Saturday, June 26, 2010

What Bells means to me

hi my name is Bryce and this is my second year in the chior. having some experince under my belt i kinda know now what it means to be a wesley bell ringer. playing the music is a big part of it, but its the experinces gained while being in the choir. these experinces are differnt for every person, but each person gains something special wether it be a friend, maturity, or just a good time its special. not only does this choir give you some thing that you can hold on to for the rest of your life, you develop imencely into the adult form the experices had while a wesley bell ringer. the wesleys give you the skills necessary to become a well rounded person.

Friday, June 25, 2010


My first year, my friends outside of the bell choir didn't understand why on earth I would ever want to spend two weeks on a bus with the same people. Nor did they understand how rummage could possibly be fun in any sense of the word, or indeed what bells even was. Back then, I really couldn't answer those questions myself, past just saying, "I just like it." I don't know what it was exactly that kept me coming back to bells after that first practice. I suppose I figured ringing bells was kind of cool, it was something new to try out, and the people in the choir were fun to listen to sometimes.

I listened a lot in my first year. I still like to listen, though I've gotten to the point where I do my fair share of talking, as well. Thinking back on it, it makes me wonder where the people who met me in my first year thought I would end up in 4 years. Did they ever in a million years predict that I might be the lead ringer in my senior year? Or did they figure I was going to stay the shy, quiet girl who did her best to fly under the radar?

I certainly thought I would be the latter. I never saw myself as much of a leader -- I was much too quiet to lead, I was sure. Now, I feel like I do an ok job. I feel like I owe a lot of that to the choir and the people in it. The members of this choir are such a mix of personalities -- I have met people who are as quiet as I was, and people who I'm sure have never been quiet their entire lives. I've learned how to read people a little better, so maybe I'll be able to tell when they're upset or angry, and how I can best help them. I've learned a lot more about people in general, and while much of what we deal with is the bells themselves, we also deal with people.

Maybe in some kind of alternate universe, there is a group of teenagers that can coexist together in a tin can on wheels for two weeks and not argue at all. Whatever universe that is, it's certainly not this one. With so many different ideas, opinions, and personalities, it would be impossible for everyone to get along all the time. But from my knowledge, no one has ever killed another ringer on tour, and that in itself is a pretty big accomplishment. Not everybody has to like each other in bells, but we maintain a policy of respect that we all try to uphold, and for the most part, we do a pretty good job. It astonishes me how much support the members of the choir give to each other. No matter how dysfunctional a family we may be at times, we always hold on to each other then times are tough. I know when I'm upset, or when I'm excited about something, some of the first people I tell are in the choir. I know the friendships I've made will last for years to come, and the memories even longer.

I have a journal I keep specifically for tour, and I only have about seven pages left in it. I write in it every night -- events of the day and host homes, of course, but also things like inside jokes ("Forrest! You're cheating on your man-purse! Shameful!") and small matters that happened on the bus that I might want to remember, even if they seem rather trivial at the time. I have the last few pages reserved, to write in at the very end, when it finally sinks in that I'm not going to be walking into the bell room for another year in September. I haven't thought about what I'm going to write yet -- it seems unreal that such an incredible experience can come to an end. But when at last my time in bells comes to a close, I know I will have so many wonderful experiences to remember, lessons learned and friendships to cherish. The fact that, even when I'm done with bells, I'll still have a piece of it to carry on with me for the rest of my life -- that, to me, is what makes the Wesley Bell Ringers so wonderful.

~Becca Wood
So far my first tour has been super fun! Thinking back on where i was at the beginning of this year and where i am now, there's a huge difference! At the first rummage sale i knew right away that our group was going to be close, but i could've never imagined we'd ever get this close! The 26 other bell ringers are like my second family! But staying with 35 other people on a crowded bus, there will always be fights and disagreements. I couldn't honestly say I've gotten along with everyone all the time, but I'd say, for the most part, we all get along really well! And it's really good to know you always have friends who will laugh with you and cry with you! Looking back, there has been many more good times than bad, and that's all I could have hoped for! I'm looking forward to many more wonderful tours with my second family!

Tour has been so much fun!!!! I've learned so much aswell! I've learned more about team work in the past two weeks then i have in my entire life...its amazing how the people in this choir work together, even though sometimes people snap at eachother or seem mean we work together really well. Everyone knows their individual job which makes it easier to get things done. Loading and unloading the bus has gotten faster and faster each day...its amazing how fast we work. I've also learned to make sure to zip on and off...the first day was really difficult for me to zip on and off but i quickly made it a habit, because i don't want to pay a dollar because i forgot!!! the zipper system makes it easier to keep everyone together, which is a really good idea. i've enjoyed tour so much!!! its been an amazing experience and i'm so excited for next year's tour!!! just with less heat!!!
my time in bells has been short, but amazingly fun. I rememer when I first joined bells, and the only people I knew were Catherine and Desi; they were also the only people I made any contact with at all. eventually, conversations were started with one or two people, but I still felt like an outsider. By the end of christmas, I was as nervous as you can get for tour, and almost wishing I didn't have to go.
we got going on tour, and I was still nervous. what was I going to do without my friends? however, I soon discovered that I was with the best friends I could have asked for. Tour is almost over, and I don't want it to end.
-Emma Laursen


When you become a Wesley there are some expectations you should meet. The expectations of the directors, those of the choir, and those of your own. The directors think of you as kids, young adults that will spend your time trying to better yourselves to not only benefit the rest of the choir but yourself as well. Thinking about the rest of the choir I see these expectations: to be nice, polite, hard-working, and fun to be around. The expectations I have for myself are high. I have to ve the best I can be at all times, because I am representing a great group. I have to be kind and courteous to everyone I encounter, otherwise I become inconsiderate, and lastly I have to think before I act, or I will get hurt.
Being a Wesely bell ringer has changed my life in many ways, but the main reason is because I try hard to reach every expectation that is set, if not to reach higher and do better.
-Morgan Ryan

First Year

One big family

What being in this choir means to me is that we are all one big happy family. Yes like every family we fight but no matter what we love each other. What i have noticed in the four years i have been in the choir is that every year we get closer and closer. Yes we pick on each other and we argue but if someone messes with anyone we all got each others back. If we need help with school most likly there is someone in the choir that can help you out. Also even when you are not in the choir any more you are still part of the family. I am sad that i am leaving the choir next year but i know that i always have a family to come back to.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

A Note From the Chaperones

So, WBR parents we are having a great time, meeting wonderful people and staying with very nice hosts. Bus life is better than one would think. We have plush seats and personal freedom to decorate our space. Your kids are wonderful, funny, energetic, exhausted, exhausting, hot, tired, goofy, loving, helpful and hardworking.

We've had adventures that have worked beautifully -- Disneyland, the beach and the Tucson Festival. Other adventures have been more improvised -- the cancelled guided cave tour, the picnic in the "snakeskin park". Most of all, we look forward to seeing everyone Sunday so you can hear these fantastic kids.

Love, the Chaperones

Monday, June 21, 2010

We are headed into our second week of tour and I'm already starting to worry about what I'm going to do when it's all over. I am a new ringer this year so this is my first tour and I have been having the time of my life. When I first started the year out I was the shy kid that nobody new and I didn't know one thing about reading or playing music. When practice would start I would go to my spot stiff as a board and stare at my music and at the end of practice I would run out as fast as I could. As the year has gone on, I have been blessed to make amazing friends or an even better word would be an amazing family. Being on tour has allowed me to become close with everybody and I finally feel like I have truly become a member of the amazing Wesley Bell Ringer family. It makes me sad to know that in just a few days all of our hard work will come to and end

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Play time!

As you know not all of our time is spent on the bus and performing. We actually do have some time to play. So far this year we have been to the beach twice, spent a day at Disneyland and visited the Biosphere in Tuscon. Tomorrow we hope to have a picnic lunch and visit Carlsbad Caverns.

Bell Concerts and the Festival

We arrived in Tuscon Friday afternoon to prepare for our concert. I have no idea how many people were there, but the room was standing room only! The concert was as close to flawless as we could get. The music was astounding and outstanding and awesome and terrific and... So many people commented on the "class act" that was portrayed by our choir. Wish you could all have been here with us!


Hi Everyone,

I'm sorry this has taken so long to do. I have had photos for awhile to post but couldn't get logged in. Now that I have that problem corrected I will try to post throughout the week. We of course look forward to reading your comments and seeing you when we arrive back home!