The Crusader Bells of Pacific Beach Presbyterian Church was founded in
1969 and was one of the first hand bell choirs established in San
Diego. Initially it began as a musical outlet for junior and senior
high school students. This ringing experience started with two octaves
of Schulmerich Hand bells, directed by Judy Whiles. Today, the group
rings 5+ octaves of bells and has added 6 octaves of Marlmark Choir
chimes. The repertoire available to the Crusaders with all of these bells
and chimes ranges from Bach to pop to jazz.
Thirteen ringers, many starting as 12 years-old, with many years
of experience enjoy making beautiful music together. Playing hand
bells requires commitment (it’s hard to replace a ringer),
teamwork (everyone must work together), a strong arm (bells weigh
from a few ounces to 9+ lbs.), and a sense of humor. The Crusader
Bells play monthly at church services, give two concerts each year
and perform for weddings, special holiday services and for private
organizations. If you would like to book the Bells for your next
event, please see our contact information listed below.
Past performances include the Holiday Pops Concert with the San Diego
Symphony, Christmas on the Prado at Balboa Park, La Jolla Candlelight
Ball, the San Diego Hospice, and live on Channel 7 Easter Sunday.