The hall is decked, the guests arrive. Chris our Compère stands. The audience settles. We are ready. Let the magic begin!
Bells and Belles weave a web that binds us all into a single spellbound entity for the whole evening.
Songs of the ‘40s with their lovely catchy tunes, beautifully sung with energy and joy, by The Heath Belles, complemented by their stylish ‘40s costumes, transport us into a different era.
Techniques on bells and hand chimes (from huge to tiny) create effects that enrich the sound: singing bells, martellato, martellato lift, thumb damping, shelleying, malleting, suspended malleting, echoes, giro and ring touch are all deployed. Sonja’s beautiful flute accompanies "Ding Dong Merrily on High" and Callum’s drumming in “The West Indies Carol” helps to bring the Caribbean right into Alton.
Three months ago, we wondered if we would ever learn the combination of bell techniques Wendy planned for us to use. On Saturday, we ‘wowed’ even ourselves!
Ready for traditional pie, peas, trifles and fruit salad, audience and musicians form an orderly queue and a buzz of chatter fills the hall before Julie Beeston reports the latest exciting developments at the Donna Louise trust, where the long planned home-from-home for young people over 18 is due to be up and running in the Spring.
Christmas now takes over and seasonal music fills the hall, reminding us that we are there, not only to enjoy ourselves, but to help others in need. The wonderful support from everyone present enables us to give over £1,000 to the Donna Louise Trust this year. We cannot thank you all enough.
Sue Fraser 10.12.18
NB information on the various bell techniques can be found at www.handbellworld.com