHE with an original composition titled "Rising Strong." As Brenda states "...I share the journey in knowing what it takes to fight, overcome and rise strong. Happy 30th Anniversary!" DHE is grateful for the generous gift of her music.

DHE invites you to celebrate our pearl anniversary with us as we share some of our favorite things with you!

Side view of a handbell ensemblel wearing blue shirts

It is a privilege for the Detroit Handbell Ensemble to spread the joy of music to a variety of audiences each year! Consider being a part of the DHE community by passing along concert announcements, hosting a concert, or making a tax-deductible donation to DHE. Contributions help us buy new music, maintain our equipment, and meet all the other expenses that come with sharing quality handbell music. DHE could not do what we do without YOU, our friends and fans. Thank you for your support!

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