IHOS Opera performance of 'Prayer Bells'.
Image: Georgia Metaxis
The Federation Handbells had their premiere at the 'Bells and Brass' concert at the Sidney Myer Music Bowl in 2001. Since then they have been featured at hundreds of events, their flexibility and range showcased in the great diversity of occasions.
The bells have featured at the debut season of the Australian World Orchestra at Sydney Opera House in 2011, at the Mary MacKillop Canonisation celebrations in 2010. The bells have been integral in bringing together community groups at local occasions such as numerous Carols by Candlelight events and at the Bendigo Black Friday Commemoration. They have appeared at festivals and enriched the performances of local choirs and music groups as well as being part of many school music education programs.
The Federation Handbells have travelled the world with Strange Fruit performing arts company in their street performances of 'Ringing the Changes' and with IHOS Opera's production, 'Prayer Bells'.
The Handbells found their 15 seconds of fame in 2007 with a performance on ABC TV's 'A Very Specky Christmas' episode of Spicks and Specks, (seen by more than 1.5 million people) and rumour has it that a certain popular smart phone uses a Federation Handbell for their text tone!
The sound resonated right throughout the Church, creating a timeless, mystical ambience. Some people were moved to tears by the beauty of the bells combined with the singing of a 30 piece choir.
Polly Christie, Pollyphonics Choir