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Kevin McChesney,
after the Welsh Hymn Tune by Rowland Prichard

Welsh-born Rowland Prichard composed “Hyfrydol” for his Cyraill y Cantorion song book.  The music has been arranged by several composers, including popular English composer Ralph Vaughan Williams, who used it in his organ work, Three Preludes on Welsh Hymn Tunes.  Williams also included “Hyfrydol” in The English Hymnal, which he co-edited with Percy Dearmer.

Kevin McChesney’s compelling “Symphonia on Hyfrydol” invokes the hymn melody in several variations.  The arrangement for handbells and piano requires four-in-hand ringing technique and flows through several different meters and keys.  The driving finale features a complex ostinato performed with mallets on a suspended bell tree.

The Symphonia is one of McChesney’s four hundred works for handbells.  McChesney is co-founder of the Solo-to-Ensemble Project, which is a premiere source of new music for handbell soloists and small ensembles.  He is the music editor for the Project, as well as for Jeffers Handbell Supply and Ringing Word, and is a frequent guest conductor and clinician world-wide.

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