New videos were posted this week from Embellish Handbell Ensemble in Grand Rapids, Michigan that will blow you away. I was just going to post one, but I kept falling in love with every one I clicked on. So here are three videos from their spring concert to help get you through the rest of the week:
A Mighty Fortress Is Our God
This Arnold Sherman arrangement starts small, but don’t let that fool you. The traditional religious hymn tune swells into an impressive climax that will captivate you for the whole 5 minutes. Also, let it be pointed out that we do occasionally post religious based music on the blog.
Michael Glasgow wrote Anthornis for the advance handbell conference of the same name in Area 7. From fast rhythmic lines to slow arpeggiated melodies, Glasgow has created an advanced ringers challenge that Embellish tackles gracefully. Many of Glasgow’s newer arrangements artfully incorporate chimes, and Anthornis shows off this skill in the lovely octave melody in the middle of the piece. Also, those who read our post on creating logos for your ensemble, you will recognize the amazing logo for the Anthornis conference which combines two New Zealand Bell Birds (or Anthornis melanura as they are known in Latin) to create a bell silhouette.
An original for bells by Jason Krug, Exultate shows off the full range of a professional bell ensemble’s might (I also think the middle section sounds like it was pulled right out of a James Bond movie, which is awesome). Embellish tackles this difficult piece with grace and makes the whole experience look easy. I would share some interesting tidbit about this piece, but I missed meeting Krug at the last National Seminar somehow. Anyone know anything interesting about the piece? Next Nationals I definitely have to find him.
If you can’t get enough of Embellish, their YouTube page is full of excellent videos of professional level handbell ringing. All of these videos only have double digit view counts on them, so let’s help them out and send these around. Videos like these are what shows the world the potential of bell ringing.