May 17, 2023 - Things to Do

Why this LDS handbell choir concert is worth a listen

Men in sunglasses play handbells over a blue padded table.

A man in sunglasses plays low-register handbells with the Bells at Temple Square in Salt Lake City. Image via YouTube

Folks, we realize that Axios SLC sets a high bar for nerdiness — but there remains a universe of obscure niche obsessions to explore, and today we're reaching for one of its outermost stars:

  • Church handbell music!

Driving the news: Tickets went online this week for the free spring concert by the Bells at Temple Square at 7:30pm on June 9.

No, seriously. If you haven't seen a handbell choir, you're … well, probably a normal person. But you're missing out on a surprisingly high-stakes display of synchronicity and sound.

  • Erin here! I played in a bell choir as a kid, and it's a fiercely unforgiving musical medium that requires razor-precise timing from each player lest chords devolve into sloppy arpeggios. And you're usually not playing marches, so everyone has to sensitively track the conductor's tempo changes.

The bottom line: You can't just go out to the club and find a 33-piece handbell choir to listen to every Friday night, so consider broadening your musical diet in June.

  • Start your day with this video of the group pealing the Beach Boys' "Good Vibrations."
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