What a warm welcome from the WI at Kniveton on 23 September!

Here are some of the comments I recorded after our concert, while we were tucking in to a delicious buffet.

Mary: I thought it was absolutely fantastic.  Apart from the sound - the way that your bells match your scarves and the glitter; it’s lovely, the presentation.  But the tunes were wonderful.  I will say that my granddaughter plays the clarinet.  When I listen to her practising, she always has to finish with ‘Ode to Joy’ because it’s my favourite, so to hear that was wonderful.

Molly:  It’s the first time I’ve seen bell ringers and they’re absolutely fantastic.  Really, really good and I would love to see them again.

Ann:  I think they’re fantastic.  And they all look so smart together and looking so happy.  You’re happy with what you’re doing.

Be: I think it’s been a wonderful evening.  Years and years ago, I did learn bell ringing but it was nothing like as fantastic as now.  And, of course, you’re more sophisticated now than we ever were. A wonderful, wonderful evening.

Angela:  I think the evening has been fantastic.  Really thoroughly enjoyed it.  Fabulous sounds and we’ve actually managed to have a go at the bells and I’ve thoroughly enjoyed it.  Very, very good.

Jackie:  Amazing.  Amazing.  I especially liked the chimes; they were wonderful.  And when you do the combination of the two it’s stunning, stunning.

Helen:  I thought it was absolutely amazing. I just wanted to close my eyes and float away on something like a lullaby.  Just tremendous.

Sue Fraser

Magical sounds like tinkling streams of running water...

The HRGB National Residential Ringing Week Concert 2015:

Rowena and I were lucky enough to attend the grand finale of the week: a concert in Sheffield on the Friday night, in which Wendy took part.  As members of the audience, watching and listening to the performance that evening, we were immediately impressed with the professionalism of the ringers from beginning to end of each piece of music they played.

The dynamics of the musical items were impressive and made each piece stand out as poignant and sensitive, holding the audience spellbound from beginning to end.

The great diversity of bells and other instruments enriched the whole experience.  They ranged from enormous bass bells, which looked far too heavy to lift, never mind ring, to tiny bells, harmonious chimes, and delicate hanging wind chimes with magical sounds like tinkling streams of running water.

Mallets were used to sound the bells in some of the pieces, sending out soft, muted tones.  Mallets were also used on the table to produce hard beats. Sometimes bells were damped on the table and, in contrast, continuous, powerful and beautiful notes sounded out from bells held upright, as the ringers stroked the outer edges with short wooden poles; this method of ringing is called “ singing bells”. The result was amazing!  

Each of the three conductors that night was excellent and brought to the concert their own particular type of music from their own countries.

We thoroughly enjoyed the evening and were impressed that such a performance could be delivered after only five days of playing and practising together.


Residential Ringing Week

Five days of handbell ringing – what a fantastic experience. I have still got the nine pieces of music we played going round in my head.

I have just been on the National Residential Ringing Week in Sheffield, organised by Aidan Fozzard of HRGB, with ringers from around the UK.  We had the privilege of working with three conductors from around the world; Michael Glasgow from America, Emily Li from Hong Kong and Tim Willetts from England.  

60 handbell ringers spent the week rehearsing and socialising and performed the pieces in a concert on Friday evening.  Our pieces included What a Wonderful World, There is a Balm in Gilead and Shalom Chaverin. 

I have learned so much and enjoyed the fellowship of being with a big group of other ringers for five days and hope I can pass on some of the things I have learned to our team.