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Music filled the fellowship hall November 2 at the Eaton Rapids First United Methodist Church as more than 100 handbell ringers participated in a day-long festival. The Detroit Handbell Ensemble co-hosted the event that brought nine area church ensembles together for workshops and mass rehearsals.

The Detroit Handbell Ensemble will open its 2019-20 season by co-hosting the Eaton Rapids Handbell Festival November 2 at the First United Methodist Church of Eaton Rapids, Michigan. Under the direction of Brenda Austin and Kyle Webber, participants from nine church ensembles and DHE will perform a closing festival concert open to the public at 2:30pm.

Austin, DHE artistic director and the director of music at the Eaton Rapids church, founded the annual festival with Webber in 2012. Webber is the director of music ministries at Nardin Park United Methodist Church in Farmington Hills, Michigan, and a national board member of the Handbell Musicians of America.

In late June 2019, the Detroit Handbell Ensemble hit the road for Lancaster, Pennsylvania, to perform a feature concert at the Area 2 Festival Conference and Young Ringer Festival. We were very excited to be invited to this event and to perform for friends and colleagues in the handbell community.

DHE ringers showcase their musical skill at 2018 National Seminar. (Photo credit: Handbell Musicians of America)

Members of the Detroit Handbell Ensemble were thrilled and privileged to perform the opening concert at the Handbell Musicians of America National Seminar held in Grand Rapids, Michigan, in July 2018. The audience loudly responded to the program featuring Detroit and the great state of Michigan.

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