Saturday, June 27, 2009

2009 Tour Blogs Here and Below................... The Home Run... Butte Montana, life on the bus, and concerts.

Through the years...

In the middle of tour 09', the ringers started to stitch these cross-stitched bells and hearts. Pretty much everyone made one of these cross-stitched works of art, but I was lazy and didn't think it was worth my time. As all the people around me on the bus pushed me and pushed me into making one, I finally started. As I think about it, I realize that this piece of art isn't just a thing to do on the bus to pass time, but a keepsake that can be kept forever. This would help bring back (Josh says Hi...) fun memories from the trip, like going to the Oregon coast or playing a very good concert and seeing the expressions on the director's face. I haven't quite finished yet, but I can’t wait to see the outcome. -Mike (sophomore)

For the last four years of my life I have been involved in an organization that is overly caring and so supportive it feels like an entire family feeling. Also I can never wait to go to bell practice to see all my buddies even though they feel more like brothers and sisters. I get ecstatic when tour starts because on tour I've gained everlasting and fulfilling friendships that will last for the rest of life. Being a senior in the choir is so much fun because you learn how (Josh says Hi.....again) to be a leader and be able to pick people up when they fall because I've been picked up when I have fallen in the past. This choir means the world to me and I hope after I'm gone it will grow and prosper forever.
- A.J. Jolley (senior)

Being 19, I have participated in this choir for over a quarter of my lifetime, five years. (Josh still says hi) Finishing up my last tour ever has been a bittersweet experience, knowing that these experiences seemed they would never end four years ago are now in the final stages. This year's choir is young, with 11 new kids, and watching them through the year has brought back so many memories, in all of these teenagers I can see myself and watching them mature has shown me just how much this organization has helped me grow up. Within this group I have learned more about true friendship, humanity, and living life than anything else. Through the best and worst times I have always had this family to help me along. I was brought up following the good examples of those older than me that I looked up to, and I hope that these last couple years I have been able to return this example to the organization. I know that I will miss all of these kids, but I also know that I have memories for a lifetime with all of them that bring us close even after we are gone. Goodbye WBR, I will miss you.

-Zach- (super senior)

When Mike came back and told me I had to write something on the blog, I had absolutely no idea what I was going to write about. Shortly after he told me, Greg stole my cell phone, Jon poked at me about 25 times, and I found out that someone had locked the memory card to my camera. So, I decided to talk about my second family on the bus. Bells has, since my first year, been like a second family for me, but this year it has seemed to me to be especially so. I now have 23 brothers and sisters on the bus, who sometimes bother me, who pull at my toes and steal my stuff, and who sometimes don't seem to understand the concept of quiet time. I have siblings who sleep a lot, who don't ever seem to sleep, and who try to stuff plastic squeaky toys on their heads. And I love them all. Like most families, we argue sometimes, but we also care for each other as if we really were a blood family. It's a feeling I've never felt in any other group, and it's something that truly sets this choir apart from every other group.
~Becca~ (junior)
Oh. And Josh says hi.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

What it all means...

When reading this blog, I hope you get the idea that we have lots of fun all the time. But it isn't all about playing on the beach or climbing the rigging on a pirate ship (yeah, it was super cool!). Over the years, I have played many concerts, experiencing a myriad of emotions; pride, love, faith, joy, as well as disappointment, sadness, and heartache. We recently played a concert in Bremerton, Washington, and most of those feelings went through my head. Zach and I, the 5th year ringers in the choir, were fortunate enough to have our parents visit for this concert. We played really well, and I was extremely proud of not only myself, but our choir. One of our fellow ringers got too sick to perform, and I felt the choir pull together for the concert, and also for him. After the concert, I started thinking about all my years in this choir, all the concerts, and all the people. Zach reminded me that that night would be the second to last night our parents would ever see us perform. This is a hard thing for me to think about, because this choir has been such a huge part of my life for so long. It has become more than an activity for Tuesday and Sunday nights, and grown into an occupation, a matter of personal pride, and a family. I hope this gives you a little insight into what these concerts mean to us, and now I want to talk about our music as a ministry.
I have gathered over the years that, being a Christian organization, the main goal of our concerts is to bring people closer to God. It also offers an escape from the rush of daily life, a time to relax and to breathe, a time to center oneself. In one concert, we hope to make you laugh, cry, relax, think, and feel something bigger than yourself, whatever that may be. People have told me many things after our concerts, how we restored their faith in what youth can accomplish, things we made them feel, things we reminded them of, as well as the occasional comment of disapproval. When you begin to play with this group, starting with practices and fundraisers, and our one sunday a month performing in church, you don't really understand the impact that we have on people. It's only after a few concerts on tour that it begins to sink in (and I can say that I'm still learning things about myself and about humanity after 5 long years). We can't say for sure exactly what it means, or pick the most likely effect, because our audiences are as diverse as we are, and all are there for different reasons, much like us. We all come from different places, we are motivated by a variety of things, but for that hour and a half, we are joined by the music. It breaks down the barriers within the choir, uniting us to a common goal, and it breaks down the barriers between us and the audience. Whatever our auxillary reasons, we're all there for the music.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Happy Father's Day

Happy Father's Day from Canada! We have been through seven nights of concerts and want to wish all the fathers of ringers and former ringers a very happy Father's Day today! It is a beautiful day in Victoria and we wish all the fathers well on their national day! Love Eric

HAPPY FATHER'S DAY DAD!!!! We are so excited to have a few days off in Canada and a break from concerts. We have had a blast so far and I can not wait for the next few days. Happy Father's Day to all the awesome dads of the choir and all the dads in general! I love you dad!! Love Haley

the Veteran Tour

This is my fourth tour and the first time I have done this. I finally get to play full time in the bass row and loving it. I also get to play in the senior song which is awsome cause it is Fade to Black and it is crazy to play it in the bass but so fun. I am having fun getting to know the new ringers and getting to know the older ones even better. Greg

Friday, June 19, 2009

First Tour

hi, I'm Cari and I am about halfawy through my first wesley bell tour. This tour so far has been everything I expected it to be and more. The drives we're taking to get where we're going are absolutely beautiful. Going up the Oregon coast is pretty much the best drive I've ever been on. I don't mind being cramped in the window seat cause I have the best view of either a lush wall of trees or a mass expance of ocean. Besides the first two lunch stops we have had stops with awesome seafood, so that was really good cause it's super fresh. Also driving along the ocean Terry felt compeled to go stick his feet in the water, and having only even seen the ocean twice before I had no complaints. the first beach we stopped at had a bumch of tide pools for us to explore. I ran my camera battery out taking pictures of real live wild starfish and sea anemones. And the very best part was holding a hermit crab and having him crawl down my arm. Then yesterday we went to Seattle. That was an adventuse. first stop was the space needle, then we took the monorail to an aquarium. Then there was the best part of the day, the pike place market. By the time we were done with the aquarium we were pretty hungry so the first thing we did at the market was eat. A small group
of fellow ringers and I found this little Chinese place with some pretty good chow mein and ridiculously priced refills on drinks. After lunch we went window shopping. Given the time limit we had we only got to see a limited amount of the market, but what I did see I loved. I have so many good memories already and I know there are only more to be made.

First Tour

This is my first tour and already I can tell that the future ones are going to be great. One of the things about tour that stands out to me the most is the fact that everyone gets along with each other. It is always a lot more fun when everyone is friends with everyone. One of my favorite activities was running around on the the beach in Oregon and finding cool things like coral and sea shells. So far everything has been really fun and I have high hopes for the upcoming events.


Beach Time!

We stopped at Bob's Creek Beach to wander the tide pools and later the same day enjoyed some time at Arcadia Beach. The kids had a great time as evidenced in these photos taken by Terry!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009