Metropolitan United Church

Handbells & Handchimes Program

Currently we are on hold due to the pandemic. We are looking forward to being able to get back to regular rehearsals when we are able to do so!


During our time away from being able to rehearse I gave some thought as to what we might be able to do to still play handbells. I decided to deliver handbells to each person's home and then provide some music and recordings to use to rehearse.

If you are interested in finding out more click the link: Bells@Home

Jubilate Bells performing just before Christmas

Handbells at Metropolitan

Handbells have been an active part of the life of Metropolitan United Church in London Ontario since the early 1990s. There are a number of handbell groups at Metropolitan, however the main performing ensemble is the Jubilate Bells. This group is made up of musicians from teenagers to adults who all enjoy making music with handbells. Other groups at the church are the Jubilate Quartet, QII, The Impello Bells and the Wee Ringers.

The handbell program at Metropolitan United Church was made possible by a donation from Millard (Mac) MacBain. The Jubilate Bells was the first group formed and they began their inaugural season in 1991, first under the direction of Barb Plante and then Jim Hill. The program really started grow when Marilyn and Brent Hylton came to Metropolitan. Brent was the new Director of Music and Marilyn became the Handbell Director. Marilyn and Brent later moved on to Pinnacle Presbyterian Church in Scottsdale Arizona. The music program at Metropolitan is now under the direction of Gregg Redner and the handbells program is directed by Rob Cairns.

Pandemic Recording - "OPHELIA" by Haleigh Paschink

During one of the lulls in the pandemic we were able to make a recording of an original piece. Haleigh Paschink played with us during her final year of high school and in her first year of university. She was able to stay for that second year because all of her courses at Queens University were online, so she was studying from her home in St. Thomas.

Toward the end of year she wrote "Ophelia", her first composition for handbells. The pandemic kept us from rehearsing it, so Haleigh never had the opportunity to hear it before attending classes in-person at Queens. When we were able to get back to rehearsing, we made this recording so that Haleigh could finally hear her piece!