On a sunny and warm day of 21 July, we were treated to a bright and welcoming concert by the Handbell ringers. ‘Nursery Chimes’ sent us into a world of lullabies, rhymes and much loved children’s tunes.
‘Bobby Shaftoe’ followed on, the last verse being especially melodic – a skillful performance from the musicians. ‘Hallelujah, sing to Jesus’ was next, a pacy rendition to which the audience members spontaneously hummed along.
‘Shortening Bread’ showed how well the hand bells are suited to popular, well remembered tunes.
The Largo from The New World Symphony was a delicate version of this classic, showing lightness of touch. In contrast was The Cancan: no-one took up the invitation to dance, but humming continued with renewed force as the French 1840s Music Hall scene was evoked!
Jacob Collins joined in ‘The Church’s One Foundation’, the organ providing magnificent accompaniment for this specially written handbell piece: it sounded as though a choir were singing too. A lovely performance of a well loved hymn.
Jacob then played an organ solo, ‘Carillon’, an apt piece for the bells concert and a glorious sense of the peal of church bells, which was much appreciated by the audience.
The concert continued with ‘The Trumpet Voluntary’ and a serenade, another charming piece, followed by ‘Yellow Submarine’ which unexpectedly morphed into ‘Row, row, row, your boat’, before concluding with ‘Blow the Winds Southerly’.
Thanks go to the Handbell performers – good luck with the tour! – to Lesley for arranging the concert and to Fiona, Gill and Jean for serving refreshments.
Words by Andrea Hearne, photos by Richard Hearne