A Summer ‘PINNACLE’ Tour

Published on Tuesday, 30 September 2014 00:07

A Summer ‘PINNACLE’ Tour


Here is a recap about the 2014 “Peak Tour” – written by Jeni Jonet 

The Twin Cities Bronze Peak Season Tour was an experience of ‘pinnacles.’ We saw Pinnacle-named banks, stadiums and streets through the states of Iowa, Nebraska, Wyoming and Colorado. We drove up ‘pinnacles’ in Estes Park and Rocky Mountain National Park. And the biggest ‘pinnacle’ for us was the culmination of the year we spent perfecting and performing a concert tour that left audiences impressed and even amazed.

The Area 11 Festival/Conference – Elevations!!! -  was a great event.

·         Twin Cities Bronze ringers taught 35 classes (12 before we performed the opening night concert on June 19)

·         We reconnected with old friends and made many new ones.

·         We learned new ideas, and shared many of our own to enhance bell ringing techniques and skills.

·         We gave hotel guests at the Embassy Suites Loveland a lovely wakeup call with handbells playing the Westminster chimes at 8 a.m.

·         We showed the festival attendees all the directions you can go with handbells, and some of them are not very traditional.

·         ‘The Kraken’ transcribed by Artistic and Music Director, Amy Maakestad, from the ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ gave everyone in the audience goosebumps.  Many of the younger audience members begged Amy to get it published.

·         Ringer Mark Anderson’s light show that he played on a computer tablet as the rest of the ensemble was ringing ‘Wizards in Winter’ brought down the house. It helped that the light tree in the corner was so tall, the star was tickling the banquet hall ceiling. 

Our journey wasn’t uneventful. In one week, we experienced temperatures from a chilly 37 degrees to a steamy 90-plus. We also heard snow thunder, rain thunder, passed by a grass fire, experienced humidity swings from drier than a roll of cotton to so muggy, we could eat the air, drove through hail piled deep enough on the road to create a splash zone and were uncomfortably close to the tornados that struck Pilger, NE on June 16. It just made us a stronger team of bell ringers, and gave us some interesting photos and stories to share.

Other than those stressful weather trials we had a ton of fun. Amy developed a new style of dance we fondly call the Shimmerjig. Our wonderful driver, schleper, videographer and many more titles, Bill Carlson, nicknamed the 15 passenger van White Fox with White Butt (referencing the large trailer we used to haul all of our equipment) and the follow up passenger vehicle Silver Streak. Many walkie-talkie conversations occurred using these call names during our 2,360 mile journey. And somehow during the week, we adopted the yak as our trip mascot, resulting in late-night literary challenges of creating yak haikus and limericks. It had nothing to do with handbells, but made the trip much more interesting.

Auditions are over.  We’re set!  We are now “Amy tested and approved.” Look out 2014-2015 - here we come!