A Brief History of the Bell Band
In 1978 a young Joseph Pinson,
director of music at the Denton
State School, discovered that
there was a set of handbells
locked in a closet in the
education complex.  They had
unwritten instructions that
included, "Do let anyone touch
these", "They cost a lot of
money", "They are very fragile",
etc.  Not being one to pay much
attention to such instructions,
Mr. Pinson asked for permission
to use the handbells.  Someone
in authority said, "I didn't even
know we had bells.  Go for it."
Pinson was fortunate to have
the young Dennis Schurter as
his supervisor.  Dr. Schurter
provided very positive support
for the music programs, and he
encouraged the formation of a
handbell choir.  He was a very
patient person, as he watched
Pinson set about looking for
ways to allow the students to
make music with the bells.  It
was at least two or three years
before the bell choir finally
played a tune that Schurter
recognized.  They went on to
introduce handbells at the state
music festivals, where no one
else had them.  In a few years
every state school in Texas
was playing handbells.  The
bells that were once silent had
found their place.