Music Made in Heaven Fall 2020 (Vol. 8)
Responding to the Challenges of COVID-19
How can Music Made in Heaven maintain and even strengthen our bonds of shared purpose, memories, music and friendship that have blossomed over the many years we have been ringing together? How can we stay connected with our supporters and performance sponsors?
Like many of you during these challenging times, we have been going through a process of accepting, letting go and then opening up to new possibilities.
Accepting or being able to say, “Right now, it’s just like this!” was very different when we started meeting via Zoom most every Monday night, our regular rehearsal evening, on April 6. At that time, many ringers were hoping to resume this fall. We enjoyed ample time for check-ins and Zoom “sneak peeks” at outdoor fire pits, sundecks and various interiors for 18 Mondays until the end of August. We were able to include former members Betty Godwin, now in Texas and Jerry Schweitzer, now in Pennsylvania.
Unfortunately, our annual participation in Sunday morning worship at First Baptist Church, our spring gig at Duke Hospital, and our 16th annual Gathering concert in May were all cancelled.

Letting go of our unrealistic hopes of resuming fall rehearsals accelerated as time went on. First Baptist Church where we rehearse remains closed; our traditional kick-off pizza dinner/business meeting took place virtually.

Now we are opening up to new possibilities by embracing technology to safely share our handbell music. Starting on September 14, our Monday night meetings on Zoom have included rehearsal instructions so that we could become a virtual ensemble!

We are jumping over many hurdles to create content that we can share in the digital realm:
  • For each piece to be recorded, she creates and emails to each ringer a “click track,” which is an mp3 music file that provides the beat and the tune for the ringers to follow.
  • Each ringer is responsible for setting up the foam pads, music, bells, etc., practicing at home and then recording a video of themselves ringing their own part on a smartphone while wearing headphones to listen to and ring along with the click track.
  • Then each ringer uploads their recording to “Technology Central” (Sterling and Trish Smith), who perform technological magic to synchronize the final product into a video of all of our ringers, each in their own “box” on the screen ringing their own individual bells. The corresponding audio sounds like the whole ensemble is ringing together in the same room – think “The Brady Bunch” or “Hollywood Squares,” only with ringers in each box, ringing in their own homes … combined to create a virtual ensemble!!!!!
We hope you enjoy our first virtual offering: “Celebration No. 2 in Eb" from "Five Easy Celebrations" by Michael R. Keller ©1993 Agape (a division of Hope Publishing Co., Carol Stream, IL 60188). All rights reserved. Used by permission. Reprinted under license #PS100820-1.

Finally, we know that our physical separation from each other and from you, our beloved audience of supporters, will be temporary so long as we all stay safe and well! And we all know that our music and our memories also keep our cherished children alive in our hearts.
Follow Us On Social Media
We’ll continue to post new pieces to our YouTube channel and Facebook page as our virtual ensemble works together to share our music with you. So please “subscribe” to us on YouTube and “like” us on Facebook.
We Remember ...
The motive for creating Music Made in Heaven was to remember our children who have died and to allow their memories to provide beauty for others through music. They are the focus of what we do.

In the last two years, we have become even more deliberate in the effort to remember our children individually: at rehearsal, we remember those with birthdays that week by reading their bell inscriptions and ringing their individual bells. In the summer when rehearsal is not held, emails are sent to the ringers on the specific birthdays so that every child is remembered.

As we recognized each person on their special day, there was always the thought of “we wish we knew more about him/her.” So, in January of this year, we began to offer parents the option of telling us more – special memories, personality characteristics or anything that was meaningful to them. This is not something easily done as it brings back the loss experienced then, up through the present.

These responses are read along with the bell inscriptions, followed by the ringing of their bells.

Some examples of responses we have received include:
These responses are being digitally archived so that we have a permanent memory of the children for whom our bells have been donated.

The names on the bells now have additional meaning for us, creating a more personal connection. Even though our rehearsals were stopped in March by COVID-19, our birthday remembrances continue. On each birthday, an email is sent to the family members and the ringers, and it includes the inscription and any memories shared. We do, indeed, remember.
You Can Help
We greatly appreciate all financial contributions as they help us offset costs for
insurance on the bells, the purchase of music and auxiliary equipment, printing and communication, and upkeep of our website.
Gifts for Special Occasions

One gift that fits all is a donation to Music Made in Heaven in honor of someone or in memory of a loved one. A beautiful certificate can be sent to the recipient letting them know of your thoughtful gift. Whether it’s a birthday, anniversary, holiday gift or just a thoughtful gesture, email your request to or call 919-373-0103.

For more ways to donate, please visit our website and don’t forget to choose Music Made in Heaven as your donation recipient when shopping IGive and Amazon Smile.
As always, thank you for your support!
Music Made in Heaven is a registered 501(c)(3) organization. All donations are fully tax deductible to the extent allowed by law.