Let Your Ensemble Be Themselves

Posted By Derek Nance on Feb 22, 2013 |


Performed by Kevin McChesney’s own ensemble, the Pikes Peak Ringers, here is his arrangement of the Beatles song “Let It Be”.  While this may be a bit older than a standard pop tune, I’m still going to include this in our week of pop music because the tune still resonates with listeners of all ages.  The Pikes Peak Ringers perform this piece well, with the iconic swells and chords that the Beatles created more than 40 years ago in 1970.  Sometimes on bells, however, pop music can start to sound repetitive, and after the third verse of this arrangement you feel like you have already heard everything this piece is going to give you.  The changing lyrics in pop music give the listener something new to listen to each verse, and on bells we don’t have the luxury of words, so we have to find ways to create something new each time we play the same chord changes and melody.

However, I do like the fact that McChesney leaves the stage and lets his group do their own thing, although he doesn’t go very far.  When I was in high school our jazz band teacher use to conduct the first and last measures of ever piece and leave us on our own up on stage while he wandered off to chat with another director or hang out in the sound booth to make sure we were properly amplified.  I always appreciated the freedom that gave us, and it pushed us to be more responsible as musicians.

And if for some reason you have lived in a cave since 1970 and never heard this song, here is the original: