About Us

Jersey Jubilation Handbell Choir (JJHC)

JJHC is currently centered in Ridgewood, New Jersey, and is being hosted by the Ridgewood United Methodist Church. Members moving up from the predecessor choirs and ensembles have significant concert experience throughout the eastern US from Maine to Florida and as far west as Ohio and Ontario.

JJHC rings on two 5-octaves sets of Whitechapel English Handbells originally tuned using the analogue tuning system that was employed for years giving the Whitechapel Bells their distintive clarity and overtone sound. In addition to the Whitechapel instruments, JJHC also rings a 5-octave set of Suzuki hand chimes which most closely matches the tonal mosaic that the ensemble wishes to present.

JJHC selected this combination of these instruments in order to accomplish two goals in preenting their musical programs. The first is that Whitechapel bells are superb in allowing higher paced ringing when required to maintain lightness in the music(Ring of Fire had same conclusion).

The second goal is to allow interpretive changes in volume within any given arrangement. This requires that the ringers learn to modulate their playing techniques while handling the Whitechapel bells to give texture to the music as differentiated from the american versions of handbells which typically are set for a given sound by changing the clapper setting once prior to the start of the music selection.

Suzuki handchimes also are responsive to the same modulation techniques of the Whitechapel bells. The harmonic structures of both instrument sets are complimentary, thus giving cohesiveness in sound in the entire presentation.

Future Goals

Jersey Jubilation has two future objectives that they are seeking to achieve. First is to acquire their very own set of Whitechapel Bells. The second is to actually earn their way to England to personnaly visit the Whitechapel Bell Foundary and to present local concerts in appreciation of the beauty of Whitechapel Bells in concert form. If you can help, contributions are tax deductible. Contact us for ideas on how you can contribute!

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