On Palm Sunday, we were blessed with the Concordia University Handbell Choir playing a concert at PHLC as part of our Concert Series. Pacific Hills has had the privilege to hear our own beautiful handbells these last two years with our own Handbell Choir that was started. There has been a lot of work from the ensemble musicians to share the gift of handbell music with the congregation, especially with many musicians having never played handbells before!

Starting the Handbell Choir took more than just education, there were numerous other expenses incurred to start the Handbell Choir, such as gloves, mallets, tables, pads, and music. Fortunately, the largest expense (the handbells themselves) was already done 35+ years ago. New handbells would currently be over $30,000. With that, our handbells were aged and in great disrepair and needed a lot of work. Our musicians were dealing with numerous issues and workarounds when playing that made everything that much more difficult. In December 2022, we sent them to the manufacturers to be refurbished. This entailed cleaning, polishing, tuning, and replacing all hardware at a cost of about $5,000 (after a 10% discount), which is far cheaper than new handbells. Our handbells were just returned to us at the end of March, and they look brand new and are immensely improved! (See the picture below of one of the cases of the returned handbells.)

We are starting a campaign to raise funds to help supplement the costs of these necessary repairs and to help with future repairs and maintenance. Future maintenance would be about $4,000 every ten years to keep the handbells in operating condition and to prevent permanent damage. The Handbell Choir has been a great addition to the music at PHLC, bringing both adults and children together to ring! We hope to sustain and continue this as a regular part of the music at PHLC. Our goal is to raise at least $1,500 to help with the immediate costs we have incurred with the refurbishment, but we strive to exceed that to secure our future of beautiful Handbell Music at PHLC.

Please consider helping us with our campaign, every contribution helps! If you are interested in contributing to the Handbell Maintenance Campaign, please contact the office and Kim can assist you. If you have any questions about the handbells or are interested in joining the ensemble, please contact myself!

In Christ, Zach Hastings Director of Music

Zach Hastings, Director of Music at Pacific Hills Lutheran Church Zach Hastings is the Director of Music at Pacific Hills Lutheran Church in Omaha Nebraska

Zach studied organ performance at Iowa State University, where he earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Music in 2016. He has been an organist, bell choir director, and director of worship primarily in the central Iowa area. He continually seeks opportunities to grow as a musician through various conferences and seminars. Zach currently serves on the Central Iowa American Guild of Organists (AGO) Executive Committee, and on the American Guild of Organists Young Organists (AGOYO) National Board.