I am currently attending the 13th International Handbell Symposium in Orlando. Rejoice played one of our favorite numbers, Grazioso, for the concert yesterday. Following is a review by the Handbell Podcast guys, Paul Weller and Dean Jensen:
Dean: The fifth piece was performed by Rejoice Ringers (USA) under the direction of Debbie Rice. They performed Grazioso by Arnold B. Sherman. I LOVE this piece. The group is watching the director and following every move she makes. The addition of Silver Melody Bells was a nice twist. Something I was not expecting. Again, I am coming back to how well this group watches their director. The pauses, stretches and slight tempo changes really make this piece wonderful. It is rare that I am brought to tears by handbell music, especially songs that I know. This was the performance of this piece I have ever heard. They added the 6th and 7th octave of chimes. WOW. Chills, tears and a sense of awe. I am so glad I was here to hear that performance.
Paul: Next comes one of my favorite pieces, Grazioso. As is the custom of Debbie Rice, she uses many different “voices” in the handbell choir. The second time we hear the melody it is played on silver melody bells creating a very shimmery sound. This group is doing an absolutely amazing job of watching their director and following every little nuance that she has given them. The addition of the silver melody bells gives this song a sort of old-other-worldly quality. Doubling the last chord on bells and chimes was a nice touch, it rounded out the sound and made it feel a bit softer around the edges.
All we want to do is please Debbie; I think we made that happen!