There are many musically talented people in the world that can entertain us. Last night I had the opportunity to attend a "Legacy" concert by Kathie Fink and I can tell you not only is Kathie very talented, she has the ability to move people in a very special way. I know how difficult it is to "Be up" every concert for long stretches. It can get to you. Kathie is playing her last concert tonight after being gone for a month and she still was on top of her game. It was such a pleasure to witness her grace and ease of motion as she played and arranged bells with such precision. As an older musician I really liked the media she used to give the concert goers a sense of how it was to actually "Be there" at the beginning of Hand Bell ringing in the USA.
The Fink family adapted as they progressed through this process. We sometimes forget what had to be learned and shared so that we can now go to a workshop and be taught the various ways to play bells.
So Kathie, I thank you for a wonderful evening of song and a pouring out of your spirit upon us in attendance. I will not forget the way you made me feel and what I know you will continue to share with others. Your legacy will be there for all to see for years to come because you not only played but you taught. That is a valuable and rare combination. If you get a chance to go to a Kathie Fink concert, please do so knowing that it will be a very special time. One couple traveled over 300 miles just to be in Indy last night.
Duane Wallin
Resurrection Lutheran Church
Indianapolis, IN
October 10, 2008
I was really pleased with her "blended" presentation, of Video clips of her family (father, mother, siblings) playing at various venues in the 1960s. What a wonderful history lesson of ringing at that time. By the end of the evening, one felt that one had a real personal acquaintance with the Fink family. She also blended her "live" performance with the video clips. She used lovely recorded accompaniment on some pieces, and "live" grand piano accompaniment played beautifully by her sister-in law Sharon Fink giving the ear a pleasing variety of sounds and textures. Very complex table settings, but played with ease, fluidity, and grace.
Cordetta Valthauser
September 27, 2007
We were thrilled/privileged/blessed to have Kathie stay at chez-Kastner and perform a total of THREE renditions of her Legacy tour. The first two were "advertised" and the third was impromptu - this morning - for a 94-year old couple - family friends who couldn't make the other concerts.
And all I can say is "WOW"!! Kathie is as fluid and musical as I've ever heard. We had a small but appreciative crowd at both concerts and the comments were all compliments! Her musicality and interweaving of her family handbell legacy into her presentation was a true thing of beauty! And what a legacy. Sharon, Kathie's sister-in-law, was a fabulous accompanist on TWO keyboards (the piano and the laptop) :-) Kathie said it herself, and I will paraphrase: Other solo ringers could have performed these songs, but no one has these videos which show her family using "modern" ensemble techniques back in the 60's on black-and-white television.
Well, Kathie, I take issue - others could indeed have performed the songs, but not with the grace and musicality that you do. And INDEED, we in the solo/ensemble handbell world are all in debt to that groundwork you and your family laid for the rest of us to follow. Kathie's opening - Green Hills of Tyrol (Rossini) was a fabulous opener where she plays "with" the video of the Fink family performing so many years ago. My personal fav was "How Great Thou Art" - lots of passion and musical "meat". Her closing, "Prayer Medley" was the very spirit and soul of handbell ringing at its finest. Thank you for bringing this show across the country and for stopping in Broomfield, CO to bless us with your talents and gifts!!!
Michael Kastner
April 3, 2007
It was a treat for us to have Kathie Fink -- and Sharon -- in Denton last Tuesday evening as they shared with us their artistry and musicianship -- AND a great glimpse into Handbell History! The Fink Family has certainly given us ALL a great LEGACY!! Our audience ranged from young CHIME players to Church musicians of all ages, and included members of Concert Bells of Fort Worth and Cast of Bronze.
Carol Lyn Mizell
Music Director
First United Methodist Church
Denton, Texas
March 11, 2007
On behalf of the Ponca City Area Handbell Festival committee I would like to thank you so much for offering to share your solo ringing with our group. They were truly enthralled. Your skill and grace are incredible. Several members of the audience that came mentioned that they never imagined that something like that could be done. God has truly blessed you with a rare talent, and I certainly wish His blessings on your tour and continued work in the field of handbells.
Stan Hoffmeyer
Chairman of the Planning Committee
March 3, 2007
Everyone loved it! Even those who have nothing to do with handbells remarked on the interesting history segments. And, of course, they were all amazed at Kathie's talent. Favorite expression was, "How does she remember where all the bells are so she can pick up the right one?" I have never seen an audience sit so quietly mesmerized by music and musician. She received a standing ovation. If this tour comes anywhere near you, don't miss it. Kathie and Sharon are easy to work with, a lot of fun, and her web site has everything you need to generate publicity for the event. It was a great Sunday afternoon!
Marcy Hontz
Scottsdale, AZ
Feb. 18
The concert amazed me with its blend of video clips clearly showing how our art has developed, leading into her playing. Great history lesson, great program and of course great playing. Please don't pass up a chance to see this tour!
Cyndy Patterson
Tintinnabulation, Medford, OR
Sunday, January 21
Kathie was in Napa last night. I came away from the concert emotionally drained! I laughed. I cried. I laughed some more. And cried again. In between, there were goosebumps, "Aha!" moments, knowing nods. In her blog Kathie reported after one concert: One retired pastor said, "I worshiped today". Don't deprive yourself!
Conni Shellhorn
Napa CA
Saturday, January 27
I was amazed that people reported on Kathie's Tuesday concert before I had a chance to rave about her Monday concert, but, alas, I just haven't had time until now. WOW! That about sums it up.
Kathie was unbelievable. Her combination of skill and elegance is mesmerizing. The show oozes creativity in concept, production and performance. Although we didn't get to have Michèle play along on I Left My Heart in SF, we were treated to PL Grove joining Kathie on the Minute Waltz; they timed their live portion perfectly with the video. And let's not forget Sharon and her great work as an accompanist and chime ringer.
The final piece, Prayer Medley, had me in tears. I know that piece touched many, but especially a dear friend of mine who is 90+ years old; she told me that she lived in Seattle many years ago and had known the woman who wrote the words to one of the prayers (I can't recall which one--sorry).
The crowd was super--somewhere between 150 and 200. And, it was all caught on tape so there is hope for those of you who can't see it live. With 40+ concerts to choose from, though, I think most bell lovers will find a way to get to one (or two or three).
Patti TenBrook
Director, Harmonikos
St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church
Pleasant Hill, CA
Member, Canto Bello
Member, Sonos
Monday, January 29
In lieu of having rehearsal tonight, my bell choir chose to see Kathie Fink since she was "in the area." It was certainly a very nice concert, and implore that if the concert tour stops in your neighborhood, take the time to see her play. You won't regret it. She is absolutely amazing to watch. The historical family videos are entertaining in their own right. There are also some clips of her duet experiences with P.L. Grove - WOW! - especially the "Minute Waltz." Heck, as much as she played "Jesu Joy" tonight at "learning" tempo, I'm jealous of those who will get to see & hear it at "performance" tempo down the road. We were also treated to a very sentimental duet of her & current Sonosian, the L's own Michele Sharik, in an appropriate setting of "I Left My Heart in San Francisco." I say "appropriate" as Kathie will be moving from the Golden State to the Bluegrass State (Kentucky) later this year. I was able to snap some shots of tonight's concert. You can find them in the "Photos" section at:
Very nice concert tonight, Kathie, and congratulations on a wonderful handbell career.
Wil Mandac
Director, Los Altos Lutheran Church Rejoicing Ringers (CA)
Bay Bells/LDZ - San Francisco Bay Area
If Kathie Fink is playing a concert anywhere within driving distance to you, you owe it to yourself to go. You MUST go. This is an event of historical importance. You will laugh (and not just at the hairstyles!); you will cry; you'll come away with an appreciation of just how far our art form has come in the last 40 years; and perhaps be inspired by visions of how far our art form can go. This is not just hype. Kathie and her family are responsible for a lot of what we take now for granted: bells in keyboard order; keyboard order from the perspective of the performer rather than the conductor; including other instruments with handbells; solo ringing in general. Mike Kastner told me that Kathie taught him how to solo ring - and look what he's done with it! STEP & SEE.
Kathie is a founding member of Sonos. Sonos has played with all sorts of orchestras and even with the Kronos Quartet.
The Fink Family has had an amazing influence on our art! I went to her concert in Cupertino tonight. I had the honor and privilege of playing with her on the 2nd half of "I Left My Heart in San Francisco" - and like she commented, trying to coordinate the two of us was a lot like massed ringing! LOL!
I also really enjoyed seeing the video of Kathie and PL ringing back in the early '80s! Anyway, GO SEE HER CONCERT - you will NOT be disappointed.
Michèle Sharik
San Francisco Bay Area, CA
Handbell Solo Artist |
Just a quick note to report on the fantastic concert Kathie Fink gave at Concordia University on Tuesday, Feb. 6. She is an incredible musician. The music seems to come from her heart and flow through her body, arms and castings. It was truly beautiful. Kathie creates a unique sound with her bells. The video clips and fully orchestrated accompaniment tapes certainly added much to the effect and honor given to her father and entire family. Sharon did a super job at piano and handchimes.
Please try to see her if she is anywhere near your area. You will be very happy you made the effort.
Nancy Jessup, Adjunct Professor of Concordia University, Irvine, California