Inspiring Musicians


I have always been a big Eric Whitacre fan.  He writes gorgeous, soaring works for band, choir, and orchestra that tug at your heart strings which I loved performing back in high school.  (Fun fact: Whitacre is a Nevada Native!)  Whitacre has a history of pushing the boundaries of the possible, and he was the one to pioneer the virtual choir project that spawned the current Handbell Virtual Ensemble that HBMA HMA is sponsoring.  His...

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Makana, Slack Guitar Genius


Posted By on Mar 4, 2013

Sometimes it can be hard to find a new inspiring musician every week to post up here, but this week the choice was very easy. Last Thursday I had the extreme fortune of hearing an amazing musician in concert. Makana has redefined the genre of slack key guitar playing by blending tradition slack key methods with newer genres that are currently popular. For those of you who do not know (I was just enlightened last week), the term slack...

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The Beatles and Handbells?


Posted By on Feb 27, 2013

I have always loved The Beatles.  In fact Abbey Road is currently spinning on my record player as I write this post. Due to my lack of anything better to do, my day has been filled with searching the internet for fun handbell information – and the perpetual flipping of Beatles records. The HRGB (Handbell Ringers of Great Britain) has a very interesting post on a celebrity playing bells at an early age. Apparently Sir Paul...

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From time to time on the blog I like to point out artists who do a brilliant job of taking a piece written in one genera and translating it to a completely different genera. Hip hop and swing are typically not two generas that are related, and yet here is a brilliant cover of Macklemore’s “Thrift Shop” done in vintage swing by the Postmodern Juke Box Band.  Driving bass lines, inventive piano riffs, and beautiful...

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Hells Bell Is Real


Posted By on Jan 14, 2013

Here is a bell story that blew my mind: the legendary rock band AC/DC tours with an actual 1 ton bell that they use at the beginning of their piece “Hells Bells”.  Here is the bell being used at a concert in Dalas Texas in 2009 (jump to 0:41 to see the bell in action). The story of where the bell came from and how they recorded it is fascinating.  From the official AC/DC website: AC/DC’s “Hells Bell” is...

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I’m going to try and get back into the habit of posting my favorite non bell musicians every Monday, and I’m still posting holiday music because I keep finding more and more great recordings! Earlier on the blog we posted an article exploring what theater and handbells have in common, and today’s group exemplifies how a classic music ensemble can also be theatrical.  WindSync is a woodwind quintet from Houston,...

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