June 2022 Bells Concert
The Bells at Temple Square presented its much anticipated first concert of 2022, “Life's Journeys” on Friday, June 17, at 7:30 p.m. in the Salt Lake Tabernacle. Anyone who has ever watched this delightful handbell ensemble perform will tell you that the bell ringing engages the audience and often looks like the performers are dancing with their bells. “With the bells, it is not just about playing the notes,” said Teresa Winder, one of the charter members of the Bells at Temple Square. “It’s a visual art.”
This concert was led by LeAnna Willmore, conductor of the Bells at Temple Square, with the assistance of Geoff Anderson, associate conductor. The concert featured the talented versatility of the handbell choir playing on two sets of English handbells (one with 7 octaves and one with 6½ octaves) and two 6-octave sets of hand chimes.
The music for the evening explored a variety of musical genres from hymns and anthems to classical and jazz. As with past Bells at Temple Square concerts, the handbell numbers were interspersed with performances by members of the Orchestra at Temple Square and an organ solo, provided in this concert by Temple Square organist Joseph Peeples. The evening opened with music of praise with “Acclamation in G. Minor,” “Ring His Glorious Praise,” “Life’s Journey,” and “The King of Love My Shepherd Is.” The next section included music of Illumination with arrangements of composer Felix Mendelssohn’s “Italian Symphony” along with “Sabre Dance,” Carole Bayer Sager and David Foster’s “The Prayer,” and Aaron Copland’s “Fanfare for the Common Man.” The bells then moved to explorations of Celebration melodies and sounds with “Spiritfire,” “Jazzin’” “Them Basses,” ending the concert with a delightfully performed “Pirates of the Caribbean.”
The Bells at Temple Square have been performing with The Tabernacle Choir and in separate concerts since it was organized in 2005. The Bells at Temple Square handbell ensemble includes 33 volunteer musicians drawn from within 100 miles of Temple Square. Like the members of The Tabernacle Choir, Orchestra at Temple Square, and Chorale at Temple Square, all the bell ringers are volunteer musicians. In addition to its anticipated twice-yearly concerts, the Bells often taken part in the weekly Music & the Spoken Word broadcast and play a major role in the Choir’s annual Christmas concerts.