The ARC English Hand Bell Choir began in 1985 when Founders Dixie Henrikson & Mary Schallert saw this special style of music performed in Missouri. Thanks to a grant from HR Textron in the San Fernando Valley, we purchased 24 hand bells. Originally, beginning by just learning one bell at a time, with practice and dedication our abilities grew and now we perform special music using 4 1/2 octaves—that’s 42 hand bells.
The purpose of the ARC Hand Bell Choir & the ARC Chime Choir is not only to provide artistic expression for the musicians but also to let the world know that people with developmental disabilities have many abilities; and that they are ready, willing and able to be part of the community. And each and every time we entertain, the Bell & Chime Ringers shine with success as they are recognized for their talents and contributions to the community.
The Hand Bell Choir has performed at many functions and for many groups for more than 20 years averaging about 60 public performances annually: The Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, Live on KCET TV at the LA County Holiday Celebration, Anaheim Stadium, for the Viking Charities, the Ronald McDonald Camp Good Times, LA City Council, the L.A. County Fair, Aquarium of the Pacific, Special Olympics Opening Ceremonies, NOHO Arts Festival, for Special Education Administrators, Teachers and Students, for Rotarians, Knights of Columbus, Optimists, the Elks, Order of Alhambra, Women’s Clubs, Garden Clubs, Churches, Schools, and local businesses.