When we post videos of handbell performances we usually have no way of contacting the performers in the video, so most of the information we have to go off of is what ever the group lists in the video description. This is why some of our posts only have a few sentences in them, like the video of the Astounding Bach Duet we posted back in January. Daniel, one of the performers of that duet, emailed us a couple weeks ago because he had noticed our blog linking to his video, and he had some interesting stories to tell about his group. So I decided that we should start a series of stories from the handbell world.
Daniel Udrea performs with a group scientists and medical professionals in Kettering, Ohio. Their director Dr. Joan Ulloth is a professor of Nursing, her husband Dr. Lonnie Dorgan has a PhD in Chemistry, and other members have or are working on degrees in Industrial Design, Dietetics, and Nursing. JJ, the other performer in the Bach video, is currently in Medical School, and Daniel will be joining him in medical school in the fall. Dr. Dorgan does some of the arrangements for the group, including the Bach Invention #8 duet.
In Daniel’s email to us, he also told the story of an interesting trip his group took:
“Back in 2011, our group went on a Medical/Music mission trip to the Philippines. We traveled the country for 3 weeks doing bell performances, and medical mission days where we did basic health checkups, screenings, and dental work. No joke. What was cool about the Philippines is that everyone is musically talented/oriented in some way there. They love music! For 99.9% of the time, no one had ever heard a handbell before. After every concert, we’d be attacked (or surrounded) by very curious people wanting to try the bells. Luckily, not a single bell was damaged despite everyone picking one up! Phew. Every time we would play a song they knew, they would hum along. When you had a large crowd, the humming was very noticeable and very cool. Because they loved handbells so much, we raised money from a number of individuals in our church to return to the Philippines with a set of handbells and chimes to begin a handbell program at their college. This time, they stayed about a month. You can read about their experience on Page 8 of the Tintinnabulator“
If you weren’t following the blog back in January, here is the video of Daniel and JJ performing Bach’s Invention #8 that caught our attention.
Daniel would like everyone to know that they can perform the duet in 43 seconds now.
If you have an interesting story from the handbell world you would like to share, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Cover Photo Credit: Daniel Udrea. Top Row (Left to Right): Jessica Blaza, Jonathan Blaza, Jessica Purvis, Daniel Udrea, Jasmine Purvis. Bottom Row (Left to Right): Dr. Lonnie Dorgan, Dr. Joan Ulloth, Dr. Glenda Blaza, Dr. Jon Blaza