Our Handbell Program
First Presbyterian Church has an active Handbell program, with four Handbell Choirs, including a Youth Program and a Child’s Choir. The church is always looking for members to join our program. Church membership is not a requirement.
Recently, our Music Director commission a Handbell piece in honor of those who participate in the church’s music program. The title of the piece is “Psalm 23” and was composed by Mathew Prins. This piece premiered during our 10:30 a.m. worship on Sunday, November 6, 2016.
More about Matthew Prins
Matthew Prins is currently director of handbells at two Chicago-area churches: First Congregational Church of Glen Ellyn, where he directs a multi-generational handbell choir, and Park Ridge Presbyterian Church, where he directs an adult handbell choir. Previously, Matthew was the director of the Bells of Dundee at First Congregational Church of Dundee in West Dundee, Ill. and director of handbells at Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church in Richmond, Va. Matthew is one of only approximately 125 handbell directors nationwide to receive AGEHR Level I Director Certification.
In addition to his directing, Matthew is an active composer of handbell music — with nearly 60 pieces in-print or accepted for publication, the 34-year-old Matthew is one of the most published handbell composers under the age of 40. Matthew was the winner of the 2005 Bells of the Sound Competition Contest for his Russian-themed piece “Comrades, Haste! Faster the Steel Press,” winner of the 2011 FebFest Composition Contest for his work “Pax,” and honorable mention in the 2006 SoundPrint Handbell Composition Contest for his work “The Sublime Numbers.” Matthew is also one of the few specialists in long-form handbell compositions: His four-movement “Die vier Städte von Südliechtenstein” was premiered by renowned handbell soloist Michèle Sharik in 2008, his 10-minute Christmas work “The World in Solemn Stillness Lay” was premiered by the Austin Handbell Ensemble in 2006, and his 12-movement, 27-minute opus “The London Underground” (for handbells, handchimes, string orchestra, and piano) will be published in 2011.
Matthew lives in the northern Chicago suburbs with his wife, son, and daughter.