OES is possibly the only school in the Portland area that requires their fifth grade students to participate in a handbell choir. The students enthusiastically comply—after all, who wouldn't want to ring, swing, shake, and pluck bells, while wearing white or black gloves? Lower School music teacher Amy Rheingans leads the students in their handbell experience. Each fifth grade class gets approximately three months of weekly handbell rehearsals. "Students start with little to no knowledge of how to play in a handbell choir and quickly gain enough skills to perform complex songs by the end of the three months. It's an incredible experience in teamwork and musical accountability," said Rheingans.
One of the fifth grade classes (Ms. True's) performed two songs during Lower School chapel this past Tuesday, and they will repeat their performances at the spring concert on Tuesday, March 21, at 6:30 p.m. in the chapel.
Here is a video of one of the classes performing the piece "Scherzo" by Helman.