Wednesday, June 19, 2019

The Wesley Bell Ringer 2019 summer tour - Day 11 - Madison CT to Philadelphia PA

Today The Wesley Bell Ringers left the peaceful seaside/small town feel of the New England states that they have had such great time visiting for the big cities of Philadelphia, New Jersey, & New York to round out the 2019 summer tour.

From Madison CT to Philadelphia it was traffic, construction, rain, & more traffic, but as it has happened almost everywhere on this tour, there were still opportunities to have fun along the way.

When in Philly, there are many opportunities for an authentic Philly cheese stake sandwich.  Katie found the choir a great spot to have this experience & then it was back on the bus for the last of the trip into the city.

John's Roast Pork in Philadelphia was a great chance to experience a taste of Philly

FINALLY, on the third hotel night of the tour, swimming happened!  The choir enjoyed a bit of time in the pool before dinner which consisted of smaller groups taking off from the hotel to explore Philadelphia.

Gina & Kenton's group took on Chinatown

Perfect photo opportunity spot in Philly

Coltin & Jasmine enjoying some downtime today

Holden, the burger king 

Shake Shack for Molly & Pamela

Jenn's group took on the shopping district. 

Swim time is the best time!


And more exploring

A good night for some rolled icecream

Tour #52 for Ed.  We hope he knows how much his efforts have impacted the almost 500 kids who have experienced being a Wesley Bell Ringer.  Theo enjoying some time with Ed.  

When your birthday happens on tour, we celebrate! 

Happy Birthday Theo & Rachel!  

Monday, June 17, 2019

The Wesley Bell Ringer 2019 summer tour - Day 10 - Duxbury MA to Madison CT

The Wesley Bell Ringers had an incredible night in Duxbury MA.  It was tough to leave such a welcoming community, but on the road it was again....

Have you ever had a chance to see Plymouth Rock?  The 2019 Wesley Bell Ringers did today.  Plymouth MA is an impressive beach front community rich in history.   Plymouth Rock, well considering it was in 1600 that it was discovered, it isn't surprising that it is smaller in size than one might think.

There has to be at least ONE group photo a day during bell tour. 

Learning the history of Plymouth Rock

"It looks so much bigger on TV", says Holden

The choir had a quick lunch in Rhode Island to say that they had indeed spent time in Rhode Island & then it was off to YALE!  Thanks to Assistant Director, The Wesley Bell Ringers participated in a private tour & hands on time at the Yale Harkness bell Carillon.  A once in a lifetime (or tour time) chance to see some really amazing bells.  For you bell enthusiasts, here are the facts: 

  • Harkness Tower: 216 feet, 284 steps to the roof
  • The Carillon: 54 bells, pitched in B
  • Total Weight: 43 tons
  • Age of Bells: 10 bells were cast in 1921, the remainder in 1964
  • Lowest bell: F♯ concert pitch, 13,400 pounds
  • Highest bell: B concert pitch, 26 pounds
During the tour, the Wesley's not only got to hear the bells in action, they actually were invited to play the carillon.  This experience was incredible, emotional, & exciting for everyone.  After the tour, the choir & chaperones had some time to explore a bit of the Yale campus, including the bookstore where we all had the opportunity to feel like a member of the Yale community as we spent our money on Yale merchandise.  Back on the bus, the choir was polled to see who was now interested in Yale as a college choice, most of the hands were raised but quickly went down once the yearly tuition & acceptance rates were shared.  We all can dream, right?

Walking the quad at Yale

Thinking about college possibilities?!

Getting ready to climb the stairs to see the bells

Lewis & Theo....only 200 more stairs to go!

Don't look down, Molly

Playing the practice carillon at Yale

The Wesley Bell Ringers in the bell room at Yale

Barrett & Jacob thrilled at this opportunity

The view from the top

Learning about how the Yale bells work

An experience of a lifetime

As was this.  

The short trip to Madison CT did not provide the opportunity for a "bus nap" of which we have all begun to look forward to; however, it was nice to be able to see so much of these amazing New England states today!

First Congregational Church in Madison CT was constructed in 1707, this incredible church was yet another experience for The Wesley Bell Ringers to share their program so far east from Salt Lake City.

This photo doesn't even come close to reflecting the size of First Congregational Church in Madison CT

Fitting a quick practice in tonight. 

The choir & chaperone team are having an extraordinary trip.  Homesick, yes.  Missing friends, family, & pets back home, absolutely, but are loving every minute!  Thanks to everyone who has supported this group so far & throughout the year.  We appreciate you all!

The Wesley Bell Ringer 2019 summer tour - Day 9 - Rindge NH to Duxbury MA

The choir has learned that cell service & internet service in the New England area is limited, so in order to get some information out to you - This blog will be short.  More photos, less words!

A couple notes:

  • 2nd hotel night was a success!  Everyone did amazing.  
  • Boston Freedom trail tour in Boston, in the rain was amazing.  Over 5 miles of walking & everyone was full of energy for the concert in Duxbury. 
  • The Wesley Bell Ringers said goodbye to Tif & Carl & picked up a surprise guest - John Lay (Katie's dad) in Boston. 
  • Duxbury was a return concert venue & the choir was visited by former WBR ringer, Lisa Arnold (Mcgill) bell ringer #145 who traveled an hour plus to share her bell ringer stories & give some great advice & encouragement to today's choir.  THANKS LISA! 

The Wesley Bell Ringers on the "bla bla bla" tour hosted by Katie

Junior ranger time in Boston

More Junior rangers

Junior rangers

Always gracious about taking yet another "group photo"

And someday they will be able to go inside! 

Pig photo for Tif

Enjoying the sights in Boston

Enjoying some street music

Wishing they have a few hand bells to play along

No caption needed here
Duxbury concert venue
Sharing WBR stories with Lisa
Taking a try at the Boom A Gong

Awesome lunch stop in Boston.  Most had the CHOWDA

Saturday, June 15, 2019

The Wesley Bell Ringer 2019 summer tour - Day 8 - Gorham ME to Rindge NH

Today was an action packed day for The Wesley Bell Ringers & crew.  

First stop - The first sight of the Atlantic ocean at the Nubble lighthouse.  Just long enough for photos, gift shop shopping, and a 5 minute lesson about the area from a volunteer named Dick who was happy to educate us all on the area. 

Smile Ed!

Chaperones happy to see the Atlantic

Checking out Maine

Some quiet time

Next stop - LUNCH!  A Wesley Bell Ringer tradition is for the senior ringers & directors to take time out for lunch together, without the rest of the group to celebrate their last tour.  This year Holden, Marko, Katie, & Anna took off for a seafood lunch in Portsmouth NH leaving the chaperones in charge of the rest of the group.  Some were lucky to find the area favorite, lobster rolls.  Some were lucky in finding souvenirs from the area.  Fun was had by all. 

The Wesley Bell Ringers minus the seniors

They were all good sports & posed for the chaperone photos

New uniform ideas, Katie? 

Last one for the day!

Senior lunch 2019

Third & most important stop - afternoon concert at The Cathedral of the Pines in Rindge NH.  It was The Cathedral of the Pines that originally brought The Wesley Bell Ringers to the New England area many years ago & today The Wesley Bell Ringers & group understood why.  This magical location was created for all people, all religions, & all special occasions & the choir was honored to be here.  Playing in an outside venue isn't something that the choir does often as it comes with it's own unique set of issues - bugs, heat, sound, more bugs, & sunshine, but as they have done at every stop along the way, this group of bell ringers provided an exceptional experience for one of the largest crowds they have played for so far on this tour.  As the choir moved through "Colors of the wind", emotions were evident on many ringers as they realized how special playing at this location is.  Cathedral of the Pines is an experience not to be forgotten.  

Pamela & her station

Grateful to play outside in NH

well over 100 guests came to hear the choir play

And the first dog at the concert!

The Wesley Bell Ringers on Summer 2019 tour are proud to have played at this magical location

Ed sharing his wisdom with Pamela & Louis

Sad to say goodbye to chaperones Tif & Carl.  They have been the most couple to travel with & will be missed for the last week of tour.  Thanks guys!  

Ed on his 52nd tour & 3rd time to Cathedral of the Pines.  

Feeling the love! 

Well done Wesley's! 

Last stop - Hotel night near Salem MA.  Sadly, the beloved pool time did not happen at this hotel spot, but after all that the group was able to see & experience today, it wasn't missed.  A great welcome at check in with a sign of welcome for The Wesley Bell Ringers, a bit of time to socialize in the lobby area, & then it was bed check & lights out as tomorrow is for exploring BOSTON!  

Rockstar status for sure!