It’s been five-and-a-half months since Ringing Praise, my church’s handbell choir, has met. I miss my fellow ringers (though we’ve kept up an active text chain), and also the ethereal timbre of our instruments. Join me as I listen to some wonderful handbell performances.
You might enjoy watching these fullscreen (click on the little broken square on the lower right corner of each video).
Milwaukee Handbell Ensemble:
I am jealous of this group’s bass bells. Dancing Queen:
Here’s what happened when the Handbell Musicians of American had their 2020 Symposium online in July:
Let It Go played on handchimes:
Flight of the Bumblebee:
Lion King medley:
I first became aware of 2Cellos when a Facebook friend posted this video:
Notice the guys’ raggedy bows, with the horsehair hanging down? Before this video, I’d never seen that before. No self-respecting cellist would perform with his bow in that condition.
Now it’s a trend.
I had the good fortune of sitting in a front row seat when they performed at a local venue a few years ago. They played so fast and so hard that I could literally smell the horsehair on their bows burning. I understand how their bows got that way.
The duo is made up of Luka Šulić and Stjepan Hauser. Hauser, born in Pula, Croatia, and Šulić, born in Maribor, Slovenia, are classically trained musicians. They met while still in their teens. Šulić attended the Academy of Music in Zagreb, and then studied in Vienna. He later entered London’s Royal Academy of Music. Hauser attended the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester, after completing his studies at Trinity Laban in London. Before they became partners, the two cellists were sometimes rivals, competing against each other in music contests.
Despite their musical success in the United Kingdom, Hauser and Šulić struggled financially until a friend suggested making the music video cover of Michael Jackson’s “Smooth Criminal.” The duo rose to fame in 2011 after their video became a hit on YouTube, receiving over three million views in the first two weeks.
After Elton John watched the “Smooth Criminal” video online, he personally called Šulić and invited the duo to appear with him on his thirty-one city 2011 summer tour.
2Cellos has recorded four albums with Sony Masterworks.
Though their video covers of pop music have made them famous, they both still perform classically, soloing with major symphony orchestras around the world.
It’s difficult to find information about the duo known as The Harp Twins without hiring a private detective. For example, no online source reveals their birthday or their age. The most complete biography I found is the one that appears on their website.
Camille and Kennerly Kitt have acted in movies and commercials. They’re both third-degree black belts in tae kwon do.
Both graduated summa cum laude from the Conservatory of Music at Wheaton College with Bachelor of Music degrees in harp performance. Though classically trained, they are better known for their many YouTube covers of rock songs and soundtracks. They’ve also recorded four albums.
They play movie themes while wearing related costumes:
And they’ve also done video game themes:
No one knows how hard it is to go on tour with harps:
I can’t look away. Does that mean I’m addicted to Harp Twins videos?
I’m sure you have a busy day today, celebrating the Lord’s birth with family and friends (or maybe not).
So, rather than burden you with a lengthy article about the season, I’d like to just share some music. Sit back, relax, enjoy.
My favorite acapella group:
My favorite scene from my favorite Christmas movie:
I dare you to watch this without your eyes tearing up:
Old favorite in a new way:
Everybody’s favorite singing chickens:
No collection of Christmas music would be complete without:
And for your New Year’s Eve pleasure, another Zooey Deschanel duet: