Some nights when I’m bored I will pick an ensemble I know nothing about and stalk them all over the internet to learn as much as I can. The other night I ran across Charm City Bronze from Baltimore, Maryland. Two things caught my eye about this group. First, they performed a joint concert with the Arsis Youth, which made me supremely jealous. Second, they performed a concert at the Palm House of HP Rawlings Conservatory.
Since I live in Nevada where we don’t have places like this, a quick note about the HP Rawlings Conservatory. Built in 1888, the Palm House is one of the original buildings on the conservatory property. According to their website:
“Victorians intensely pursued engineering, exploring and collecting. These fascinations culminated in the construction of great iron, glass, and wooden buildings to showcase plants collected from worldwide expeditions. Though most Victorian parlors included plants, most homes could not accommodate the larger species, thus the popularity of the public conservatories for exhibiting palms and other large plants that require a tropical environment.”
The image of a bell choir performing in the Palm House is a strange juxtaposition of old and new. Ancient bells are being performed in a modern way surrounded by an antique greenhouse. A young conductor is leading classical Stravinski while being broadcast live over the internet. Past, present, and future converged for this one performance.
Here is the video of the group performing Stravinsky’s “Firebird” from the Palm House.
Where is the strangest place you have performed a bell concert? Let us know in the comments below, or tweet at us @Handbellbros.