Archive: The Blank Stare

Posted By Derek Nance on Sep 22, 2012 | 1 comment


When ever I find myself talking to non-ringing friends, many often don’t understand what it is bell ringers do. Of the friends that do have some understanding of bell ringing, all of them know of bell ringing from church groups. I have yet to find someone who responds with, “Ya, I totally saw this rad bell group playing at (insert location other than church)!”.
Do any other bell ringers have this problem? Or are my friends just strange?

The whole reason my brother and I decided to start this blog is to push the limits of what bell ringing can do. We wanted to start a place where thoughts, ideas, and information can be discussed outside of the usual Sunday morning tradition.

In that light, I decided to spend my first blog post with a few of my favorite bell videos from the web. Although each of these three groups are really, really good, us mere mortals can also learn something from them (and they’re fun to watch).

First up, the Raleigh Ringer’s version of Wizards in Winter. This is usually the video I start handbell virgins on first because a) it’s a song they would recognize, and b) this group looks great. Even the little things like all picking up bells together, moving while playing, and smiling make this look great:

Next up, this video makes my jaw drop every time I see it. “Disney’s Electrical Parade” has never sounded better. The runs are clean and exact, and the group looks like they are having fun:

And lastly, these four ladies are just fun to watch. If every bell group could be a tenth as energetic as these ladies, bell ringing might just become the next big thing in music:

The one thing these three groups have in common is that they all look like they are having fun while ringing. My proposition to the bell world is this: if we can look fun while ringing, maybe we can start to eliminate the blank stares.