Ring of Fire Alumnus Returns to Direct Handbells at Tualatin Valley Academy

April 06, 2016 | Rachel Blackburn

The bells have been silent at Tualatin Valley Academy (TVA) in Hillsboro, Ore., for 10 years, but this year they’re back.

Michael Blackburn, Ring of Fire member from 1997 to 1999 is directing TVA Bells, Tualatin Valley Academy’s handbell choir. Under Ring of Fire director Jason Wells’ tutelage, Blackburn learned to play handbells with excellence and from memory. He wants to teach the next generation of students to play handbells with the same level of passion and precision. He envisions the choir taking their expertise in a new direction, adding some contemporary music to their repertoire and utilizing videos as a performance medium.

This year there are nine students in the handbell choir. None of them had handbell experience prior to this year, so they are learning together. They are bonding and growing as a team through the challenges of learning to play a new instrument that depends on the entire group rather than one person. The group’s first performance will be at TVA’s spring concert on May 18 at 7 p.m. in the TVA gym.

Those interested in following the students’ progress can check in at tvabells.org or follow them on Facebook (Tualatin Valley Academy Handbells) or Instagram (tvabells). Come watch and see how God is moving in TVA’s handbell choir.