December 2019

Concert at St Giles Church, Croxden, Friday 6 December 2019

For our last full team concert of the festive season, we had been invited to the tiny church at Croxden, just a few miles from Alton. It was beautifully decorated and had a huge Christmas tree beside the altar. It was also beautifully warm, a great bonus.

Because the church is so small, organising our tables was a bit like a jigsaw puzzle – we had to all fit together properly to get the picture (sound) right! We are usually in a wide horseshoe shape with the smallest bells at one end and the big bells (which need a lot of room) at the other, running chromatically. Here, to get the sound balance right, the smaller higher bells were positioned in front of the altar rail on one side, not exactly squashed, but very cosy; some of bass bells were on the other side with rather more room. The mid-range...

Christmas Carols at Shugborough Hall 2019

A lovely bright Saturday morning, not too cold, but better take plenty of layers as this afternoon we are playing at Shugborough Hall. Past experience tells us it will not be very warm and standing for a couple of hours ringing handbells the chill sets in.

Sue arrived first, only to discover at reception that they were not expecting us! A phone call to Wendy, whose phone was in the boot of the car, and then to myself, assured her that through lack of communication at Shugborough we definitely were booked to play today.

We arrived in plenty of time fortunately, as from the car park it is quite a way to the Mansion House; no buggy in sight, so best foot forward, carrying all our equipment and bells, we set off down the road. On arrival we were given a warm welcome and we set up our music stands...

Alton Handbell Ringers' Annual Christmas Concert in aid of The Donna Louise Trust

Saturday 30 November 2019 - Alton Village Hall


Alton Handbell Ringers Annual Christmas Concert in aid of The Donna Louise.


Guest artists  -The Something Good Singers.


Compere - Chris Mellor


What a bitterly cold night it was! Thankfully it did not deter our loyal audience who turned out to support this annual charity event, so the hall was full to capacity as usual.


The handbells started proceedings with a very seasonal Little Drummer Boy, complete with processional introduction and drum accompaniment. (thank you Callum!) This was followed by a spirited arrangement of La Réjouissance from the Handel's Fireworks Music. (Easier to play than to say!) Old favourites Berceuse from Fauré's Dolly Suite (the theme music to Listen with Mother for those old enough to remember) and Feed the Birds from Mary Poppins followed.


Next was our new piece, Michael Helman's original composition...