New exciting products, customer experiences, inspiring performances and helpful tips from the experts are all things we try to share with you in each issue of The Resonance, and this one is fantastic! You'll want to read about Brian Parrot and his expert tips on equipment marking then learn about how Malmark's Pedal Cajon is a "game changer." No less engaging is the story about the Boston Crusaders using bells or the fabulous video from our spotlight performance by the Bells of the Sound! We hope this issue will serve to connect you to the ringing community and inspire you to try something new.
As always, we'd love to hear from you with feedback or questions at email@example.com Happy ringing!
In the world of percussion, Malmark's Pedal Cajon stands out as truly unique.
Not only does this drum have the requisite booming bass balanced by a distinct high-range snare sound but it has unparalleled functionality. "The pedal makes it extremely versatile in real world music settings." according to F. Thomas Simpson, artistic director of Pasadena Arts Foundation, Crown City Ringers and Malmark Representative in California. It's exciting for us to hear that while using the Pedal Cajon this past Christmas, he realized that he's not the only one who found it to be useful. "Our LA studio percussionist loved it", continues Thomas. "I wanted him to use it for a piece we were doing with handbells, and he also ended up using it on three other pieces in the concert that weren't even related to us!"
Specifically, with the Pedal Cajon a player can:
So, how did the Boston Crusaders end up using Cymbells in their 2017 "Wicked Games" show? While that is an intriguing question we need to start earlier in the story. In January 2017, Brian Seemann contacted me in need of Choirchimes for the College Ring-In happening in Dallas. So, we planned to meet up to deliver the chimes and we spent a happy hour talking handbells. I also learned about Brian's work with the Boston Crusaders. Later in June, I was looking for information as to how Malmark Cymbells might be used with marching bands and remembered Brian had connections: "Funny that you should ask this summer!!"
Brian Parrott's introduction to handbells first came when he was about 12 years old and saw a local college handbell choir play. Fourteen years later, he was given the chance to "try" playing handbells. He picked up a handbell for the first time in October of that year, played his first solo in December, and ordered a three-octave set the following summer. That was over 20 years ago, and he's been playing ever since. Other than a few months, and as a frequent sub, all Brian's handbell playing experience has been in community handbell ensembles.
For the past 6 years I have worked with the Handbell Musicians of America to secure equipment for the National Seminar. This means working with local representatives to find as many as 35 sets of bells and 25 sets of chimes that people are willing to loan for the event. One of the important things when borrowing equipment is making sure we know to whom it should be returned. Therefore, we require that everything we borrow be uniquely identified. I have seen all kinds of markings over the last 6 years and some work better than others. Even if you don't loan your equipment, it's a good idea to be sure it is marked with something recognizable. Most of the marking methods I'll discuss are not ideal for marking your equipment in the case of theft as the markings can be removed. But they are sufficient to help you identify your equipment quickly from one set to another. I will also mention a few ways you can make more permanent markings in your bells.
One of the best ways to mark your bells is with handle inscriptions from Malmark. These gold-leaf engraved labels are permanently placed inside the handles and cannot be removed without permanent damage to the handles.
Looking back at the Bells of the Sound Christmas concert we are proud to present in this Video Spotlight "On This Day Earth Shall Ring" arranged by Cathy Moklebust. This music is not only a ringer's dream to play but it's also fun to see and hear for an audience. You'll love the driving rhythms found in the malleted bells throughout this music which are accented by the percussion. And, the use of the vocalist to introduce the "Personent Hodie" tune prepares the listener to recognize the melody throughout. You will be tapping your toe, humming the tune and riveted to your screen with this outstanding performance by Bells of the Sound!
Bells of the Sound (aka BOTS) was formed nearly 30 years ago by several handbell directors in the Seattle area who were looking for an opportunity to step to the other side of the table and ring. Since then, Bells of the Sound has matured into an auditioned community ensemble dedicated to musical excellence and exciting performance. The group likes to think outside of the box for their concert themes and have sponsored six composition contests to generate music that fits these themes. Several submissions to their contests have gone on to publication, including "Andromeda" by Nancy Hascall, "The Journey Home" by Paul McKlveen, "Glad Sound Blues" by Michael Mazzatenta and "Enhebrado de la Aguja Del Espacio (Threading the Space Needle)" by Matthew Prins.