Yes…”123…I love handbells” is the accepted way to take a bow. This is what we did after a successful and very enjoyable evening at Wolstanton United Reform Church where we performed with the excellent Not Strictly Barbershop singers on Saturday November 19th.
We arrived at the church on a very cold November evening (note to team..wear vests to all performances) and performed a number of our favourite arrangements. Some of the more haunting melodies (‘Somewhere Over The Rainbow,’,‘The Rose’, ‘Sakura’, ‘ Brother James’ Air ‘) filled the church, which has such good acoustics. I think the beautiful sounds even surprised us! Members of the audience were quite moved…
“A lovely calm and relaxing sound…”
“Something really beautiful and different…” were some of the kind comments. Everyone agreed that we’d done a good job (“best handbells I’ve heard!” was an accolade from one gentleman.)
We were joined in the concert by the choir, who sang a variety of entertaining and varied songs in amazing harmony without accompaniment. Helped, of course by “the techno wizard with his little gadget.” Members of the audience and all of the performers will know how vital this was to their performance.
The second half picked up pace with the singers performing ‘The Lion Sleeps Tonight,’ the James Bond’ theme and ‘Hey Big Spender’ (complete with bright red feather boas which enthusiastically shed their feathers around the church as they sang!) We played music which demonstrated the range of musical effects and tones it is possible to achieve using handbells, including the use of the mallets in’ I’ve got the Joy’. It was great!
We rounded off our performance to match the upbeat mood with a Proms night theme which included the ’ Toreador’s Song’ and finally ’ Land of Hope and Glory’ to which choir and audience sang and waved flags enthusiastically. It was a wonderful and rousing ending to a special evening, which was thoroughly enjoyed by everyone (including us!) All the practice had been worthwhile (although the vicar said that we need to smile more. Oh dear .. must try harder with this then, although as a relative beginner to the team I know how hard you have to concentrate, and a smile as well???)
Many thanks to Wendy for guiding us with such patience, and to Sarah who both conducted the choir and played in the handbells team.
What a privilege it is to be able to make such lovely music with so many other people. So when we take our bow, we really DO mean…
123… we love handbells!
By Lynne Croxall