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SATB: with Handbells

Date: Mon, 13 Nov 1995 06:10:53 -0500
From: SMGingrich(a)
Subject: Bells with Choir compiled responses

Thanks to all of the following people who responded to my query about choral
music using handbells. I am posting the compiled responses to the list for
others who may be interested.
Shawn Gingrich, Graduate student at Westminster Choir College
Gingrichs(a) /or/ SMGingrich(a)

Timothy Howard wrote:
Darlene Lawrence's setting of the 23rd Psalm. (I think it's published by Fred
Bock Music)

Jeffrey Jones wrote:
You might consult Dr. Aimee Beckmann-Collier at Drake University. Her choir,
Musica Ecclesia, premiered a work for handbells, oboe and chorus.
It was a Magnificat setting. the name of the composer escapes me at the
She can be reached at:

Dale Jergenson wrote:
We have some standard stuff in our catalogue like "American the Beautiful",
"Silent Night", Introits, Benedictions, and Bell Prayer Amens. What I have
addition, is an unpublished piece of mine for SATB and 2-5 octaves handbells
called "Clouds". It's all sung on AH - no words to worry about.

Walter Knowles wrote:
Please check out Peter Hallock's psalm settings, many of which are set
with handbells. They are published by Ionian Press of Mercer Island, WA.

Doug O'Neill wrote:
I would second the earlier response to recommend Peter Hallock's
music. Our choir used "Let my prayer come up as the incense" as an
evensong introit (with incense and all!), and it worked beautifully. It
probably works better liturgically, but maybe it could work in a concert.
This piece is recorded by the choir of St. John's Cathedral, Denver on
"Sing we Hallelujah" (Delos Records 3149).
Also, Richard Proulx uses handbells occasionally in his music. We used
"Psalm 130 - Processional Psalm for Lent" (GIA) during Lent last year. He
also has a setting of the Magnificat and Nunc Dimittis for various
combinations of voices with handbells, also published by GIA.
You might also want to browse through catalogs by publishers like GIA,
Paraclete, etc.

John R. Hall wrote:
This summer I made a recording project for a church choir/handbell
ensemble that included two handbell tunes. Since I secured mechanical
licenses from the Harry Fox Agency in NYC for the recordings, I have
publisher information--but not at my desk.
One of the tunes was a handbell setting of the old hymn "When I Survey
the Wondrous Cross". However, that might not fit your needs. The other
tune was "Simple Gifts" from the [Shaker] tradition.

Charles Fuller wrote:
I'm sure I could come up with several but the first that comes to
mind is "A New Psalm" by Dede Duson published by Jenson (I think).
It uses about 8-10 bells. I did it several years ago and it was also
a Texas All-State Choir selection in the 80's.

Chuck Stanley wrote:
Here are my two favorite pieces for handbells and choir ---
unfortunately, neither on is a based on a psalm...
OUTBURST OF JOY (3 octaves / SATB) Dobrinski #HB009

Rob Ross wrote:
This isn't psalms, but, given the coming season, check out Libby Larsen's
Ringeltanze for chorus, strings, & handbells. A crowd-pleaser and substanive
all at the same time! Pub. EC Schirmer; parts on rental; comes as 6 or 7
separate octavos.

Eileen Laurence wrote:
There is an Irish Blessing that I wrote for SATB and bells (easy) 4 oct
I think that is coming out soom from AGEHR. It is ideal for ending a
service or concert. Text "May the road rise to meet you..." The only
other piece I have done for voices and bells is the Dr. Martin Luther
King, Jr. Tribute. Gospel style SATB with 5 oct bells due out , again
from AGEHR, in their Janus series in about 1 1/2 years.

Douglas Benton wrote:
A couple of my faves: "Canon of Praise" (Natalie Sleeth/Choristers Guild) a
three part canon for choir with bells (2-oct.+) and organ; O Holy Night (arr.

Beton/AGEHR) 8-part choir with Solo, 3-6 oct. bells, w/wo organ/strings)
does lots of "oohs & ahs" under soloist; "I Saw Three Ships"
(Wilberg/Hinshaw) I
think the bells are 2-oct (we expanded to 6).

Dennis Friesen-Carper
wrote that he has written a setting of the Magnificat that may be of
interest, "If your handbell choir is accomplished." (English, NEB text)

Mrs. Linda H. Smith wrote:
Shawn, here are several titles that we have used -- difficulty of the
bell parts (AND choral parts) vary, but none are terribly hard and
all have been successful. I have included some other than Psalm-
based, but have tried to give you a clue as to text or tune used.
Arise and Sing a Psalm, Allen Pote, Hinshaw Music HMC-669, bell part
included with octavo. Psalm 108 & Hosea 6:3
Arise, Your Light Has Come, David Danner, Genevox 4172-82, bell part
is separate, also has conductor's score and instrument parts
available. Best for a large choir, and is a spectacular piece. Not
a psalm, but has a psalm-like fanfare opening and closing with Wachet
auf in the middle. Great piece!
A Jubilant Song, Allen Pote, Hope F 979, opt. brass & bell parts.
Psalms 90 & 96. Could be done with a smaller choral group.
Surely the Lord Is in This Place, Colvin, Word 301 0685 165, bell
part by Mary Kay Parrish Word 3014057312, also orch parts by Keith
Christopher available. Genesis 28:16-17. This is lovely -- easy but
very effective.
God of Grace and God of Laughter, Hal Hopson, H.W. Gray (CPP/Belwin)
GCMR03596. Uses just 9 bells and part is included in the octavo.
There are also parts available for a string quintet (GCMR03596A).
Original text with tune Hyfrydol.
A Canticle of Blessing, David Danner, Broadman Press 4170-44, full
bell part included with each octavo. Brass & percussion parts
available (4186-16) from Braodman. Psalm 103:1-5, 8, 10-12, 20-22.

Cathy Moklebust wrote:
Some choral pieces w/bells that I like and that work are:
Jubilate Deo - Dale Wood (Augsburg Fortress) - (Psalm 100)
Kling, Glockchen - Ron Nelson (AMSI)
On This Day Earth Shall Ring -David Cherwien (CPH)
Creator of the Stars of Night - Jeff Honore (Augsburg)
Ubi Caritas et Amor - Richard Proulx (GIA) - 6 bells only-but
Gethsemane Prayer - Jeff Honore (Augsburg) - positively stunning

Whoever wanted choral music with bells should contact MorningStar Music
Publishers (1-800-647-2117) and AMSI (1-800-SEE-AMSI). Both
(particularly AMSI) have extensive listings.

Date: Mon, 05 Jan 1998 20:02:25 -0600
From: "Martin P. Dicke"
Subject: Christmas Handbell Repertoire


Below is a complilation of the responses I received for Christmas choral
music utilizing handbells. The list of works suggested is arranged
alphabetically by composer followed by all the responses (arranged in the
order received).

Many thanks to all who took the time to respond.

Martin Dicke
Christmas Choral Music with Handbells

Bock Peace, Peace SATB ?
-also SA or SSA, incorporates "Silent Night"
Burnam On This Day Earth Shall Ring Unison
-contact composer (see below)
Dengler Merrily Ring the Christmas Bells ? Shawnee #A-6950
-handbell part #LC-5051
Dicke Ding! Dong! Merrily on High SATB Augsburg
-3 oct bells or kbd, unison verses, very contrapuntal refrain
Dicke In dulci jubilo SATB
-2 or 3 octave bells, contact mdicke(a)
Dicke Sussex Carol SATB Walton #WW1243
-2 oct bells (opt) and/or keyboard, easy choral parts
Disrud&Christensen O come, O come, Emmanuel SATB Plymouth PCS-120
-brass (2331), bells
Fedak The Bells of Christmas SATB Concordia 98-2857
-organ & bells
Hopson Festival of Lessons & Carols ? ?
Langer Composition for New Year's Eve SATB
-contact composer (see below)
Larson Ringeltanze SATB ECS
-set of 6, each available separately
Leininger There is no Rose SSAA Alliance
Owens Hodie 2-pt ?
-only 4 bells, short & easy, effective as a processional
Schalk/Ferguson Before the Marvel of this Night SATB Augsburg
-HB part by John Ferguson of St. Olaf College
Schellenberger Hodie Christus natus est SATB Hope
Spevacek The Wexford Carol SATB ?
Terri Belgian Christmas Carols I & II Treble Lawson-Gould
Wedd Veni Creator Spiritus ? Cypress (Intrada)
Wilberg I Saw Three Ships SATBdiv Hinshaw #HMC-923
-pf 4-hands, bells or other
Jim Leininger's setting of "There is no Rose" is very beautiful. It
does not meet your voicing requests. It is SSAA, but most is unison or
two part with a short 4 part section. It is published by Alliance Music
Publications (the one in Houston, not the one in Canada). The octavo
number is AMP0011.

Lou Williams-Wimberly
Hal Hopson's wonderful new Festival of Lessons and Carols which is full
of well-written Christmas music _and_ congregation-involved carol
singing, also has a handbell accompaniment, which I didn't use but which
I'm sure is as great as the choral writing!!

Paul Olsen, Our Savior's Lutheran, Salem Oregon
Peace, Peace by Fred Bock is transcribed for bells-folks will love it.

Lee Cooke
Veni, Creator Spiritus - Patrick Wedd, composer - Cypress Publications -
Intrada Distributor 1-800-INTRADA

Diane Loomer
Elektra Women's Choir, Chor Leoni Men's Choir (
(604) 261-2670 (604) 264-0027 (FAX)
7061 Cypress St.Vancouver, BC, V6P 5M2
This church choir, which has neither bells nor ringers, just made a
success of 'Hodie Christus natus est,' arr Sam Batt Owens, for 2-part
equal voices and 4 handbells. As an introit.

We borrowed the bells and persuaded two teenagers to ring them.
Lani Johnson
Nysara Studios
North Coast Chorale
Seaside United Methodist Choir
Warrenton, Oregon
Our choruses enjoyed learning Libby Larsen's "Ringeltanze", a set of six
ring dances scored for SATB and handbells, published by ECS.

Best wishes for the coming year.

Whoops! I forgot to mention another set: "Belgian Christmas Carols", Set
I and II, arranged by Salli Terri for various treble voicings and
instruments, including handbells. Published by Lawson Gould. Terri, who
died last year, arranged myriad works for the Roger Wagner Chorale.


Monica J. Hubbard, Director, Women's Choral Activities (626)395-6260 Vox
California Institute of Technology MC 2-58 (626)795-8731 Fax
Pasadena, CA 91125-0001 mhubbard(a)
If I may, I'd like to suggest one of my pieces titled "Merrily Ring the
Christmas Bells". It calls for 3 octave handbells. It is published by
Harold Flammer Music (Shawnee Press) octavo # A-6950, handbell part

Lee Dengler,
I'm going to assume that you've already checked the (lengthy)
lists in the CRS under childrens choir, SAB and handbells.

* James D. Feiszli, D.M.A. jfeiszli(a) *
* Director, ChoralNet *
* Owner: Choralist, ChoralAcademe, ChoralNet Resource Site *
* Chair, Department of Humanities *
* South Dakota School of Mines and Technology *
I have a composition I just finished for New Year's that is scored for
SATB choir, piano, and handbells.
Ken Langer
PO Box 319
Lyndon Center VT 05850
e-mail: klanger(a)
home page:
I recently used a rather simple but effective piece as a processional by
Sam Batt Owens called "Hodie" which alters between two chords and has two
lines, one sung by upper voices the other sung by lower voices (2-part).
You probably know this one. I can't remember the publisher off the top
of my head, but if you're interested, I'll look it up.


=========================================Dr. Scott R. Peterson
Director of Choral Activities
Yakima Valley Community College
Yakima, Washington

Yakima Symphony Chorus
Yakima Chamber Singers

Karen Kearney of Galilee Episcopal Church, Virginia Beach,
commissioned a setting from me this year of the hymn Personent Hodie,
"On this day earth shall ring." It's for unison treble choir and
three octaves of handbells--no keyboard.

Best wishes,

Jack Warren Burnam
Immanuel Church, Highlands
Wilmington, Delaware
We did Schellenberger's "Hodie Christus Natus Est" SATB + bells (that's
it). Very nice. (Hope Publ.)

Jamie Foster, jamiefoster(a), Pismo Beach, CA
FAX: (805) 773-4288; office phone: (805) 773-0101
There's a 'flute or bells' part in the New Century Hymnal version of "Twas
in the Moon of Wintertime'. unison singing, would need only 7 bells, very
nice! (NCH 151)

Judith Conrad, Clavichord Player (jconrad(a)
Director of Fall River Fipple Fluters
Church Musician at First Congregational Church, Bristol, R. I.
Piano and Harpsichord Tuner-Technician
Here are 4 which I ran across while preparing this year's Christmas
concert. I've done the Wilberg, but decided against the others

Fedak (arr.) - The Bells of Christmas org, bells Concordia 98-2857
Dicke - Sussex Carol org or HARP, bells Walton WW1243
Disrud&Christensen - O come, O come, Emmanuel brass (2331),
bells Plymouth PCS-120
Wilberg (arr.) - I saw three ships pf 4-hands, bells or other
Hinshaw HMC-923

Rodney A. Wynkoop
Dir. of University Choral Music
Duke University
My Level I Mixed Chorus (mainly freshmen) just finished performing a
beautiful arrangement of "The Wexford Carol" by Linda Spevacek that has
handbells indicated. I don't have them, so my performance lacked the real
beauty it could have had. Even so, the arrangement is a very excellent
teaching piece moving from unison in verse 1 to a canon between men and
women in verse 2 to an SATB canon in verse 3. Beautiful! I highly
recommend it.

Beth Good
Westmont Hilltop High School
Johnstown, PA