Handbells sound like Christmas!

Recording under way for Tidings of Comfort and Joy

It’s beginning to look and sound a lot like Christmas! The Capital Ringers started recording their holiday concert, “Tidings of Comfort and Joy,” on Sunday, September 27.

You can reserve your “seat” to our 10-song mix of sacred and secular music on our website. There are options for individuals and groups such as churches, businesses and senior centers.

The Capital Ringers are going where not too many handbell ensembles are choosing to go. We have been rehearsing since July. What you won’t see in our finished performance is what it took to bring you this production, which includes old favorites such as “Wizards in Winter” and “Winter Wonderland” and goosebump-inducing new arrangements such as “Love Came Down at Christmas” and “Lo How a Rose E’er Blooming” featuring haunting handchimes.

Preparing and decorating our recording spaces takes hours.

You can view the song selections here.

Every Sunday, at Conley’s United Methodist Church near Lewes, we spend hours safely setting up our six cameras and 20-plus microphones, securing cables, and testing the mix of sound – all while following rigorous COVID-19 safety protocols. Along with the wreaths, poinsettias, and other Christmas decorations, we have to remove it all after our two-hour rehearsals.

“What we are accomplishing is impressive during a time when most handbell ensembles and musical groups in general have cancelled all rehearsals and events,” said Linda Simms, Capital Ringers founder and artistic director. “It’s intense.  It’s different.  It’s also exciting to pioneer through this time with so many dedicated volunteers in order to bring our music to so many people at a time when the arts are needed so much.”

‘The beauty moved me to tears’

Capital Ringers Inc. President Mimi Dupont sat in on a recent rehearsal.

“At one point, the beauty of the piece they were playing moved me to tears,” she recalled. “Hearing those bells ringing again after being silent for so long was deeply inspiring. And the holiday music — both sacred and secular — is so uplifting. I can’t wait to see the video.”

The Capital Ringers invite you to sign up for and share our performance. In these tumultuous and uncertain times, let us remember Plato’s words:

“Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, and life to everything.”

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