Handbells at Redeemer Classical School
Music education, experience, creation and performance is highly valued at RCS. The dedicated handbells teacher, a fine musician and composer in her own right, leads students in exploring grade appropriate musical experiences:
• Focus on an acclaimed graded handbell program
• Learn music theory and basic to advanced ringng skills
• Practice performance skills and composition through outreach concerts
• Participate in a local handbell festival
The Spring Programs allow families and friends of RCS to hear the beautiful evidence of this approach to music education. Just look at the composers for the pieces. 40 Days in the Desert and Opus Primus were composed by Redeemer students and many of the other pieces were written or arranged by Kath Wissinger, the school's handbells teacher.
40 Days in the Desert, William Peters (World Premiere)
My Paddle's Keen and Bright, McGee/arr. Wissinger
Lord of the Rings, Shore/arr. Wissinger (by special permission)
Bwana Asifiwe (Praise to the Lord), Moklebust
Themes from Phantom of the Opera, arr. Wagner
Introduces melodic 8th notes. The class voted to shift this piece into C natural minor, by lowering the 3rd, 6th and 7th tones of the scale. Note how it brightens at the end when we move back into C Major.
Opus Primus, 5th grade Class and Mrs. Wissinger
This is the 5th grade composition project for Spring Semester. Small teams created short motifs (musical ideas), which were written on the white board and then mixed and matched for the main themes. We then worked on accompanying chord patterns and inserted musical ideas we've studied about: ascending and descending scales, chord inversions, motifs and sequences, call and response, relative keys, tempo, coda and more. Each addition or change was approved by the majority, and individual's ideas were also inserted here and there. The working title was Magnum Opus, but we decided to give it a less ostentatious title, as this was, after all, their first composition.