The Arsis Youth Handbell Ensemble is once again on YouTube impressing us with their technical skills and musicality. One of their recently posted videos is of the E.Grieg “Prelude” from Holberg’s suite, arranged by D.J.Benton. Sit back and enjoy the brilliance of these young, talented ringers.
This summer at the National Seminar in Atlanta, Georgia I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to work with their conductor Aivar Mäe during a reading session. I’ve done some pretty intense ringing, but I have never been pushed so hard and improved so fast as I did in that hour and a half. Even though we were all sight reading, he expected perfection. Through ginormous gestures and his half yelling, half singing commands in a think Russian-like accent we knew exactly what was expected of us, and we delivered. The session was incredibly stressful and incredibly rewarding, and I would work with him again in a heart-beat. But now I understand why these youth are always so amazing to watch and hear.
Have you worked with a conductor who pushed you past the limits you thought you could do? Let us know in the comments.