Jill Weyer and Zion’s Handbells

zion-handbells-2014-09The Zion Handbell Choir performed during the September 14th worship service at Zion providing music that was intertwined with the liturgy. The Zion Handbell Choir is directed by Jill Weyer who has nearly 50 years of experience with handbells and other musical instruments. She graduated with a music education degree from Seward Concordia Teacher’s College in Seward, Nebraska in 1967 (now Concordia University Nebraska). She trained as a liturgical organist and she later directed children’s choirs and handbell choirs.

“I originally became interested in handbells because of the unique timbre of the sound,” said Weyer. “I enjoy playing and listening; it’s a wonderful and easy experience!”

Over the years, and at least once a year, she attended handbell conferences and seminars. Weyer was children’s choir director and substitute organist at Immanuel Lutheran in Madison, Wisconsin up until 1996, when she moved to El Paso. At that time, Zion had recently purchased handbells and was in need of a director for a group. Enter Jill Weyer.

Jill Weyer is enthusiastically inviting others to become members of the music group. “Getting people involved is always an issue,” said Weyer. “I extend the invitation to men and women and I encourage people not to be afraid to join. It’s a personal service and an opportunity to enhance the normal liturgical service.” On September 14th the music played by the handbell choir was selected by Weyer to to correspond with the proper liturgical season, gospel readings and pastor’s topic. During the handbell procession and opening hymn Weyer carried and rang five handbells while directing the group, which she said is not easy; hence the need for more members. “If a person can’t sing, then the handbells are an option,” said Weyer.

“We’re always looking for ringers. It doesn’t have to be a five year commitment. You can commit for three months; for the holiday season. It’s easy to learn. I taught elementary school for 46 years and I often had fourth and fifth graders doing it without issue.”

On September 14th the Zion Handbell Choir included Jill Weyer, Krysia Heimer, Patty Myers, Shirley Batts, Carrie Wyckof, Linda Chaumont and Pauline Rasmussen. They performed ‘Joyful, Joyful, We Adore Thee,’ a gospel acclamation and ‘Here I am Lord,’ which was sung by David Garcia.

The handbell choir will perform again during church on October 12th which will be a special Sunday for celebrating the music ministries of Zion. It willbe a special time to praise God through music and a time for the congregation to rejoice in the contributions of Zion’s musicians whose gifts are given by the Lord. “We will lift up the musicians,” explained Pastor Stephen, “and pray for His continued blessing on their service.”

The handbell choir rings at church once a month and practices on Wednesdays from 5:45 PM to 7:15 PM. If interested in joining call Jill Weyer at 915-274-3041.

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