Such a pleasure was ours on Saturday, April 26, as we immersed ourselves in handbell ringing with the Chicago Bronze. These expert handbell musicians shared their unique knowledge with NSAGO members and friends at Trinity United Methodist Church in Wilmette, beginning with the afternoon with workshops for beginners and advanced alike. We were primed with descriptions of handbell basics, then put our hands to the bells, and were able to experiment with the many techniques that make this collegial and unique music-making so versatile and enjoyable.
Having gained new respect and insight into this art form, we found the following concert all the more awe-inspiring. The Chicago Bronze selections ranged from spirituals and hymns to Bach and Vierne. One AGO organist noted of Vierne’s Carillon that she like it better on handbells!
Ringers Laura Olsen and Briana Belding-Peck complemented What Wondrous Love with flute and cello. And Julia Brueck added richness to a number of selections with her sensitive organ playing. Under Andrea Handley’s elegant, forthright direction, these artists brought both subtlety and excitement to their performances bringing new fans to this musical genre.
Thank you, Andrea Handley and Chicago Bronze, for your amazing gifts of joyful sound and spirit!
Lois-Eve Anderson, NSAGO board member