Last year’s National Seminar closed with the talented Hong Kong Youth Handbell Ensemble, and it looks like this year’s Seminar will be closing with an equally talented group of youth from across the other ocean. The Arsis Youth Handbell Ensemble will be joining us this year from Estonia. Founded in 2003, this incredible group is comprised of students from the Arsis Handbell school. After watching this performance of “Flight of the Bumblebee” I felt the distinct need to head back to the rehearsal room for another 26 years.[youtube://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ifc-JLgjGVM]
You have to watch the video several times to catch all the intricate bell passing the group uses. Their parent group, the Arsis Handbell Ensemble, plays in a unique ensemble style, and that influence can definitely be seen in the youth’s performance.
Also, I noticed that the performance of the Arsis Youth Handbell Ensemble is being presented by Malmark, and from the video it appears that the group performs on Malmark bells. Last year the Hong Kong Youth Handbell Ensemble’s performance was sponsored by Schulmerich, and the kids performed on Schulmerich bells. This is the kind of rivalry we need in the bell world, not fought by lawyers or law suites, but by talented young musicians who get to travel to America to show off their impressive skills. Next year I’m expecting White Chapel to sponsor a youth group from Australia.