Posts by Derek Nance


After a very long first day on tour, the group moves onto the quiet mountain village of Karuizawa. If you haven’t yet, go back and read Day 2. Day 3 – Run to the hills: Breakfast was on our own this morning. I wanted to get a feel for the country away from the security of the group, so I struck out on my own and headed for the market in the train station near the hotel. I arrived right as they were opening. An employee...

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After landing in Japan and a jet lagged night of sleeping, the group sets off for their first concert. If you haven’t read the introduction yet, start at the beginning of the tour! Day 2 – All about the kids: We met the bus to our first venue early in the morning. Because there was supposedly a small tunnel at the on the trip, the tour organizer found a tiny bus to get us there. One small downside to the tiny bus, however,...

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JaPlanning – Sonos Tour 2016

JaPlanning – Sonos Tour 2016


Posted By on Dec 7, 2016

I’m writing this post from a hotel room in Tokyo at 4am. How I got to this point in my life I’m still not entirely sure, but it goes something like this. Sonos Handbell Ensemble has had a long history of traveling to Japan, Ever since I joined the ensemble 6 years ago, I’ve heard all of their crazy tales of adventures in Japan performing and sight seeing. 4 years ago the group did a performance tour in Japan, but I...

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I will admit that I am a sucker for dramatic handbell music. The first time I heard “Grazioso” by Arnold Sherman or Cathy Moklebust’s “First Noel” or Sandra Eithum’s “O Come, O Come Emmanuel” I immediately fell in love. Well written, inventive pieces that leave plenty of room for the group to express themselves musically are hard to find, but when I do I’m instantly a fan. Robert...

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On November 19, 2016, 664 handbell musicians from across the country gathered at the Mall of America to break the Guinness World Record for largest handbell ensemble. The event, which was organized by Handbell Musicians of America, Salvation Army, and Mall of America, gained local and national news attention. To qualify for the record, all 664 musicians had to perform a 5 minute piece while being monitored by Guinness World Record...

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