Handchimes and Holy Week

Lent is here and if you haven’t already made music choices for Maundy Thursday and Good Friday, now is the time.  If you own handbells, choosing to ring handchimes on these two holy days may be an effective decision.  Their mellow and ethereal sound will set a tone for your worship.

Here are some pieces that we highly recommend for your consideration.  All of the title are available from ChimeWorks for immediate purchase and digital download.

Maundy Thursday

Humbly, I Adore You

  • Author/Composer/Arranger: Shawn Gingrich
  • Octaves Used – Select One: 3 – 5 Octaves
  • Level: Level 1+

A classic French melody arranged in an easy-to-ring style for 3-5 octaves. Ideal for an offertory or prelude on a special service.

 

Communion Meditations

  • Author/Composer/Arranger: Margaret R. Tucker
  • Octaves Used – Select One: 3 – 5 Octaves
  • Level: Level 2

This collection of four pieces includes two familiar communion hymn tunes (ADORO TE DEVOTE and EUCHARISTIC HYMN) and two original compositions (O Taste and See and Eat This Bread, Drink This Cup). The original pieces have alternate titles for general use. The four pieces may be played separately or as a group, and each piece has points at which the music may be shortened or repeated.

 

Communion Meditations, Set 2

  • Author/Composer/Arranger: Margaret R. Tucker
  • Octaves Used – Select One: 3 – 5 Octaves
  • Level: Level 2

This collection includes four reflective, variable-length pieces suitable for communion or general use. Three of the pieces are arrangements of “Holy Manna, Picardy” and an old Cornish round, “The Lord is My Shepherd.” The fourth piece, “In Remembrance” (or “Meditation in G Minor”), is an original composition, which also incorporates the optional use of the hymn tune “Martydom”.

 

Gift of Finest Wheat

  • Author/Composer/Arranger: Robert E. Kreutz, Sondra K. Tucker
  • Octaves Used – Select One: 2 – 3 Octaves
  • Level: Level 2+

This arrangement of the beloved communion hymn moves gracefully from 4/4 to 3/4 time, providing a good introduction to mixed meter. Ringers should be sure to emphasize the melody, particularly when it appears in the inner voices, and maintain a legato line throughout.

 

Thee We Adore – Collection for Holy Week and Easter

  • Author/Composer/Arranger: Cathy Moklebust
  • Octaves Used – Select One: 2 Octaves
  • Level: Level 2
  • Use Caution with Techniques and/or Tempo: Caution

These easy arrangements will be ideal for a beginning bell choir. The hymns included are: “Thee We Adore (Adoro Te Devote)”; “Lamb of God, Most Holy (O Lamm Gottes, Unschuldig)”; “Now The Green Blade Rises (Noel Nouvelet)”; and “Christ The Lord is Risen Today (Orientis Partibus)”.

 

Thee We Adore, O Hidden Savior (2 – 3 Octaves)  (3 – 5 Octaves)

  • Author/Composer/Arranger: Cathy Moklebust
  • Level:Level 1+

Ethereal and delicate, this is a very easy setting of the 17th century French tune “Adoro Te Devote.”

 

O Lamb of God, Most Holy

  • Author/Composer/Arranger: Kathleen Wissinger
  • Octaves Used – Select One: 2 – 3 Octaves
  • Level: Level 2-

This gentle 16th-century tune features fermatas. Few parentheses are used for the mostly-chordal melody, played by both treble and bass ringers. All ringers but one encounter at least one easy bell change. Some unison exercises on (1) preparing for bell changes, (2) watching the director for fermatas will help train ringers to play calmly and precisely.

 

Good Friday

Beneath the Cross of Jesus

  • Author/Composer/Arranger: Susan Geschke
  • Octaves Used – Select One: 3 – 5 Octaves
  • Level: Level 2+

This deeply-moving setting uses rich textures and lush harmonies to mirror the emotion of the text. This prayerful setting is especially effective during Lent, Communion or any time of quiet meditation. Using only legato ringing and an ABA form, this beloved hymn is accessible to virtually all choirs and is certain to become a favorite.

 

In the Shadow of the Cross

  • Author/Composer/Arranger: William E. Moats
  • Octaves Used – Select One: 3 – 5 Octaves
  • Level: Level 2+

The familiar Lenten hymns Alas! and Did My Savior Bleed and Beneath the Cross of Jesus progress to the final theme of Amazing Grace in this thoughtful medley.

 

Kyrie

  • Author/Composer/Arranger: Cathy Moklebust
  • Octaves Used – Select One: 2 – 5 Octaves
  • Level: Level 3

The melody in this original work is hauntingly reflective of the words “Kyrie eleison,” meaning “Lord, have mercy.”

 

What Wondrous Love Is This (2 – 3 Octaves) (3 – 5 Octaves)

  • Author/Composer/Arranger: Susan Geschke
  • Octaves Used – Select One: 2 – 3 Octaves
  • Level: Level 1+

Published in two compatible editions, this tender setting of the beloved Appalachian folk song may be played by either handbells or handchimes. With minimal bell changes and easy techniques such as shake and echo, this piece provides an excellent opportunity for expressive, sensitive ringing.

 

He Never Said A Mumbalin’ Word

  • Author/Composer/Arranger: Arnold B. Sherman
  • Octaves Used – Select One: 3 – 5 Octaves
  • Level: Level 3
  • Origin: African American Spiritual
  • Use Caution with Techniques and/or Tempo: Caution

 

Jesus Paid It All

  • Author/Composer/Arranger: Alan Lohr
  • Octaves Used – Select One: 3 Octaves
  • Level: Level 2

This simple three-octave arrangement of the well-known gospel hymn by John T. Grape features minimal bell changes and plenty of harmonic interest. The straightforward treatment enables the listener to reflect on the meditative text of the hymn.

 

O Sacred Head, Now Wounded

  • Author/Composer/Arranger: Arnold B. Sherman
  • Octaves Used – Select One: 3 – 5 Octaves
  • Level: Level 2+

A pensive setting of the Hans Leo Hassler chorale.

 

Pie Jesu

  • Author/Composer/Arranger: Andrew Lloyd Webber, Douglas E. Wagner
  • Octaves Used – Select One: 3 – 5 Octaves
  • Level: Level 2

A beautiful setting from Webber’s Requiem.

Favorite Handchime Pieces for Lent

Looking for a special piece for Lent that will provide your ringers with a worshipful experience?    At ChimeWorks, we have searched our product store for the most meaningful Lenten pieces that are our favorites.   The recommendations below range from Levels 1 to 3 and include traditional and contemporary classics.  Surely, there is something for everyone on our list!

When choosing repertoire, keep in mind the strengths and weaknesses of your choir such as “chime” changes and complex rhythms, etc.  Also, choose music that they can be prepared comfortably in the amount of rehearsal time involved.  Ringing an easier piece beautifully is more satisfying to the ringer and listener than struggling through a more difficult piece.  If your ringers are relaxed while they ring, they will be able to focus on the message and beauty of the selection.

All of the music below is available for immediate purchase and digital download on the ChimeWorks site:

 

Oh Love, How Deep (3 Octaves)

  • Author/Composer/Arranger: Bruce W. Tippette
  • Level: Level 1+

This sturdy hymn tune serves well to set the tone for worship during the Lenten season. It opens with a simple statement of the melody and slowly evolves into an expanded voicing of the original hymn, utilizing LV arpeggios across the ensemble between verses.

 

O the Deep, Deep Love of Jesus (3 – 5 Octaves)

  • Author/Composer/Arranger: Ludwig Van Beethoven arr. Linda R. Lamb
  • Level: Level 1+

Linda Lamb has combined portions of Beethoven’s “Moonlight Sonata” with the hymn tune EBENEZER to create this charming Level 1+ piece. The tune EBENEZER is associated with a variety of other hymn texts including “Once to Every Man and Nation.”

 

What Wondrous Love Is This (2 – 3 Octaves)   (3 – 5 Octaves)

  • Author/Composer/Arranger: Susan Geschke
  • Level: Level 1+

This tender setting of the beloved Appalachian folk song may be played by either handbells or handchimes. With minimal bell changes and easy techniques such as shake and echo, this piece provides an excellent opportunity for expressive, sensitive ringing. This arrangement is especially effective during Lent and Holy Week or any time of quiet meditation.

 

Sheep May Safely Graze (2 – 3 Octaves)

  • Author/Composer/Arranger: J. S. Bach arr. Sharon Elery Rogers
  • Level: Level 2-

This gently flowing music is based on one of Bach’s most beautiful, haunting tunes. It is often heard as a choral anthem or a vocal or organ solo. With the constant ringing of solid chords building to a crescendo in the middle section, the use of a few techniques such as TD, mallets, or SK (with vibrato when rung by handchimes) are sprinkled throughout to reach a forte climax. The piece then closes with a more subdued ending.

 

Lamb of God with There Is a Redeemer (3 – 5 Octaves)

  • Author/Composer/ArrangerMelody Green, Twila Paris arr. Peggy Bettcher
  • Level: Level 2

Two contemporary classics are set together beautifully in this arrangement.

 

My Jesus, I Love Thee (3 – 6 Octaves)

  • Author/Composer/Arranger: Brenda Austin
  • Level: Level 2

Brenda Austin gives us a heartfelt and expressive arrangement of the beloved 19th century hymn. A straight-forward setting of the hymn serves as a contrasting middle section.

 

Pie Jesu (3 – 5 Octaves)

  • Author/Composer/Arranger: Andrew Lloyd Webber arr. Douglas E. Wagner
  • Level: Level 2

This beautiful setting from Webber’s Requiem will be a favorite for your ringers and audience.  It is perfect for beginning ringers as it has no “bell” changes.

 

Nearer, My God to Thee (3 – 5 Octaves)

  • Author/Composer/Arranger: Susan Geschke
  • Level:  2

Rising like a gentle prayer, this expressive setting of an old favorite is fresh and memorable. Lush legato ringing creates an elegant beauty that will linger in listeners’ hearts long after the final notes fade away.

 

My Song Is Love Unknown (3 – 7 Octaves)

  • Author/Composer/Arranger: John Ireland arr. Cathy Moklebust
  • Level: Level 2+
  • Options: Oboe or other C Instrument

This arrangement of English composer John Ireland’s tune LOVE UNKNOWN has been enhanced with an original melody and an optional oboe counter melody.  A minor key in the second verse creates a solemn mood befitting the passion of Jesus. The final verse is triumphant, and features a soaring oboe descant.

 

Walking with Jesus (3 – 6 Octaves)

  • Author/Composer/Arranger:  H. Dean Wagner
  • Level: Level 3

“Walking with Jesus” combines three hymns: “I Want Jesus to Walk with Me” (SOJOURNER), “O Master, Let Me Walk with Thee” (MARYTON) and “Come, O Thou Traveler Unknown” (CANDLER.) This meaningful arrangement takes us on a journey of faith with our Savior through the valleys and mountains of life, and ends in the serene peace of heaven.

Budget-friendly Ringing Collections for Lent and Easter

Lent is right around the corner and if you haven’t begun to plan, now is the time! It’s always fun to shop for music at the beginning of a new budget year as you are not feeling the pressure of eliminating your resources. One smart way of stretching your budget dollars throughout the year is to purchase collections which offer a variety of music bundled together at a discounted price.

With the thought of Lent, Holy Week and Easter happening over the next three months, we offer the considerations below to get you through this holy time. Many of the resources suggested require one copy to be purchased with unlimited photocopying for your organization’s use. For those collections that require a minimum purchase of five, the understanding is that you will order as many copies as you plan to use for your ensemble. For example, a three octave choir with 11 ringers often uses 7 copies – one for the director and the other 6 copies in binders shared by ringers. Licenses are non-transferrable.

All of the suggestions below are available for immediate purchase and digital download on the ChimeWorks site. No waiting and no shipping charges!

 

All Glory and Praise (2 – 3 Octaves)  (3 – 5 Octaves)
• Author/Composer/Arranger: Dan R. Edwards
• Level: Level 2, Level 2+
• Topic: Easter, General, Lent, Palm Sunday, Pentecost
• Use Caution with Techniques and/or Tempo: Caution

Tune sources: American spiritual; ST. THEODULPH; ELLACOMBE; EASTER HYMN; Jean Sibelius; Camille Saint-Saëns; BROTHER JAMES’ AIR; MORECAMBE • Contents: Jesus Walked This Lonesome Valley, Palm Sunday Processional (with All Glory, Laud and Honor and Hosanna, Loud Hosanna); Easter Triumph (incorporating Christ the Lord Is Risen Today); The Lord Is My Shepherd; Spirit of God, Descend Upon My Heart • Levels 2 and 2+ • Ring in the spring with this collection of seasonal favorites carefully selected to highlight Palm Sunday, Easter, as well as other special Sundays in the spring. The selections will be meaningful additions to worship, and can be mastered with minimal rehearsal time.

 

All Things Bright and Beautiful (2 – 3 Octaves)  (3 – 5 Octaves)
• Author/Composer/Arranger: Cathy Moklebust
• Level: Level 1+, Level 2, Level 2+
• Topic: Christmas, Communion, Easter, General, Lent, Palm Sunday
• Use Caution with Techniques and/or Tempo: Caution

Cathy Moklebust’s reproducible collection contains several well-known hymn tune arrangements and original compositions for use during various seasons of the church year. Two of the pieces include instrumental parts. Published in compatible editions for 2-3 and 3-5 octaves, this budget-stretching reproducible collection will be a great addition to the libraries of church handbell choirs. Contents: All Things Bright and Beautiful; All Glory, Laud and Honor; God, Who Stretched the Spangled Heavens (Brethren, We Have Met to Worship); Calming Peace (Prayer for Kristin); Thee We Adore, O Hidden Savior; Kyrie, Processional on All Glory, Laud and Honor; Now the Green Blade Rises (Sing We Now of Christmas); Christ the Lord Is Risen Today (From the East the Donkey Came)

 

God Reigns, Let Earth Be Glad (2 – 3 Octaves)  (3 – 5 Octaves)

• Author/Composer/Arranger: Anna Laura Page, Bill Ingram, Cathy Moklebust, Kevin McChesney, Sandra Eithun
• Level: Level 1, Level 1+, Level 2
• Topic: General, Lent, Pentecost
• Use Caution with Techniques and/or Tempo: Caution

The collection will be excellent for developing choirs as well as more experienced groups who need music they can learn quickly. Includes: Fairest Lord Jesus; Blessed Assurance; This Is My Father’s World; Lamb of God, Most Holy and Christians, We Have Met to Worship (Holy Spirit, Ever Dwelling
Tune sources: CRUSADER’S HYMN; ASSURANCE; TERRA PATRIS; O LAMM GOTTES, UNSCHULDIG; HOLY MANNA

 

Keep It Simple 2 (2 Octaves)  (3 Octaves)

• Author/Composer/Arranger: Lloyd Larson
• Level: Level 1
• Topic: General, Lent, Praise, Transfiguration
• Use Caution with Techniques and/or Tempo: Caution

Lloyd Larson’s successful series Keep It Simple was created with the beginning choir in mind, these are readily accessible arrangements now available in both a new 2-octave version, and a 3-octave version. Full, lush and dynamic chords characterize these carol and hymn settings. Each selection is ideal for lesser experienced groups as well as ensembles needing to prepare selections with limited preparation time.

 

Ring and Sing the Seasons (3 Octaves)

• Author/Composer/Arranger: Karen Lakey Buckwalter
• Octaves Used – Select One: 3 Octaves
• Level: Level 1, Level 1+
• Topic: Christmas, Easter, General, Lent, Palm Sunday
• Options: Voice

Ring and Sing the Seasons is a reproducible collection comprised of both seasonal and general use hymn arrangements. The arrangements feature very simple rhythms and chords for handbells or handchimes, and unison vocal parts. Also included is an original processional, composed of layered ostinato patterns, with alternate texts for General, Christmas, Palm Sunday and Easter use. In her preface, Karen Lakey Buckwalter writes, “Having served 38 years in full time music ministry, I realized some of the most joyful moments were convincing choirs of all ages that they could ring and sing simultaneously.” One also has the option of having a soloist or vocal choir sing the hymn tune accompanied by the handbell or handchime choir. Separate vocal pages are included for the convenience of non-ringing singers. Contents: The Bells of Christmas; Christians, We Have Met to Worship; God, Who Made the Earth and Heaven; He Is Born; I Want Jesus to Walk with Me; Processional; That Easter Day with Joy Was Bright; This Is My Father’s World

 

Ring Around the Year (3 – 5 Octaves)

• Author/Composer/Arranger: Anna Laura Page, Cathy Moklebust, Kevin McChesney, Margaret R. Tucker, Sondra K. Tucker, Susan Geschke, Valerie W. Stephenson
• Level: Level 2
• Topic: Advent, All Saints/All Souls, Baptism, Christmas, Easter, General, Lent, Palm Sunday, Pentecost, Thanksgiving
• Use Caution with Techniques and/or Tempo: Caution

“Ring Around the Year” provides wonderful handchime music for use throughout the year. Most of the pieces are also suitable for general, non-seasonal use. The seven titles in this collection are written for 3, 4, or 5 octaves. This reproducible collection is designed to meet the needs of handchime choirs by helping to stretch their music budgets. With the purchase of this collection, the original purchasing organization (church, school, or community ensemble) is granted permission to make copies as needed for their ringers.

 

Reproducible Rings II

(2 – 3 Octaves)  (3 – 5 Octaves)

• Author/Composer/Arranger: Lloyd Larson
• Level: Level 2
• Topic: Easter, Holy Week, Lent, Patriotic, Pentecost, Transfiguration

Arranged with the volunteer handbell ringer in mind, these eight hymn settings by Lloyd Larson are quickly learned and ready to perform with limited preparation time. Engaging settings of familiar hymn tunes guarantee broad appeal to both ringers and listeners. Includes: Ah, Holy Jesus; All Glory, Laud and Honor; America The Beautiful, Fairest Lord Jesus, I Know That My Redeemer Lives; Spirit of God, Descend Upon My Heart; The Day of Resurrection and What Wondrous Love Is This