Music Lending Library Reviews

The Programs Committee has reviewed some of the titles in the Music Lending Library. Check frequently for new reviews.
Click on the title, below, to go straight to the review. 

City of Stars

City of Stars, from the motion picture La La Land, is arranged by Ron Mallory for 3-5 octaves of handbells and 2 or 3 octaves of optional chimes. The Music Lending Library has 10 copies of this level 2 piece published in 2017.

City of Stars has an AABA form and the duet is portrayed by the contrasting lines between handbells and handchimes. The piece calls for a moderate swing with quarter note = 100. There are LVs, mallets, RT, echoes, vibrato, and an optional glissando at the end.

To preview the score and listen to City of Stars, please click HERE.

For instructions on how to borrow this music from the MLL, please click HERE.

Reviewed by Debi Sproule

Beyond All Praising

Beyond All Praising, arranged by Hart Morris, is based on the tune Thaxted from Gustav Holst’s The Planets. The music lending library currently has 16 copies. Rated at a 2+ difficulty level, Beyond All Praising can be played on 3 to 5 octaves of handbells and includes 3 octaves of optional handchimes. This music is quite accessible as it is very chordal and the tempo never goes beyond a quarter note = 80. To add interest to the music there are 2 key changes, several tempo changes and shakes and martellatos. In the middle section, the melody moves into the bass clef and is played on chimes.

To view a sample of this score and listen to a recording, please click HERE.

For instructions on how to borrow this music from the MLL, please click HERE.

Reviewed by Lisa Kyriakides

Early One Morning

Early One Morning, arranged for handbells by Judy Phillips, is based on the traditional English song by the same name. The music lending library currently has 13 copies. Early one Morning can be played on 2 or 3 octaves of handbells or would sound beautiful played on chimes or repeated the second time on chimes for a longer selection. This piece is approximately 1 minute 40 seconds long if played at tempo, although there is the option to play it faster, making it easy to incorporate into any service or special event. Early one Morning is rated at a level 2 with no substantially difficult techniques or passages. The beauty of this piece is found through the lilting 2/4 time signature. The melody is found in both the treble and bass clefs and ringers will get a great opportunity to practise their dynamic changes with many crescendo and decrescendo passages ranging from mezzo piano to forte. This piece is sure to be loved by ringers and recognized by many within the congregation or concert audience.

To view a sample of this score and listen to a recording, please click HERE.

For instructions on how to borrow this music from the MLL, please click HERE.

Reviewed by Barbara Peaker

And the Glory of the Lord

And the Glory of the Lord from Handel’s Messiah is arranged for 3-5 octaves of handbells by Kevin McChesney and is rated at a level 3. It is in the key of C and the only handbell technique required is some shakes toward the end of the piece. The description at the beginning is “With Energy” and the tempo is marked at a quarter note equals 112-132. It is fast paced for all 138 measures. This would be a popular choice for Advent or the Christmas season, church or concert contribution.

The Music Lending Library has 12 copies of And the Glory of the Lord. To listen to this piece and view the score please click HERE.

For instructions on how to borrow this music from the MLL, please click HERE.

Reviewed by Debi Sproule

O Come Rejoicing

O Come Rejoicing, written by Martha Lynn Thompson and published in 1983, is based on a traditional Polish Carol. The score, published by Agape, includes a setting for 3 octaves of handbells and a setting for 4 octaves of handbells. The MLL has 16 copies to lend out.

This upbeat, level 2 Christmas piece has no bell changes and is written in C major. It makes for a perfect addition to any Christmas service or concert and could easily be memorized and used as an opening processional.

To listen to O Come Rejoicing and view the music, please click HERE.

For instructions on how to borrow this music from the MLL, please click HERE.

Reviewed by Lisa Kyriakides

O Come, O Come Emmanuel

O Come, O Come Emmanuel was arranged for handbells by Cynthia Dobrinski in 1989 and is based on the traditional 15th century Christmas song titled Veni Veni Emmanuel. The MLL has 16 copies. It can be played on 3-5 octaves of handbells but is particularly beautiful when played with the lower 5th octave bass chords. This piece is approximately 3 minutes long making it easy to incorporate into any Christmas concert or advent service. Rated at a level 3, O Come, O Come Emmanuel contains numerous tempo changes, time signature changes, and dynamic markings. Ringers and directors will be challenged to stay together through several passages that can be played more freely than an allotted tempo marking, before returning to the original tempo.

The dynamic markings create the beauty in this piece with a range of piano and pianissimo, building to an exciting quicker section of fortissimo before several small decrescendos and crescendos to finish the piece back at a piano level. There are many sections for ringers to practise the Let Vibrate (LV) technique, then returning to proper damping for challenging bars of triplet notes. The final bar of this piece can be played with an optional mallet roll played as an arpeggio.

This staple Christmas piece is sure to be loved by ringers and recognized by many within the congregation or concert audience. To view a sample of this score and listen to a recording please click HERE.

For instructions on how to borrow this music from the MLL, please click HERE.

Reviewed by Barbara Peaker

Christmas Joy

Christmas Joy, written by Cynthia Dobrinski and published in 1984, is based on the carols Joy to the World and Go Tell It on the Mountain. It is a level 3 piece written for 3 or 5 octaves of handbells and published by Agape.

After a brief introduction, there is a rousing chorus of Joy to the World followed by a key change and the tune for Go Tell It on the Mountain. The melody moves between treble and bass and the carols are intertwined. There are no handbell techniques used except for a few LV sections and an optional swing in the last measure. It is a rousing version of the two carols and would be a popular contribution for the festive season.

To listen to Christmas Joy and view the music please click HERE.

The MLL has 10 copies of this piece. 

For instructions on how to borrow this music from the MLL, please click HERE.

Reviewed by Debi Sproule

It is Well with My Soul

It Is Well with My Soul is arranged by popular American composer and percussionist Cathy Moklebust and is dedicated in loving memory to the 21 lives lost on board TWA Flight 800 in 1996. A level 3 piece, written for 3-5 octaves of handbells, It Is Well with My Soul includes an optional 3 octave handchime part (12 chimes) and a violin or flute accompaniment (separate score included). This piece is a hauntingly beautiful and moving setting of the beloved hymn that demands expressive and sensitive ringing. It Is Well with My Soul would be very appropriate for both sacred and secular settings.

The MLL has 14 copies to lend out. To view the score and to listen to a recording of this piece please click HERE.

For instructions on how to borrow this music from the MLL, please click HERE.

Reviewed by Lisa Kyriakides

He's Got the Whole World

This piece, based on the traditional spiritual, is arranged by popular American composer Cynthia Dobrinski. A level 3 piece, written for 3-5 octaves of handbells, He’s Got the Whole World, is a lively, versatile piece that includes suggestions and music for optional percussion, double bass, and voice. Ringers and audience alike will love the abundance of handbell techniques including RT, shake, PL, martellato, swing and mallets. Dobrinski includes a slower middle section to add even more interest to this composition. He’s Got the Whole World would be a welcome addition to any performance.

The MLL has 11 copies. To view a copy of the score and to listen to a recording, please click HERE

For instructions on how to borrow this music from the MLL, please click HERE.

Reviewed by Lisa Kyriakides

Kum Ba Yah

This energetic level 3 piece, based on a traditional African American spiritual, was arranged for handbells by Jason Krug in 2010 and the Music Lending Library has 14 copies. It can be played on 3-6 octaves of handbells and has optional percussion parts for djembe and shaker. Kum Ba Yah is approximately 3 minutes and 8 seconds long making it easy to incorporate into any concert or worship service and was previously loved at an OGEHR festival. This piece is rated at a level 3 due to its fast tempo and syncopated rhythms and is written in cut time at a lively 116 beats per minute for a half note. The piece also features a key change from C major to D major with numerous dynamic markings. This fun, energetic piece is sure to be loved by ringers and recognized by many within the congregation or concert audience.

To view a sample portion of this score and listen to a recording, please click HERE

For instructions on how to borrow this music from the MLL, please click HERE.

Reviewed by Barbara Peaker

The Hand of the Lord 

The Hand of the Lord, arranged by Linda Lamb, is a medley of the gospel tunes “Somebody Touched Me” and “I Know the Lord Has His Hand On Me.” It is arranged for 3 to 5 octaves of handbells with 6 optional handchimes (from Bb4 to G5) and is a level 3+ piece. Published in 2007 the Music Lending Library has 10 copies.

This lively composition starts off with 3 flats and finishes with 4 flats. There are a number of bell changes and syncopated sections to add fun and challenge for the ringers. The musical description at the beginning is “driving” with a metronome marking of quarter note equals 104-112. It could be played in worship or for a general occasion. 

To view a sample portion of the score and listen to a recording of “The Hand of the Lord”, please click here

For instructions on how to borrow this music from the MLL, please click HERE

Reviewed by Debi Sproule

O God Beyond All Praising

O God Beyond All Praising is arranged by American composer Linda Lamb and based on the stately theme from the middle section of the Jupiter movement from Gustav Holst’s The Planets. This composition, written for 2-3 octaves of handbells and 2 octaves of optional handchimes, is well suited for many occasions, from uplifting to solemn, and the MLL has 10 copies to lend out. Linda Lamb has taken this hauntingly beautiful melody and incorporated singing bell, suspended malleting, LV, and echo techniques. As a level 2+ piece, there is lots to keep both ringers and listeners engaged.

To view a copy of the score for O God Beyond All Praising and to listen to a recording please click HERE

For instructions on how to borrow this music from the MLL, please click HERE

Reviewed by Lisa Kyriakides

Pié Jesu

This beautiful level 2 piece was arranged for handbells by Douglas E Wagner in 1994. The original Pié Jesu is from Fauré’s Requiem and Fauré desired the piece to be dominate with feelings of faith and eternal rest. It can be played on 3,4, or 5 octaves of handbells and the music lending library has 10 copies. This piece is approximately 3 minutes and 14 seconds long making it easy to incorporate into any Lenten  or funeral service. The piece offers numerous opportunities to practise musicality through dynamic markings and Let Vibrate passages. With a tempo marking of only 76 beats per minute for a quarter note, the LV eighth notes in the bass clef are a great chance for multiple ringers to practise ringing smoothly. The dynamic markings are perhaps the most challenging portion of this piece, with a mezzo forte passage towards the end of the piece, followed by a constantly diminishing echo. The final line includes a decrescendo from piano (soft) to pianissimo (very soft) with fermatas and a ritardando. The final rung chord is cut off by a pianissimo mallet or pluck. This piece is sure to be loved by ringers and recognized by many within the congregation.

To view a sample portion of this score and listen to a recording, click HERE.  https://www.hopepublishing.com/Images/SamplePDF/1693.PDF

For instructions on how to borrow this music from the MLL, please click HERE

Reviewed by Barbara Peaker

Guide Me, O Thou Great Jehovah

This popular hymn tune is arranged by Cynthia Dobrinski for 3-5 octaves of handbells and published in 1989. The MLL has 23 ringers’ copies plus a Director/Organ Score which includes organ accompaniment plus a part for S.A.T.B. choir. For added versatility, there is a suggestion that an instrument could play the descant part in the third verse.

Most of the piece is in 4/4 time, however there are also occasional 2/4 and 3/4 measures. Triplets, mostly in the treble clef, add to the feeling of energy. Techniques used include shakes, LV’s and marts. The key remains the same throughout and the piece at metronome marking 98-116, takes approximately 2:30 minutes to ring.

To view a copy of both the ringers and director/organ scores as well as listening to the organ and handbell version, click HERE.

For instructions on how to borrow this music from the MLL, please click HERE.

Reviewed by Debi Sproule

Adagio

Adagio is arranged by popular American composer Kevin McChesney, and based on the well-known string composition attributed to Baroque composer Tomaso Albinoni. A level 3 piece, written for 3-5 octaves of handbells, Adagio, composed in C minor, is a dramatic composition with a steady driving pulse. Triplets and sixteenth notes contribute to the intensity of the music and add some extra challenge for the ringers. The slow tempo of this piece, a quarter note equals 72, allows a choir to work on its beautiful arm extensions and choreography which would add to the effectiveness of its performance. The piece would be very appropriate for both sacred and secular settings and the MLL has 10 copies.

To view a copy of the score for Adagio please click HERE. To listen to a recording, please click HERE

For instructions on how to borrow this music from the MLL, please click HERE.

Reviewed by Lisa Kyriakides

All Night, All Day

This upbeat level 2- piece was arranged for handbells by Kathleen Wissinger in 2011 and is based on a traditional spiritual. The music lending library currently has 10 copies. It can be played on 3, 4, or 5 octaves of handbells and contains an optional chime melody for 2 octaves of handchimes from G4-G6. This piece is approximately 1 minute 33 seconds long making it easy to incorporate into any service, festival, or school performance. The piece offers numerous opportunities to practise different handbell techniques including thumb damping, shaking, echoing, and malleting. The easy eighth notes give ringers a chance to practise proper damping with a tempo range of 100-120 beats per minute. Both treble and bass musicians get an opportunity to ring the melody in this piece. Although not included with the lending library, a full score of this piece can be purchased that includes xylophone, percussion, guitar, and vocals—with or without hand signs. This piece is sure to be loved by ringers of all ages, but would be a perfect piece for a youth choir.

To view a sample portion of this score and listen to a recording, click HERE

For instructions on how to borrow this music from the MLL, please click HERE.

Reviewed by Barbara Peaker

Hallelujah

This very familiar piece by Leonard Cohen is arranged by Joel Raney and published in 2014. It is played on 3-5 octaves of handbells with optional 3-5 octaves of handchimes, is a level 3 composition, and the MLL has 10 copies. There is also an optional part for synth (2674P), which could be purchased from the publisher.

The piece is written in 12/8 time, with the melody starting in the bass on chimes (or bells if chimes are not available), while the treble plays running eighth notes on bells. About halfway through the piece, the melody switches to the high treble bells with the battery playing chimes and the bass ringing eighth notes on bells. Toward the end, the key changes from C+ to Ab + and the melody in the treble chords thicken while the music is marked “With Passion”.

LV passages occur throughout and enhance the lyrical, flowing nature of the composition.  It is a beautiful arrangement, and is considered a secular hymn,  so appropriate for both church and concert settings. 

To view a copy of the score for Hallelujah and listen to a recording please click HERE

For instructions on how to borrow this music from the MLL, please click HERE.

Reviewed by Debi Sproule

Little David, Play on Your Harp

This lively level 2+ piece, written by Valerie Stephenson in 2004, is an arrangement of the traditional spiritual song. The music lending library currently has 14 copies of this arrangement. It can be played on 3, 4, or 5 octaves of handbells. This upbeat playful piece is 73 measures long (approximately 2 minutes), making it the perfect addition to worship and is appropriate for any season of the year. The piece offers numerous opportunities to practise different handbell techniques including mallets, plucks, thumb damps, ring touches, shakes and martellatos. Handbell choirs may also choose to play this piece in cut time for an additional challenge for level 2+ ringers. This piece is sure to be loved by ringers of all ages but would be a perfect piece for a youth choir.

To view a copy of this score and listen to a recording, please click HERE

For instructions on how to borrow this music from the MLL, please click HERE

Reviewed by Barbara Peaker

Calming Peace

Calming Peace is an original composition written by American composer Cathy Moklebust in memory of Kristin E. Seefeldt. Written for 2-3 octaves of handbells, the lovely, lyric melody and flowing LV bass line combine to create a restful, relaxing mood. Calming Peace is a L2 composition and the MLL has 8 copies available to borrow. Moklebust incorporates some gentle syncopations and well as the use of echoes to add interest. In the middle section the melody is moved into the battery, a lovely switch, and an excellent learning experience for these ringers. The flowing nature of this piece lends itself perfectly for a choir to work on its lyrical choreography to enhance the sound and the audience’s experience.

To view a copy of the score for Calming Peace and listen to a recording, please click HERE

For instructions on how to borrow this music from the MLL, please click HERE

Reviewed by Lisa Kyriakides

Now the Green Blade Riseth

Now the Green Blade Riseth is arranged by popular American composer Kevin McChesney and published in 1997. Based on the French Carol Noel Nouvelet, this versatile piece can be played at Christmas (using the title “Sing We Now of Christmas”) and at Easter, and the MLL has 17 copies of the score. As a level 3 piece, written for 3-5 octaves of handbells, Now the Green Blade Riseth presents some exciting challenges for all ringers in the choir. Set to a fast tempo, a quarter note equals 104-112, McChesney incorporates the use of mallets throughout, as well as marts, shakes and mart lifts. There are several time signature changes, many dramatic dynamic changes and the use of syncopation. All ringers, especially the bass clef ringers, will be kept very busy as there is an abundance of accidentals throughout this piece. This is an exciting composition that will be enjoyed by ringers and audience members alike.\

To view a copy of the score for Now the Green Blade Riseth and listen to a recording, please click HERE

For instructions on how to borrow this music from the MLL, please click HERE.

Reviewed by Lisa Kyriakides

Five By Five for Christmas, Five By Five for Christmas II, and Ring with 6 for Christmas

These pieces are 3 collections of Christmas music arranged for ensembles. The first two collections are arranged by Douglas Wagner and each contains 5 different traditional carols using 3 octaves of handbells. There are 5 copies of the music so each member of the quintet has their own. However, the music includes only that ringers’ notes, Ringer I through V. The first collection, Five By Five for Christmas, also includes a booklet with all parts shown for each song, while the second collection does not. In each case there is sharing of bells so ringers would have to be close to each other in a row to play this music.

Ring with 6 for Christmas is arranged by Martha Lynn Thompson. It includes 5 contemporary Christmas pieces and each song ranges from C5 to A6. Although Thompson has shown in the bells used chart the assignment of bells assuming 6 ringers, she explains in the Foreword that four-in-hand is not necessary but it would be possible to play these pieces with fewer ringers if at least one person did ring four-in-hand.

The Music Lending Library has 5 copies of the Five By Five music and 4 copies of the Ring with 6.

For instructions on how to borrow this music from the MLL, please click HERE

Reviewed by Debi Sproule

Dormi Sleep, Sweet Baby, While I Rock You

This beautiful level 2+ piece combines the traditional Italian carol “Dormi” with the Polish “Rocking Carol” arranged by Tim Waugh in 2007. The music lending library currently has 13 copies of this arrangement. This piece is 81 measures long and runs between 3-4 minutes in length depending on the chosen tempo. It can be played on 3-5 octaves of handbells with an optional 9 handchime melody requiring a 2 octave set of handchimes (C5-D6). This Christmas worship song combines the peaceful carols about rocking the newborn Christ with a lively middle section rejoicing in His birth. The allegretto section has a tempo marking between 90-190, allowing choirs to ring at a pace that suits their level, while striving to ring at a quicker tempo as they perfect their musicality. The piece begins with optional handchimes and numerous passages of Let Vibrate, allowing the handbells to resonate until indicated to damp. The lively middle section calls for thumb damping or malleting, optional handchimes, alternating the melody between the treble and then bass clef, followed by malleting on the table. The numerous dynamic markings in this piece create a challenge for ringers while providing a beautiful echo between passages. This piece is sure to be loved by ringers and listeners alike.

To view a copy of this score and listen to a recording, please click HERE

For instructions on how to borrow this music from the MLL, please click HERE.

Reviewed by Barbara Peaker


The Joy of Christmas

Do you need a fun, simple piece for your choir to ring at Christmas? Look no further than The Joy of Christmas, arranged by Lloyd Larson and written for 2-3 octaves of Handbells. This level 2 piece is a medley of three popular Christmas Carols guaranteed to please your audience: The First Noel, It Came Upon the Midnight Clear, and O Come, All Ye Faithful and the MLL has 12 copies for you to borrow.

While this piece is rhythmically simple and the tempo remains constant throughout, there are some challenges with changing key and time signatures. LVs and shakes are used to add interest and there are some very colourful and unexpected chords, especially in the middle hymn, that add variety. The third optional octave is not rung very often and could easily be covered by a smaller group of ringers. That makes this piece perfect if find yourself without a full compliment of 11 ringers!

To view the score and listen to a recording of The Joy of Christmas, please click HERE.

For instructions on how to borrow this music from the MLL, please click HERE.

Reviewed by Lisa Kyriakides

As the Deer

This beautiful level 3 piece was written by Martin Nystrom in 1994 and this version was arranged by Patricia Cota in 1998. The music lending library currently has 10 copies of this arrangement. It can be played on 3-5 octaves of handbells with an optional 10 handchime melody requiring a 2 octave set of handchimes (G5-E6). This lovely praise chorus is only 44 measures long (approximately 2 minutes), making it the perfect addition to worship and could be followed up with a sung chorus. The piece offers numerous passages to Let Vibrate, allowing the handbells to resonate until indicated to dampen. The key change, numerous ritardandos, and plenty of dynamic changes give level 3 ringers a chance to practise their musicality. This piece is sure to be loved by ringers and listeners alike.

To view a copy of this score and listen to a recording, please click HERE

For instructions on how to borrow this music from the MLL, please click HERE.

Reviewed by Barbara Peaker

Outbursts of Joy

Outbursts Of Joy is an original composition by Cynthia Dobrinski published in 1988. It is written for 3, 4 or 5 octaves of handbells and has 251 measures. The MLL has 12 copies. The composition starts out in C major, changes key about halfway through and then goes back to C major for the ending.

There is a section where the bass and battery play LV chords while the stems up treble ring running eighth notes, then it switches to the bass having the melody and the treble playing mostly chords. Later the bass gets a turn at running eighth notes while the treble plays soft chords. Techniques used include shakes, marts, LVs, TDs and plucks. As the title suggests, it is an upbeat, enthusiastic piece with a rousing ending.

To view the score and listen to a recording of Outbursts of Joy, please click HERE

For instructions on how to borrow this music from the MLL, please click HERE.

Reviewed by Debi Sproule

Ring Praise, O My Soul

Ring Praise, O My Soul was written by American composer Margaret Tucker and published in 2005. As a level 1+ piece, this highly accessible composition comes in two compatible editions - 2-3 octaves (MLL has eight copies) and 3-5 octaves (MLL has two copies). Ring Praise, O My Soul is written in an upbeat triple meter and alternates between a full chordal theme and 2 thinner textured sections. There are two octaves of optional handchimes (G4-B5) with footnoted suggestions on how to assign those chimes to less busy ringers. Although this piece is 106 measures long (approximately 3 minutes), the composer makes note of certain measures that can be omitted if you would like to perform a shorter version. There are suspended bells with mallets in the treble clef and the bass ringers have a chance to play the melody in the chime section.

To view a copy of the score for Ring Praise, O My Soul and listen to a recording, please click HERE

For instructions on how to borrow this music from the MLL, please click HERE.

Reviewed by Lisa Kyriakides

Contact Information

Please contact Debi Sproule, Music Lending Library Coordinator, debisproule@gmail.com with questions or comments.

Questions about OGEHR and activities? Contact communications@ogehr.ca
Question about Membership? Contact membership@ogehr.ca                                                                

Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software