The Zion English Hand Bell Choir of Imperial’s Zion Lutheran Church is organizing a hand bell festival this Saturday. About 45 are expected, with a public performance planned that evening. (Courtesy photo)

Saturday performance planned after day of hand bell rehearsing

    More than 45 hand bell ringers from western Nebraska and northwest Kansas will meet in Imperial this Saturday for the first-ever Southwest Nebraska Hand Bell Festival.
    The festival is being organized by the Zion English Hand Bell Choir of Zion Lutheran Church of Imperial as part of the church’s year-long celebration of its 100th anniversary.  
    Festival participants will spend the day rehearsing and give a public performance in the evening.
    Zion’s Hand Bell Choir has participated in the Southern Colorado Hand Bell Festival in Colorado Springs, Colo., for the last few years. While always a valuable experience, the time, distance and expenses required to attend the festival are high, said Joel Grosbach, Zion’s hand bell choir director.
    The idea came about to host a festival in Imperial, he said, to provide this valuable experience to area hand bell choirs.
    Ringers from Imperial, Sidney, Ogallala, Stratton and Bird City, Kan., will participate in the festival. Grosbach will serve as director.
    The festival bell choir will rehearse and perform arrangements of well-known hymns, such as “Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing” and “Praise to the Lord, the Almighty.”
    The public is invited to attend the festival performance at 6:30 p.m. Saturday at St. Patrick’s Parish Hall on Broadway in Imperial.
    A free will offering will take place to help defray festival expenses. Contact Zion Lutheran Church at 308-882-5655 for more information.

The Imperial Republican

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622 Broadway St

PO Box 727

Imperial, NE 69033