Bells of the Lakes is a community handbell ensemble made up of musicians from the greater Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minnesota. The group was formed in September of 1996 to provide its members with the highest quality and challenging musical experience through the use of handbells, and to be an educational tool to promote the art of handbell ringing.
In addition to their annual concert series and an international tour, the ensemble performs for festivals and private parties. Their educational projects for the handbell community include workshops for handbell ringers, an annual seminar for handbell choir directors, and a winter BELLFEST! for handbell choirs. Bells of the Lakes also performs for schools and offers teacher and student workshops. In the summer, members of the ensemble work with city youth programs.
Bells of the Lakes thanks the Minnesota History Center, Hennepin Ave. United Methodist Church and other friends for helping to make this recording possible.
Notes on the Selections
We play together in rehearsal and in concert because we love to and because we relish an approach to handbell ringing which strives for musicality and style. For our first public recording, we thought we'd share with you some of favorite music, some older classics of the handbell literature, as well as some recent contributions to the rich repertoire we all enjoy. It comes in a variety of styles, and includes original works for handbells and some transcriptions and arrangements of other music. Here are a few comments on specific pieces:
1. A masterful transcription of a Bach organ work for Christmas.
3. One of the most profound handbell compositions.
7. Titled with the Yiddish phrase for "joyful dance," we commissioned this delightful work from Ms. Buckwalter.
11. A recent composition destined for a major place on playlists in concerts and festivals.
13-15. We close with three true classics of handbell literature.