The Philadelphia Handbell Ensemble’s audiences can enjoy a wide array of musical styles and moods, as the group’s repertoire spans original compositions, transcriptions of classical literature, and arrangements from various musical genres.
“Brilliant technique, extraordinary discipline, highly refined musicianship, and palpable joy characterize each performance.” —Greg Funfgeld, Artistic Director and Conductor, Bach Choir of Bethlehem
A versatile instrument, handbells are well-suited to playing a variety of classical transcriptions. Our repertoire has included early Baroque pieces, dances from Russian ballets such as The Red Poppy and The Nutcracker, a Vivaldi string quartet, and a gorgeous adaptation of a great Bach organ work. Although hymnody, patriotic songs, and early American folk tunes are frequent subjects of arrangements, less common music like French cathedral rounds and Gregorian chants have made for moving pieces. Original handbell compositions are a hallmark of the Philadelphia Handbell Ensemble, including our Composer in Residence Michael Joy’s exciting, multi-metered “Proclamation.”
No matter what type of piece is being played, an advanced range of ringing techniques allows PHE to move beyond the traditional handbell sound and redefine the character of a single instrument, whether it’s through percussive stopped sounds or poignant echoes or a shimmering decrescendo. We also augment our sound by ringing handchimes and bells of a different tuning scale, as well as by combining bells with various instruments such as organ, harp, flute, violin, brass, choir, and orchestra.
Concerts, Worship Services, Workshops and more!
“A dazzling ambience of dancing notes that seem to twist and play with one another.” —William Riley, The Sentinel
The Philadelphia Handbell Ensemble’s expertise is not limited to community concerts. Our ensemble has hosted massed handbell performances for other bell choirs, played special music in a variety of religious services, and subsets of the full ensemble are also available for special events such as weddings and holiday celebrations.
Discussions and Master Classes
We are also experienced at conducting a variety of handbell workshops and master classes for both directors and ringers, ranging from a few hours to several days.
Our prices range greatly depending on the venue, type of event and scope of performance. To receive a quote, please complete the form below. As a 501(c)(3) nonprofit and volunteer ensemble, you can be assured that your booking costs will go solely toward advancing professional handbell music in the Delaware Valley!
Inquire about booking the Philadelphia Handbell Ensemble by completing the form below. Please note that it is usually necessary to book PHE at least 3 months in advance.