Handbell Director
B.J. Bruning Handbell
Choir Director

B. J. Bruning is a social worker who is currently working as an Applications Systems Analyst on a contract with the Indian Health Service. Her avocation is music and, in particular, handbells and choir chimes.

B. J.ís first music teacher was her mother who started her on the cornet at the age of six. The Carr family, including B. J., was actively involved in the ministry and music of The Salvation Army. She attended two weeks of music camp every summer from the age of six through eighteen and then worked on staff for several more years.

B. J. has played brass instruments, primarily trombone, with many different Salvation Army and school bands. For example, during her first year of college she was playing with the Carr Family Band, the Marion Ohio Salvation Army Band, the Salvation Armyís Swoneky (South West Ohio, North East Kentucky) Youth Band, Asbury College Salvation Army Student Fellowship Band, and the Asbury College band and orchestra. She has traveled extensively throughout the United States and Canada with these bands and has performed in Carnegie Hall on two occasions.

B. J.ís interest in handbells began when she and her daughter decided to join the handbell choir at Faith Lutheran Church in Mount Vernon, Ohio. The unique sounds of the handbells struck a chord and quickly became a focus of her musical abilities, eventually leading to positions as handbell choir director in Midland, TX and Albuquerque, NM. With her move to Tucson in September, B J was looking forward to playing bells but has accepted the position of director once again.

In explaining how she arranges music for the bell choirs, B. J. stated that she has to identify the specific skill levels of the individual members, consider the equipment available, and then coordinate the selections with the scripture readings for the day. She believes that playing in the handbell choir should be enjoyable as well as being an opportunity to make a joyful noise unto the Lord.