Handbell Director

This position is a part-time employee of the church and has no paid vacation or other benefits.

Primary Job Description:

The purpose of the Handbell Director is to use handbell music to lead others in worship and lead adult and youth handbell choirs and small ensembles in faith and fellowship.  The duties of the position require coordinating with many people.  Creativity and innovation are needed to engage many levels of talent.  This individual should consider the job as a ministry as well as a profession and have a love and passion for glorifying God through music and worship.  The Handbell Director will be able to  effectively teach people of all skill levels and lead with enthusiasm, with an eye toward expanding our current handbell program.


  • Advanced music knowledge and experience as a performing musician and ability to interpret a music score
  • Training and experience in conducting and ringing handbells
  • Experience with a variety of handbell music and ability to match the music to the capabilities of players and the group
  • Ability to teach the fundamentals of handbell ringing techniques
  • Ability to communicate effectively and professionally cooperate with a variety of age groups and skill levels
  • Knowledge of the essence of performance, individual differences in ability, personality and interests and learning and motivation techniques


In addition to the broader responsibilities of the position, the Handbell Director is also expected to carry out the following tasks:

  • Direct the rehearsals and performances of the adult and youth handbell choirs.  Rehearsals for the adult choir are weekly from mid-August through May.  Church performances at all services are usually each week.  Special music may be provided during the summer months or special worship occasions as directed such as Christmas, Living Last Supper and Easter.  This music, for example, may include Bells Only performances or Prelude and Anthem accompaniments.
  • Coordinate small ensemble performances such as solos, duets and trios.
  • Begin and end rehearsals on time.  Have schedule for practice to maximize effectiveness of time.  Ensure that the music and instruments are set out in advance of practices and performances.  Ensure that all equipment is stored properly.
  • Be available thirty minutes before or after rehearsal to answer questions and assist individuals with learning their music.
  • Recruit and train members for the handbell choirs.
  • Support new ringers by marking and rehearsing music and teaching ringing technique.
  • Aim for the highest degree of quality within the gifts of the ringers.
  • Work with the Pastor to arrange the yearly schedule for performances. Confer with the Pastor and/or Director of Music on a regular basis to integrate the bell program in planning worship services.  Coordinate Sunday and special services performances and worship themes with supervisor.
  • Attend staff meetings.
  • Plan and select music for all rehearsals and performances.
  • Develop schedule of performance music at beginning of each season.
  • Order music for the Handbell Choir.  Keep current with handbell publications and the periodic catalogs of publishing houses.  Select music that is both valuable in worship and engaging to the ringers. Ensure copyright laws are observed.
  • Maintain the handbell music library.
  • Submit a proposed Handbell Choir budget each year. Administer funds to purchase music, equipment and repairs in communication with supervisor.
  • Pursue activities as necessary to maintain and grow skills to perform the job such as participating in continuing education opportunities relating to handbells, church music, etc.  Maintain membership in the Handbell Musicians of America for education and resource material.
  • Keep current on handbell art form with new techniques, trends and styles in music and ringing.
  • Oversee maintenance of the handbells, handchimes and handbell equipment as needed to keep them in good condition and safe.  Understand the basic mechanical equipment construction for basic repairs and adjustments.
  • Communicate periodically with the congregation through newsletter articles and bulletin announcements regarding the handbell choirs and ringing opportunities.
  • Host occasional introductory handbell classes to teach non-ringers about handbells.
  • Open, close and secure (as necessary) the building for each rehearsal of the choirs.
  • As an outreach of the congregation, appearances outside of First Church are expected. Coordinate and conduct winter and spring performances at local care centers.  Coordinate and conduct other outside performances as directed.  Enlist helpers for transportation of equipment.
  • Supervise movement of any equipment on or off church property. Coordinate with church custodial staff to help setup table and bells for practice. In addition, custodial help can assist in loading bells for transfer to care centers.


The position will require approximately 40 – 55 hours per month.

Physical Demands:

Lifts up to 30 pounds several times each rehearsal and performance.  The main physical demands involve assisting choir and/or custodial staff in set-up and take-down of tables and other equipment related to rehearsals and worship participation and in transporting bells and equipment.

To Apply:

Submit your resume and cover letter to or mail to:
First United Methodist Church
406 West Phillip Ave.
Norfolk, NE 68701

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