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River stage: 28.51 ft. Rising
Monday, Nov. 30, 2015
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Features headlines
Hear them ring (11/29/15)
By Nancy Hadler Southeast Missourian Handbells have been a measure of the musical landscape of Beth St. John for much of her life. The Jackson Senior High School choir director was introduced to handbells when she, herself, was a student at Jackson High in the 1990s. Last week, St. John and the dozen or so ringers of the Jackson handbell choir were part of the music department's annual Ringers and Singers Tour of the district's elementary schools, with the intention to introduce young students to the unique beauty of the bells and the enjoyment of music. Beyond that, the ringers often are invited to entertain at area nursing homes and civic events. Next month, they'll perform during the school's annual Madrigal Feaste Dec. 12, 13 and 14 at Bavarian Halle in Fruitland. "The handbells provide a different musical outlet to the school's musical program," St. John said, characterizing the program as "very big," with more than a half-dozen choirs and choruses. The handbell choir yearly averages 15 to 20 members, most of whom are choir students. Jackson's original handbell set was donated by the school's German club to the music department in the 1980s, and has been supplemented with additional bells over the years, according to Jean Schwein, who retired as choral program director in 2002. "Part of the appeal of playing handbells is that one doesn't have to be a highly accomplished musician; you need a sense of rhythm and to be responsible for the individual pitches of your bells," Schwein said. "It's very inclusive." A number of area churches have handbell choirs as part of their music ministries. Some play just a few times a year, and others are a regular part of Sunday services. Peter Durow, choral music director at First Presbyterian Church in Cape Girardeau, said the church has a group of eight ringers, who are led by Rebecca Nelson, the organist. "They're dedicated, and most of them read music, so it's nice that we can hand out sheet music and take it from there," Durow said, although he agreed with Schwein that advanced musicality isn't a requirement. "It's approachable for a lot of people. Anyone with any amount of interest could do it. It's accessible and a lot of fun," Durow said. Misty Rivers directs The Grace Notes Bell Choir at Grace United Methodist Church in Cape Girardeau; she was a member of the choir from 1999 to 2011 and has been directing since 2012. The 15 members of the choir range in age from high school sophomore to some in their 70s; some have played in the choir since it was established more than 30 years ago. "The appeal, I think, is that each part is so important. Everyone has an equally important part. We challenge ourselves, too. As musicians, we like the challenge of playing more difficult pieces," Rivers said, adding the members attend yearly handbell conferences and conventions. The Grace Notes annually performs in nine church services, and every 18 months they host a concert that is open to the public -- a holiday concert, followed 18 months later by a spring concert. This year's Christmas concert, at 7 p.m. Dec. 20, will feature the bell choir as well as the church's 20-member chancel choir. The program features both religious and secular selections including "Sing We Now of Christmas," "All I Want for Christmas Is You," "Rise Up Shepherd," "Jingle Bell Rock," "I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day" and more. And, Rivers teased, "At our spring concert, in 2017, we'll be doing a song by Adele."
Four by Four 11/29/15 (11/29/15)
What is your approach to the Christmas shopping season? I go Black Friday shopping. I will probably be up all night for that. I've been doing it since I was young with my grandma. Have you gotten or will you get a flu shot? I will not get a flu shot. I don't like needles, and I would rather not get flu-like symptoms like some people do from the shot...
Compelled to serve green beans? At least make them delicious (11/29/15)
We apologize if you are a huge fan of green beans. We apologize if you are the sort of person who longs for the green beans at holiday get-togethers. We think it's a little strange, but we still apologize. It's not that green beans aren't perfectly delightful. ...
Questions of median legality and the location of Dr. Delezene's office (11/29/15)
While strolling, I wondered whatever happened to Ralph Melton. Happy birthday to Amy Burnett, Lee Cook, Raymond Ourth, Darren Lincoln, Jonell Overfield, Alan Seabaugh, Kenny Lee, Bill Rauch, Annie Fort, Ryan Glastetter, Joseph Campbell, Autumn Gilmer, Loraine Reischman, Billy Newton, Debbie Sadler, Lisa Parker, Kathy Moyers, Shelly Burnett, Jim Bollinger, Christina Smith, Yolanda Schlosser, Jim Emerson, Travis Dumey, Virginia Bohnsack, Lauren Bader, Gary Kelley, Jeanette Wachter, Monica Senciboy and Joyce McCullough.. ...
Adopt Oscar (11/29/15)
Oscar, 2 years old, is neutered and crate-trained. Oscar is available for adoption at the Humane Society, 334-5837.