How To Be A Fan Of Handbells Online

Posted By Derek Nance on Mar 31, 2014 | 2 comments


One week ago Kiriku posted a beautiful new video of their performance of “Ave Maria”.  The video is high quality, the audio is superb, and the ringing is stunning.  In my mind this video is perfect for both handbell and non-handbell people to enjoy.  Yet it has only been viewed 200 times.  Why is the handbell community not collectively fanboying over this video?

Fanboying: (v) To stand, drool, or worship the object of their obsession. Fanboying involves no real physical action or movement. One does not have to be a boy to start fanboying. (from Urban Dictionary)

In our original Letter to the Handbell Community, Bryce and I said that we wanted to be a part of a handbell community that has screaming fans turn out for every concert.  Over the year and a half since we posted that letter the number of handbell groups on the internet has increased, with many of them posting some good stuff.  However, I still have noticed a lack of fanboying in the community.  The only time in my handbell career that I have honestly seen a room of handbell people fanboy was during the Kiriku performance at the HMA National Seminar this past summer.  The energy in the room was palpable the entire performance, and everyone’s faces were collectively glued to the stage the entire time.  When I was introduced to the leader of Kiriku later in the conference, all I could do was stammer a few words and awkwardly shake hands.

Is fanboying important?  It is no secret that handbells are still a relatively unknown instrument mainly associated with Christmas and Elementary School.  Can fanboying fix that problem?

I am proposing a challenge to find out.  As a community let’s take Kiriku’s newest video and see how many views we can possibly get it this week.  While you are at it, subscribe to their Facebook Page and YouTube channel.

Being a video that everyone will appreciate, you can share it with fellow bell ringers, other musicians, friends, relatives, co-workers, and the next person to walk into the room.  As of this posting, the video has 199 views.  Every day this week I will be keeping a count on our Facebook and Twitter to track our progress.  Can we hit 1,000 views?  2,000 views?

Pro tip: if you want to easily share this video click the arrow with the dots on it at the top of the video player, which will give you all the options to share.  You will see that symbol on most sites now as a “sharing” button.

Videos like this are great for the community for various reasons.  They inspire handbell ringers to ring better.  They validate all the work the group put into making it.  They show fellow musicians the power of our instrument.  They create new fans out of people who previously didn’t know handbell existed.

The internet is a powerful force for shaping the world.  Let’s use the internet to make fans of handbells everywhere.

If you want to find interesting handbell related stuff from around the internet, be sure to follow us on your social media platform of choice.  We keep our Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Tumblr updated even when there aren’t any new posts on the blog.  Also, Facebook has been changing their news feed algorithm again.  If you want to be sure to catch all the posts from your favorite handbell groups you can subscribe to our Interest Group.

Go forth and fanboy/fangirl over handbells!

Cover Photo: Robin and Jennifer made these awesome signs for our group when we performed at the Handbell National Seminar in 2013.  That is some serious handbell fanboying.