Technique


Assignment Challenge: Sail Away

Assignment Challenge: Sail Away


Posted By on May 12, 2016

This odd pop song by Enya doesn’t initially seem like something handbells can play well, but with Kevin McChesney’s arrangement your group can sound like an Irish pop star. The arrangement layers thick chords of bells and chimes on top of a driving malletted bass line to recreate the ethereal sound of Enya. In this assignment challenge we are going to break down how I assigned this piece for 14 ringers playing 5 octaves of...

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Creating alternate assignments has always been a fascination of mine, so I thought I would start an occasional series of solutions to bell assignment issues.  The logistics of ringing bells is a constant challenge given that groups only have a limited number of hands to ring a large quantity of bells.  There are lots of standard bell assignments; the most common usually starts with position 1 at C4/D4, position 2 at E4/F4,...

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After our music video of “Rather Be” dropped last week we got lots of comments about the use of boomwackers in the video.  I won’t lie; the use of boomwackers was a pleasant accident.  We didn’t have an bass bells at home and needed to use something to lay down a bass track.  I had been carrying around a set of boomwackers with me for several years without any clear idea on what to use them for.  So we tried...

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This past month I have been wracking my brain over concert programming.  There are so many variables that go into creating a concert program that it can be hard to conceptualize.  Just off the top of my head, some things you have to keep in mind include What level of music can the group perform, based on the number of rehearsals and ringers Where are concerts being performed?  Churches, schools, concert halls, bars? Who...

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As one of the best groups in the nation, the members of the Raleigh Ringers spend many hours with their equipment.  One side effect of spending so much time with bells is discovering all sorts of tricks to fix common problems we as bell ringers experience while ringing.  Here are four things we picked up while rehearsing with the Raleigh Ringers that other groups may find helpful: 1) Keeping bass bells secure.  While we...

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This American Handbell App


Posted By on May 26, 2013

Both Bryce and I are self professed National Public Radio junkies, and one of our favorite shows is This American Life.  If you haven’t heard of the show before, each week the host Ira Glass presents a hour long radio show filled with stories about everyday life.  One year ago this month they decided to present a live show that was beamed into movie theaters across the country in real time.  On our way into the...

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