Bell choir members, left to right: Mary Galyon, Helen Noe, Mary Jenkins, Ethel Dalton, Susan Ramaglia and Louise Greer

On July 28, 2017, the resident hand bell choir from Ridgeview Terrace of Life Care in Rutledge, Tennessee, performed for the Grainger County Opry.

 

This marked the seventh year in a row that the musical group, called the Southern Belles, took part in this local talent show. The opry is part of the Grainger County Tomato Festival.

 

Six residents travel to different events and churches to share their hand bell talents, under the direction of Cliff Jestice, retired activity assistant.

 

“Cliff is a talented musician who has to rewrite the songs to make them compatible with the bells,” said Lisa Cabbage, activity director. “The bell choir is well known for their performances, and two of the ladies have played all seven years.”

 

The Southern Belles performed “You Are My Sunshine” and “America the Beautiful” this year.

 

“I like to watch everyone smile, and they smile and cheer when we play the bells,” said resident Helen Noe.

 

“It makes me happy because I love music and love to dance,” said resident Louise Greer. “It’s my way of dancing.”

 

Both residents are original members of the bell choir.

 

“It brings tears to my eyes when I see them perform and watch the crowd stand and clap for them,” said Cabbage.