POSTED IN | 10:18 PM
(me and bell choir stand partner)
They say you never forget your first time.
First time to play in a hand bell choir that is.
And so it goes that Thanksgiving Day will be my maiden hand bell voyage with the All Souls' Episcopal troupe. But instead of cracking a bottle of Dom P. over the bow I'll be tickling some brassies with fellow ringers. Choice. All told I'm quite elated.
For whatever reason I've always wanted to be in a hand bell choir. The girls, the cash, the prestige. And, mhhm...the svelte ebony gloves. All things I idolize in life, really. But don't worry, I won't let it change me...
Bells represent a brilliant pairing of tonality with percussive action — tactile musical bliss in hand-held form. And I mostly specialize in four notes: G, G#, A and A# just below middle C — kind of your mid-range tonal arsenal, as far as hand bells go.
So that's it. Check it off the list. I think I've reached my life summit, friends. And I'm not even 26 years old. Not a bad go of things all told.
But it doesn't stop there.
I'm also a chorister these days too. A rekindling of former vocal mediocrity. It's divine (in a mostly temporal way).
Several weeks ago (on All Saints Sunday) we sang the Schubert Mass in B flat major at church. It was divine (in a more eternal way). Here's the mass' Gloria. You should listen to it if you want to connect with something larger than yourself.
I've been at All Souls' for about three months now and it seems my life is on an ever increasing high-church trajectory. For starters I wear a cassock and surplice every Sunday. How did that happen?
But the Episcopal tradition is a simplistically beautiful one I think. I love the symbols and the sensory elements of worship. And chanting is just plain cool.
And now, as we're moving into the especially meaty portion of the liturgical year there are good things on the menu. You can keep your holiday muzak. We've got the real deal at the Souls': vocal, orchestral, percussional.
Ring it like a polaroid.