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Your Chicago: Chicago Bronze Handbell Choir

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The Chicago Bronze handbell choir (CBS)

The Chicago Bronze handbell choir (CBS)

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CHICAGO (CBS) — There is nothing like the sound of a handbell choir, especially at this time of year.

CBS 2’s Kate Sullivan introduces us to one of Chicago’s finest handbell choirs: Chicago Bronze.

It only takes half an hour to transform a rented church hall into rehearsal space for 13 dedicated musicians. Their instrument: the handbell.

Their group, Chicago Bronze, has been around for a decade and has been travelling the state, delighting audiences with their gorgeous music.

They don’t get paid. They do it because they love it.

“It’s the highlight of my week,” says Amy Calderone, who has 21 years of bells under her belt.

For each song, she shifts, changing bells and changing notes.

Learning the nuances of all the different bells takes time. One of them weighs 15 pounds.

Mastering the art of handling the handbell — or two — is not easy.

Fred Snyder says it’s the teamwork and the pure joy that it produces that keeps this small but dedicated group coming back year after year to do what they do best.

“A lot of people compare handbells to happiness. They imagine that when you ring a bell it makes you feel good,” Snyder says.

Most Chicago Bronze performances are free. Click here for more information.

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