Premiere of Federation Handbells composition

by Susan Bamford Caleo
Publish date
30 July 2013
Comments (1)

Susan is the Federation Handbells Officer at Museum Victoria.

On Thursday 11th July, Arts Centre Melbourne rang out to the sounds of the Federation Handbells in the world premiere of Welcome. The handbells were played by internationally acclaimed composer/percussionist Steve Falk with students from Blackburn High School. It launched the 2013 Sounds Great! Conference for the Association of Music Educators (aMuse) and was received with great enthusiasm and delight.

playing federation bells The world premiere of Welcome performed by Steve Falk and students from Blackburn High
Image: Jon Augier
Source: Museum Victoria

The Federation Handbells are a collection of beautifully crafted, tuned bells, originally commissioned by Arts Victoria for the 2001 Centenary of Federation. These bells are available on loan for public or private events, local festivals, school programs, commemorative occasions and performances. Earlier in 2013 Museum Victoria approached the organisers of the conference to have a Federation Handbells display or workshop as part of the program and was invited not only to take part but to open the event. The ‘Welcome’ project was born.

playing the federation bells The world premiere of Welcome performed by Steve Falk and students from Blackburn High School
Image: Jon Augier
Source: Museum Victoria

Museum Victoria commissioned Steve Falk to compose a piece for the Federation Handbells that could bring together performers of various levels of musical ability and provide a meaningful musical experience for musicians and non-musicians alike. Steve met this challenge beautifully and has created a piece that can be rehearsed and performed as a secondary school music project or by community groups at music festivals or other public events.

playing the federation bells Steve Falk and students from Blackburn High School rehearse Welcome
Image: Jon Augier
Source: Museum Victoria

We are thrilled to say that the Welcome composition will be freely available as a resource on the MV Federation Handbells website from October 2013. As well as the score there will be notes about the composition and two short films, one that takes us behind the scenes with interviews and rehearsal footage, and the other that shows the premiere performance at Arts Centre Melbourne.

The Welcome project invites you to experience the wonderful potential to bring people together creatively with the Federation Handbells. It is an opportunity to be inspired!

The Federation Handbells are managed by Museum Victoria's Outreach Program on behalf of Arts Victoria. To make a booking request please follow this link to the Federation Handbells website.

Comments (1)

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E.B. 23 August, 2013 16:39
Thank you Susan, it is great to hear about Museum Victoria sparkling musical creativity! Is recording of this composition going to be included in the Federation Handbells display at Melbourne Museum?
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