Annual Diocesan Bell Ringing Exposition in Ann Arbor, MI
With the blessing of Bishop Peter of Cleveland, Administrator of the Diocese of Chicago & Mid-America, the Third Annual Diocesan Bell Ringing Exposition took place at St. Vladimir parish in Ann Arbor, MI October 24-25, 2009. The weekend began on Saturday afternoon with a bell ringing clinic led by Reader Alexander Kallaur. Reader Alexander has many years of experience ringing the bells in the large bell tower of Holy Trinity Monastery in Jordanville, NY and his presence added much value for all involved. Each of the gathered teams was able to practice their ringing technique under the watchful eye of Reader Alexander and receive specific instructions and suggestions on their approach to the Russian style of bell ringing. At the evening service on Saturday night many of the teams had the opportunity to practice their rings in the context of the Divine Services, the context in which the bells are meant to be rung. Both the parish set of bells were rung, as well as a set of bells struck in Voronezh, Russia and sent from Blagovest Bells in California specifically for the weekend’s activities.
On Sunday again the various teams of ringers had the opportunity to ring the bells in the context of the Divine Services, and the ringing was frankly spectacular. The parish church’s parishioners and neighbors have rarely been privy to such beautiful ringing! Following the Divine Liturgy and a light meal the teams gathered at the parish bell tower to commence the competition portion of the exposition. The rings of the various teams were judged by the parish Deacon, Fr. John Feloniuk, the parish Starosta, Karl (Mercurius) Meyer, and Reader Alexander Kallaur. After the first round of rings two teams stood out as exemplary and these two teams advanced to the final round. After the ringing of the final round the judges were virtually deadlocked, and only after much deliberation was the team from St. Vladimir Parish of Angelina Noll, Ksenia Kashchenko, and Gabriella Meyer judged to be the winners. We congratulate the winning team and all the participants in the weekend’s activities and hope, with God’s help, that events such as these will increase the number of bells and bell ringers in our diocese. Finally, we thank all who made the weekend such a success, laboring anonymously for the glory of God.
Pictures of the weekend’s activities can be found here: