Friday, October 24, 2014

Are Your Ears Ringing?

Well, they will be now!

If you've been a follower for awhile, you might remember me talking about my experiences in a handbell choir.  I was feeling nostalgic today, so I looked up some of my favorite bell pieces.

First up is "Variations on Madrid" (also known as "Savior, When in Dust to Thee").  It uses almost every technique in the book (except maybe suspended mallets, mallet lifts and a tower swing).

Another of my favorites is "Fantasy on Hyfrydol" (also known as "Love Divine All Love Excelling).  Known for the part where almost every bell rings and then goes into a tower swing.  It is also one of my favorite melodies in the hymnal.

This last one is a piece we did at contest my junior year at high school and it is absolutely gorgeous.  It is called "Soliloquy for Bells."  It has a bit of a story behind it.

My sophomore year of high school, the freshman choir director convinced the Ladies Auxiliary to buy the school a five octave set of handbells (so we wouldn't have to borrow a local church's set for Christmas).  When you ring in a handbell choir, it is very hard to cover if a person is absent because it takes the whole choir to make a song so after the first year, I was designated the extra "floater" because I can sight read music without a problem and I filled in for anyone who was missing. Well, we showed up to contest and we were missing two ringers.  We had to start because you have designated time slots so we had to do our best to absorb the missing person (since we had one extra person, not two).  We still did well on the song and made it to State.

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