The Bell at Dundrennan

[for wind ensemble or symphonic band - grade 5]

commissioned by William Kenny and the Penn Central Wind Band

2013: 7 minutes

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Purchase parts: $50

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Program note:

When I was a kid my family took a tour through an old abbey in rural Scotland, and I have a memory of encountering a carefully preserved but rather ordinary looking bell.  While there was no visible crack in it, a placard explained that it had broken centuries ago, but was preserved because it had been touched by a saint and its sound was believed to have healing powers.  There was also a footnote that indicated that no one could quite recall what it had sounded like after it broke, even though they had heard it ring every day of their lives— but perhaps I’ve imagined that part.

This piece is dedicated to Bill Kenny and the Penn Central Wind Band, which has for 20 summers kept the Susquehanna Valley from forgetting the sound of a fine live band.