The Church handbell ringers hosted the second of a series of Third Thursday at Twelve-Thirty concerts, and invited the SMSG School Orchestra to play a few pieces too, with Lesley Salter conducting both groups. As the children settled down to eat their packed lunches, the bells began to chime a lovely selection of tunes, from unfamiliar melodies to popular songs and pieces. My Grandfather’s Clock, Bobby Shaftoe and What shall we do with the drunken sailor? were among those which encouraged the audience to sing along.
The ringers themselves had a great sense of cheerfulness throughout the concert, with lots of smiling and laughter which created a very uplifting atmosphere. When the orchestra’s turn to play came it was apparent that their first performance of the school year had been eagerly anticipated, and the three pieces they played were well received. They began with the short but confident English Tune, then the slightly harder Swinging Blues. Lastly, the hardest of the three was introduced enthusiastically by the children as SMSG Rocks! All three pieces were played really well, considering how they were new to every member at the beginning of term.
There was a yummy selection of home baked buns along with tea, coffee and juice available and the handbells finished off the concert with Trumpet Voluntary. During the concert they also played Triumphal Fanfare, Strawberry Fair, Mango Walk, Nursery Chimes and Schubert Waltz.
There were some lovely comments from the audience afterwards. “Glad they came”, “Nice sound”, “Liked to hear the children play” and “Good to have young people there to listen and perform” were just a few of them. One person especially remarked upon the obvious good camaraderie and that the ringers looked like they were enjoying themselves. Someone also said “I am a fan of the bells because they make me feel uplifted!”
Overall, it was a really enjoyable concert, which raised £41.44 for the Organ Fund.
Eleanor Page (Photos by Eleanor Page and John Page)