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 Reverie. This piece  captures the true essence of the handbell idiom and displays the full range of our bells and chimes, and it was much appreciated by the audience.

Ending the first half was Tomoko Kanzaki's arrangement of Takeda Rhapsody, a fascinating piece in the Japanese style, employing many different interesting handbell techniques.


The Something Good Singers, a lively group of performers based in Doveridge, took to the stage next and the audience were taken back to the 1960's with a nostalgic selection of all time favourites. They were ably led on the keyboard and guitar by Peter Dixon and sensitively accompanied on drums.The group's energy and enthusiasm had the audience singing along with them.


The traditional Pie and Pea Supper followed. Congratulations to the caterers who did us proud with a delicious meal. Thanks also to the ladies of the bell team who provided some delicious trifles and fruit salads.


The raffle was drawn and many prizes were claimed including a superb Christmas hamper.

Rowena Dawson, representing The Donna Louise, gave an update on the hospice and expressed her gratitude to all those who contributed to the success of the evening and for the fantastic efforts made not only at this concert but throughout the year. Total for the concert was £1,374. 


The Something Good Singers started off the second half with some more toe tapping songs from the past and Alton Handbell Ringers finished off with a selection of Christmas items including a beautiful arrangement by Susan Nelson of Still Still Still.


To complete the evening the audience joined the singers and ringers in a rousing rendition of White Christmas.


What a splendid evening's entertainment. Just the thing to get one in the Christmas spirit! Well done to all those involved in any way.