Belles and Beaux from Alton, Staffs (and their 44 bells)

Curious to hear the Alton Handbell Ringers I went along to their concert on Saturday night in support of Cheadle Animal Welfare.  It was a thoroughly enjoyable evening, with music played in a variety of styles, using chimes and drums and three octaves of handbells.  It would be good to incorporate some of the techniques which they used in our own arrangements. I particularly enjoyed their Processional Celebration and the combining of Jesu Joy of Man’s Desiring with Blessed Assurance. They played English Whitechapel bells which they had gathered from various sets. It is very interesting to see the way in which handbell groups develop their own particular styles. Alton Ringers are off to York this coming weekend to size up the competition ( my choice of words!) at the National Rally, so here’s hoping that they have an inspiring time. Perhaps it’s something Nelson Handbell Ringers could think of doing in future.

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