Music Favourites 

We asked our members what their favourite handbell music is, and why. The following are pieces recently gathered from the May 2024 Medley of Favourites virtual roundtable:

From Everlasting to Everlasting, by Julie Turner, Sonology Music, has great meaning to Aurora United Church because they were scheduled to play it on Easter Sunday, 2014. Nine days before Easter the church suffered a catastrophic fire and burned to the ground. During those nine days, they managed to find a loaner set of handbells and equipment, held their Easter service at one of the local high schools, and played that piece. It was a very emotional experience for all of them. Now, in 2024, the new church is being built. They plan to play From Everlasting to Everlasting at the opening of the new building. The title is perfect and the music is glorious!

Adagio, by Tomaso Albinoni, arr. Kevin McChesney (ten copies available in the Music Lending Library), is a classical piece of music that evokes emotions from the heart with its beautiful rise and fall of dynamics and tempo. The audience and ringers both, get lost in the magnificence of this music. 

Peace in our Time, by Cathy Moklebust. Comprised of three movements, the third movement, entitled Tribute, is steadfast and stately, reminiscent of a freedom march led by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and was particularly moving music to our contributor.

Transitions of the Heart by Matthew Compton, is a commissioned piece about self-discovery, acceptance, and unconditional love, written about two transgendered siblings. Perfect for a time of reflection, meditation or an uplifting moment in worship or a concert.

Allegro Con Moto, by Jason Krug, showcases the best in the handbell art form. It is lively, upbeat, and full of rhythmic drive and melodic energy. A perfect piece for any festive worship or celebration.

Ah Holy Jesus, arr. Jason Krug, is a magnificent arrangement for three-octave handbell solo with optional bell tree and piano. Perfect for any Sunday during Lent, or a special service on Maundy Thursday or Good Friday.

Appassionata, by Michael W. Joy, a piece that alternates between passages both prayerful and haunting and sure to illicit a deep emotional response from audience and ringers alike.

Passacaglia in C minor, by Fred Gramann. The term passacaglia refers to a set of variations over a repeating bass line. A variety of handbell textures and techniques are used, ending with a spectacular eleven-bell chord ringing low to the table and then rapidly rising upward to create a breathtaking whoosh of vibrating sound.

Into the Wilderness, by Jason Krug is an original work that musically portrays the temptations of Christ in the desert. Each section depicts the mood and tone of each of the three temptations. A beautifully moving music experience, whether played in part, or in whole.

Grazioso, by A. Sherman, is an expressive work that starts simply and builds into a strong, full-scored section. The section is abruptly followed by a passage of ethereal sound produced by echo and mallet on suspended bells.

Road to Jerusalem, by William E. Gross, is a beautifully poignant expression of the long walk of Christ to the cross. The haunting melody and ethereal accompaniment evokes mystery and reverence. A perfect selection for a Palm Sunday musical offering.

If you have some music you'd like to contribute, please email Kim at Tell us a little bit about the piece and why it is meaningful to you.

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