Bronzissimo! rings in holiday spirit

Reviewed by David L. Schriber

Full pews last Saturday (Dec. 18) at Memorial Park Baptist/St. Andrew’s Anglican Church in Vestal welcomed the Bronzissimo! select handbell choir for its winter concert. From an energetic opening of “Adeste Fidelis” to the choir’s traditional spirited “Hyfrydol” encore honoring the memory of founding member and former conductor Doris Eggleston, the ensemble offered a variety of sacred, secular and classical holiday songs, including a Hanukkah medley. Read the rest of this entry »

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Bronzissimo! That’s entertainment!

Reviewed by David L. Schriber

The Bronzissimo! select handbell choir rang a program of musical theater/cinema/opera Saturday (June 19) at Valley Christian Reformed Church in the Town of Chenango. With a light, whimsical flair and mostly familiar melodies, the ensemble invited audience participation through hum-alongs and pseudo-rhythm percussion.

Claire Bombard, who billed herself as the “mean” director (co-director Jessica Bowerman rang but is on maternity leave from directing), has been ringing since before some of her ringers were born (46 years). The average experience in this group is about 19 years (though the group does have a newcomer and two others with less than 10 years). The experience level is evident as Bronzissimo! plays the bells smoothly and in several modes of sound.

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Is First Night fading? There’s still good entertainment here

First Night Binghamton was missing some things this year. Several of our favorite entertainment groups were absent, such as Bronzissimo! select handbell choir, Svitanya (an Eastern European women’s ensemble from Philadelphia) and  — horrors! — Cobblestone Crossing wasn’t at the firehouse to give us our hootenanny fix. The number of classical music choices was less than half of last year. Then there was the parade, so desperately short of merry-makers (this, too, a sign of the economy?) that fewer than 50 of the 300 puppets in Southern Tier Celebrates!’ collection made the trip down Court Street. And is it a parade without a fire engine?

The turnout? We remember when you came early, so you didn’t have to stand six deep in the crowd to watch. No problem this year – no crowd, unless they were all at the starting point. The early snow had been cleared, and, though snow later in the evening made things slippery, the early evening was mercifully mild (compared with two years ago or the first First Night in 1996!). 

Nevertheless, for those who came, there were a number of good artists and activities to enjoy, including plenty for the kids.  Read the rest of this entry »

Bronzissimo! rings true

Last Sunday, nearly 200 people filled Memorial Park Baptist Church (also now home to St. Andrew’s Anglican Church) in Vestal to hear the Bronzissimo! Community Handbell Choir’s winter concert. The program offered familiar carols and Christmas favorites from the French, English, Ukrainian and American traditions. The bells were joined at times by flute, wind chime, drum and keyboard. 

Bronzissimo! is a select group of the best ringers from several local handbell choirs. This concert featured 14 ringers playing five octaves.  For more details, click here. Read the rest of this entry »