Some handbell videos are deep and meaningful. Some videos are fun and engaging. But only certain videos about handbells are classy.
Classy Whale is a YouTube channel created by Caleb Britton, an 18 year old high school student from Pennsylvania. His videos range from vlogs about homeschooling to remixes of sounds heard while traveling on trains up and down the East Coast. Caleb first caught my attention with a video he made last May. After taking a tour of the Malmark factory, Caleb turned the adventure into a dubstep tour of the factory. I instantly fell in love with this video, partly because it’s an ingenious use of footage from the Malmark factory, and partly out of jealousy that I didn’t think of doing this first.
“I’ve always loved to create audio/visual content for fun, starting with a tape recorder I stole from my mom when I was six or seven” Caleb said when asked how he got into video making. His video most popular video to date is entitled “How to Annoy a Handbell Director”. I remember seeing it bounce around various handbell groups online for several weeks back in October. In this one, Caleb and his sister describe the many ways ringers can unintentionally, and intentionally, annoy their directors.
Also in October, Caleb reached out to me and asked for an audio recording of “Now The Green Blade Riseth”. My group Tintabulations performs the piece regularly, and he apparently had an idea for a video that involved the piece. A week later, this video appears on his channel….
“To be honest I can’t remember the exact circumstances of this video’s inception – it just sort of happened” Caleb responded when asked where this video came from. “It’s kind of based on a trend from January , where people would make Siri recite an incredibly long number and then beatbox over the repeated ‘zero zero zero’ etc.” I pride myself on being hip to many internet trends, but this was one I had not ran across. Apparently I need to step up my internet game.
A couple weeks ago Caleb again reached out to me, this time asking if I knew anyone who could play some handbell solos for him. As someone who has dabbled in vlogging and solo ringing, I told him I could help. After an evening of shooting video in my living room, Caleb edited together this video. I’m especially a fan of the absolutely awful handbell puns and insults hurled about throughout the video.
What’s next for Caleb and Classy Whale? If the past in any sign, I have no frigg’n idea. But I do know it will be entertaining.