The Capital Ringers, Delmarva’s community handbell ensemble, has been safely rehearsing Christmas music since July in order to to record and produce a virtual holiday performance.
The 10-song mix of sacred and secular music will be available as a video link to individuals, churches, senior centers, businesses and other organizations at a time when most people will not have access to live performances.
“Live Christmas music will be scarce this year,” said Capital Ringers founder and Artistic Director Linda Simms. “Share our concert link with your congregation, shut-ins, members, customers, residents and others in your community who may be feeling isolated this holiday season.”
To select one of the three options available, go to capitalringers.org/tidings-of-comfort-and-joy. A complete concert, including song introductions, will be available to individuals beginning Sunday, Dec. 6. A subscription service that includes two songs a week begins Saturday, Nov. 21. A branded or unbranded full-concert option is available for churches, businesses and other organizations to share freely with their particular community.
The two concert options include a bonus video that features the making of the production and interviews with arrangers of the holiday repertoire.
The Capital Ringers has the largest collection of handbells and handchimes on the Delmarva Peninsula. Its Christmas show has become a holiday tradition, and its musicians also perform in the spring with themes that have included everything from Dr. Seuss to classic rock. Their 2020 spring schedule was canceled, and it is unclear when the group will perform live again. Members have been following strict COVID-19 protocols while rehearsing at Conley’s United Methodist Church near Lewes.
“What we are accomplishing is impressive during a time when most handbell ensembles and musical groups in general have canceled all rehearsals and events,” Simms said. “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.”