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Royal Oak Seniors Handbell Choir Shares the Love of Music (video)

Royal Oak Seniors Handbell Choir Shares the Love of Music (video)

(Crystal A. Proxmire, May 18, 2014)

The sound of a couple dozen bells echoed through the Kulick Community Center in Ferndale on Wednesday as the waterworkRoyal Oak Seniors Handbell Choir paid a visit to share their skills with the Ferndale Senior group.

Sylvia Hartsoe of Royal Oak is one of the founding members of the choir, which began in the fall of 1988 when the city purchased the bells for the program. “I started playing in 1957,” Hartsoe said. “I was a student at the Moody Bible Institute in Chicago and I learned to play there. I’ve been in love ever since.”

The Royal Oak Seniors Handbell Choir performs for audiences of all ages. They’ll be featured at the seed09_jeannie_davisupcoming Royal Oak Art Fair which is July 13-14. They will also be giving a free concert at the Royal Oak Senior Center on June 13.

“We just did a show at the Wing Lake Development Center,” Hartsoe said. “That’s for young children who are handicapped and have disabilities. It’s hard for them to pay attention to things, but they become quiet when we play because they love the sound. It’s very soothing.”

Many of the members are former teachers who carry their passion for music into their retirement.

Members practice together each week in addition to the regular performances. On top of it, they pay to be a part of the group.  Members do not have to be residents of Royal Oak to participate, though non-residents are charged more.gallowaycollens1

“They have to be dedicated,” Hartsoe said. “We make sure no tax money goes to funding this, that’s why we have the fee.”

For more information on the Royal Oak Seniors Handbell Choir visit

For more Seniors group articles, including some nifty presentations, see:

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