Wednesday, January 17, 2018
Music News, Concert Reviews

First Nature Coast Handbells concert to feature a variety of music

HUDSON — The sound of handbells often brings to mind the music of Christmas. But the bells are used to perform a variety of pieces, as the audience will hear Sunday when the Nature Coast Handbells have their first public concert at Bishop McLaughlin High School in Hudson.

The 11-member group, founded and directed by Michele DiLuzio of Spring Hill, will entertain with patriotic, Broadway, classical and Disney music, as well as tunes from other movies.

"Most people associate handbells with Christmas," DiLuzio said. "But they can be for any occasion."

DiLuzio said the concert will include 37 bells, in three octaves. The the performers don't just ring the bells. They use a variety of techniques, utilizing the table and mallets to make sounds that bring to life popular songs such as Coldplay's Viva la Vida, Katy Perry's Firework and Adele's Set Fire to the Rain.

"There will definitely be something for all ages to enjoy," DiLuzio said.

DiLuzio, who is also the lead trumpet player and assistant conductor for the Hernando Symphony Orchestra, was first introduced to handbells when she was 13. She began directing handbell groups in 1993.

The Nature Coast Handbells, formed in 2011, have performed as guests with the Hernando Symphony Orchestra and at other venues, but Sunday's concert will be the first on their own.

"We are so excited to finally have people come to see us," DiLuzio said.

The show will include guest violinist Janelle Zapadenko, who will perform in several arrangements, including Michael Flatley's Lord of the Dance.

"It's an amazing piece," DiLuzio said. "Arranging the violin with the bells ... the two together is just awesome. (The sound) is not something you'd expect, nothing you'd ever dream of hearing on handbells."

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