The last lunchtime concert of 2015 was presented by the St Mary and St Giles Handbell Ringers, all festively attired and decorated for the appreciative audience.
We were treated to ‘While shepherds watched their flocks by night’ and, after some intricate and complex bell swapping – some team members couldn’t be there – the gentle tune, ‘O little town of Bethlehem’ continued our contemplation of the Christmas story.
After ‘On Christmas Night’, accompanied by much merry humming from the ringers and audience, Joe Laredo played two pieces on the piano from Liszt’s Christmas Tree Suite: In Dulci Jubilo and Evening Bells. The first composition was joyful and vigorous and the second really evoked the chimes and changes of bells ringing. Another welcome performance from Joe.
The sparkle and tinsel of Christmas came alive in ‘Deck the halls with boughs of holly’ and then the St Mary and St Giles School handbell ringers beautifully and clearly performed ‘We Three Kings’. Magical renditions of ‘As with gladness’ and Silent Night’ followed – how talented these young performers are and it was wonderful to see both ringing groups playing so well together.
At such a busy time of year for the handbell ringers, it was lovely to be part of their jolly repertoire encapsulating the excitement, anticipation and happiness of Christmas time.
As always, many thanks go to Lesley for organising and conducting and to the tea servers who give their time so generously.
By Andrea Hearne, photos by Richard Hearne