Matthew Prins, composer | list of works

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Entries Tagged as 'sacred works'

“Adoration of the Wise Men”

for 3-5 octaves handbells or handchimes

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Mysterious and stirring, this arrangement weaves this 15th century French carol into a beautiful blanket of soothing music. This quiet, solemn piece is an excellent opportunity to use chimes. Set in f minor, it is 59 measures.

AGEHR Level: 2+
Time: ~2½ min.
Published in 2010 by GIA Publications
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“Ah, Holy Jesus”

for 2-3 octaves handbells or handchimes

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A very easy arrangement of the Johann Cruger hymn with a new harmonization.

AGEHR Level: 1
Time: ~2 min.
to be published in 2011 or 2012



“Alleluia Sotto Voce”

for 5 octaves handbells with optional flute and optional organ or C3-E3 handchimes

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[preview score]

“Alleluia Sotto Voce” is written in the Taizé style: a simple melody that repeats many times with slight variations in accompaniment, creating an ethereal, meditative feeling. “Alleluia Sotto Voce” uses those musical ideas of Taizé, taking a simple 3-measure phrase and building different accompaniments and countermelodies on top of it before deconstructing it and returning to the simple, 3-measure phrase.

AGEHR Level: 2+
Time: ~4 min.
Published in 2008 by From the Top Music
[buy from From the Top Music] [buy from Handbell World]



“Angels Sang at Bethlehem”

for 3-5 octaves handbells

A medley combining three classic Christmas hymns: “Hark, the Herald Angels Sing,” “Angels from the Realms of Glory,” and “Angels We Have Heard on High.”

AGEHR Level: 2
Time: ~3 min.

to be published in 2012



“Ave Maria (Two Settings)”

for 3-5 octaves of handbells or handchimes, or with optional 3-5 octaves handchimes

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[preview score]

The most well-known settings of “Ave Maria,” Bach/Gounod and Schubert, are included in one edition as two separate works. The Bach/Gounod version is for 3-5 octaves of handbells or chimes. The Schubert setting can be performed on 3-5 octaves of handbells with an optional 3-5 octaves of chimes. Both are brilliant choices for worship, weddings, concerts, and festivals.

AGEHR Level: 2+
Time: ~3 min. each
Published in 2007 by GIA Publications
[buy from GIA Publications] [buy from Handbell World]



“Be Joyful, Mary”

for 3-5 octaves handbells

A short, easy arrangement of the hymn tune REGINA CAELI.

AGEHR Level: 1
Time: ~2 min.
composed in 2005; contact Matthew Prins for information



“Be Still, My Soul”

for 3-5 octaves handbells and viola

An arrangement of the famous Sibelius work FINLANDIA for handbells and viola.

AGEHR Level: 3
Time: ~3 min.

arranged in 2011; contact Matthew Prins for information



“Be Thou Still”

for handbell duet (4-5 octaves) with piano accompaniment

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[preview score]

Based on the hymn tunes SLANE and FINLANDIA, this handbell duet was created for BELL a DEUX (Ron Bellamy and Bobbi Schmid). The sensitive arrangement intertwines the two melodies and includes the use of a bell tree in one section. The packet includes 2 copies of the handbell part and the piano accompaniment.

Level: MD
Time: ~4½ min.
Published in 2006 by From the Top Music
[buy from From the Top Music] [buy from Handbell World]



“Born is the King of Israel”

for 3-5 octaves of handbells with optional 2 octaves handchimes

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[preview score]

Review from Overtones, July/August 2007: “…a richly harmonized medley of ”Twas in the Moon of Wintertime,’ ‘God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen,’ ‘The Coventry Carol,’ and ‘The First Noel’….a striking arrangement, juxtaposing tunes and using techniques as an integral part of the orchestration of the piece.”

AGEHR Level: 4+
Time: ~5 min.
Published in 2007 by GIA Publications
[buy from GIA Publications] [buy from Handbell World]



“Break Thou the Bread of Life”

for 2-3 octaves handbells with optional 2 octaves handchimes

A relatively straightforward arrangement of the 1877 William Sherwin tune.

AGEHR Level: 2
Time: ~2½ min.
to be published in 2011 or 2012



“Breathe on Me, Breath of God”

for 3-5 octaves handbells

A beginning choir’s arrangement of the classic hymn.

AGEHR Level: 1
Time: ~2 min.

arranged in 2004; contact Matthew Prins for more information



“Bring a Torch, Jeanette, Isabella”

for 4-octave handbell choir

Simple, short arrangement of the well-known Christmas tune. Track 14 of Emmanuel Shall Come to Thee‘s CD Noël.

AGEHR Level: 1+
Time: <1 min.

arranged in 2009; contact Matthew Prins for more information



“Carol of the Bells”

for 5-octave handbell choir, harp, and piano

Fantasy arrangement of “Ukrainian Bell Carol,” combining elements from the piece in unusual ways. Track 7 of Emmanuel Shall Come to Thee‘s CD Noël.

AGEHR Level: 4
Time: ~3 min.

arranged in 2009; contact Matthew Prins for more information



“Come, Emmanuel”

for 3 or 5 octaves handbells

Setting of “Verbum Supernum Prodiens,” ”Veni Emmanuel,” and “God Bless Ye Merry, Gentlemen.” Much use of mallet suspended; some use of singing bell.

AGEHR Level: 3
Time: ~3½ min.

to be published in 2011



“Come, Ye Thankful People, Come”

for 2-5 octaves handbells and flute

An arrangement written for the 2008 Park Ridge Community Thanksgiving Service.  Flute is not optional.

AGEHR Level: 2+
Time: ~3 min.

to be published in 2011 or 2012



“Count Your Blessings”

for 5 octaves handbells and optional 4 octaves handchimes

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A familiar hymn receives a unique harmonic treatment (including a minor sound) in this tender, graceful arrangement. It begins and ends with slow, vibrato chords. The tune is carried in the soprano bells, with alto harmony added later. Chords in the tenor range add interest. The rhythms are uncomplicated but there is some easy syncopation throughout. Handchimes are optional but would enhance the effectiveness of this arrangement. 62 measures in total, this piece is scored in Eb Major.

AGEHR Level: 3+
Time: ~4 min.

Published in 2010 by Flagstaff Publishing
[buy from Handbell World]



“Eighteen Bells for Christmas”

for 18 bells (G4-C6)
[listen to audio/preview score]

This incredibly creative and versatile collection includes settings of five familiar carols. The arranger has suggested handbell assignments for 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 or 9 ringers. The songs us the same eighteen bells , G4 through C7, and are written in the keys of Bb major or G minor. The treatment for each is imaginative and creates the appropriate atmosphere for that particular carol.

AGEHR Level: 2
Time: ~2 min. each

Published in 2011 by From the Top Music
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“Enlighten Our Hearts’ Eyes, Lord”

for SATB choir or congregation

A hymn for congregational singing.

Time: ~2 min.

arranged in 2005; contact Matthew Prins for more information



“Fantasie on ‘Let Us Break Bread Together’”

for handbell duet with piano accompaniment

[preview score]

A hauntingly beautiful rendition of the favorite sacred tune.

Time: ~4 min.
Published in 2008 by STEP (Solo To Ensemble Project)
[buy from STEP]



“Fantasie on ‘Spirit of God, Descend Upon My Heart’”

for 3-5 octaves handbells with optional 3 octaves handchimes

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[preview score]

Mystical and ethereal are adjectives that could be used to describe this setting of the hymn “Spirit of God, Descend Upon My Heart.” Writing in 6/8 time with a running eighth note pattern in the bass, unexpected harmonies in the treble and liberal use of LV, this is a lovely and unusual arrangement of this hymn of meditation.

AGEHR Level: 3+
Time: ~2½ min.
Published in 2007 by From the Top Music
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“Fantasie on ‘There is a Balm in Gilead’”

for 4-5 octaves of handbells

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Like most fantasies, this arrangement of the spiritual “There is a Balm in Gilead” is a composition where the free flight of fancy prevails over normal conventions of form and style. Several key changes add to the challenge. Measures total 108.

AGEHR Level: 3+
Time: ~4½ min.
Published in 2005 by GIA Publications
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“Fantasy on Restoration”

for 2-3 octaves handbells with optional woodblock

A lively arrangement of the Sacred Harp hymn that alternates between 4/4 and 3/4 time. Dedicated to the handbell choir at First Congregational Church in Glen Ellyn, Ill.

AGEHR Level: 4
Time: ~2 min.
to be published in 2011 or 2012



“Forty Days and Forty Nights”

for 3-5 octaves handbells

A Lenten arrangement of the hymn tune HEINLEIN.  Includes scripture references throughout the song.

AGEHR Level: 2+
Time: ~3½ min.
to be published in 2011 or 2012



“Fum, Fum, Fum”

for handbell quartet (4-5 octaves)

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[preview score]

This fast-paced holiday quartet is fun and challenging for the experienced ensemble ringer. With the exception of the last 2 measures, the bells are table-malleted throughout. Ringers change positions midway through the piece, adding to the exuberance of the performance.

Level: D
Time: ~1½ min.
Published in 2007 by From the Top Music
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“His Praise Endureth Forever”

for 4-5 octaves handbells

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This is an emotionally intense original work that will benefit from good ringing techniques. A single line melody expands to a two-note chord and then into vibrant chords. Support is provided by almost constant eighth note patterns and tolling bass notes. The challenge for ringers will be keeping these elements in balance. Rhythms are easy; tonality moves from E to D Major and back, and there are frequent accidentals just to keep everybody alert. This original, sweeping composition is 103 measures.

AGEHR Level: 3+
Time: ~5 min.

Published in 2010 by Flagstaff Publishing
[buy from Handbell World]



“I Love Thy Kingdom, Lord”

for 3-5 octaves handbells

Mallets on suspended bells in both bass and treble clef are scored in the dreamy introduction to the standard hymn tune. The melody is then supported by toll swings in the bass and running, “peal”-like mid-clef patterns. In following sections, alternate harmonies add interest and challenge. The ending shifts into 5/4 with fortissimo shakes on tall chords.

AGEHR Level: 3
Time: ~2½ min.
Published in 2007 by Flagstaff Publishing
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“I Need Thee Every Hour”

for 3-5 octaves handbells

[preview score]

Poignant and reflective, this setting of the late 19th-century hymn tune calls for a high level of feeling and musicality to properly communicate its light and fragile texture. An excellent choice for a thoughtful worship setting.

AGEHR Level: 2
Time: ~3 min.
Published in 2007 by Alfred Publishing
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“In Quiet Joy”

for 3 octaves handbells or handchimes

A simple minor-key arrangement of “Joy to the World” that hints at events to come in Jesus’ life. Appropriate for a Christmas meditation or for Holy Week.

AGEHR Level: 2+
Time: ~2½ min.

to be published in 2011



“In the Bleak Midwinter”

for 3 octaves handbells and cello

An arrangement of the classic Christmas tune.  Cello is not optional, although part could be played by french horn or (with slight rearranging) most any string or wind instrument.

AGEHR Level: 3
Time: ~2½ min.

composed in 2008; contact Matthew Prins for more information



“Interlude on ‘What Child Is This?’”

for 3-5 octaves handbells and optional alto soloist

An interlude based on the English tune “Greensleeves.”  Very open arrangement.  Optional soloist sings the second verse and refrain and the third refrain.

AGEHR Level: 2+
Time: ~2 min.

composed in 2008; contact Matthew Prins for more information



“Jesus Calls Us O’er the Tumult”

for 3-5 octaves handbells

An arrangement of the two tunes associated with with this hymn text: GALILEE by William H. Jude and STUTTGART by Christian F. Witt.

AGEHR Level: 3
Time: ~3 min.
to be published in 2011 or 2012



“Let All Mortal Flesh Be Silence”

for 3-octave handbell choir, orchestral chimes or carillon, bass drum, oboe, flute, and french horn with optional 2nd french horn

Arrangement combining the two Christmas tunes “Let All Mortal Flesh Be Silence” and “The First Noel.” Track 10 of Emmanuel Shall Come to Thee‘s CD Noël.

AGEHR Level: 2
Time: ~3 min.

arranged in 2009; contact Matthew Prins for more information



“Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence”

for 4-octave bell tree trio or handbell sextet

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[preview score]

The setting of this trio creates a calm, spiritual ambiance. The melody is shared among three Bell Trees during the first verse with counter melodies woven into the harmony. The second verse begins with a rhythmic variation of the melody before returning to the traditional pattern. The piece begins in 4/4, moves to 6/4 and 6/8 before concluding in 4/4.

AGEHR Level: EM
Time: ~4 min.

Published in 2010 by From the Top Music
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“Lord, to Thee I Make Confession”

for 3-5 octaves handbells and optional 2 octaves handchimes

A dark arrangement of the dark Johann Cruger hymn.

AGEHR Level: 3
Time: ~3 min.

Published in 2009 by Flagstaff Publishing
[buy from Handbell World]



“Los Peces en el Río”

for 3-5 octaves handbells with optional 3 octaves handchimes

An arrangement of this well-known Spanish-language Christmas carol, which contrasts the daily chores of the Virgin Mary with a chorus of how even all los peces en el río, the fish of the river, are delighted to see the birth of Christ.

AGEHR Level: 3-
Time: ~2 min.

to be published in 2011



“Mansions of the Lord”

for 2 or 3 octaves handbells

An arrangement of the modern military hymn, combined with service songs from each of the armed forces. Under copyright; not available for performance without original publisher’s written permission. “To Our Soldiers, Then and Now: With Honor and Thanks. Spirit Bells, McGregor, TX; Barbara Lewandowski, Director.”

AGEHR Level: 2+
Time: ~3 min.

to be published in 2012/2013



“Meditation on Angels We Have Heard on High”

for 2-3 octaves handbells

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[preview score]

A gentle and imaginative setting of the familiar hymn tune, filled with mystery and distinctive harmonies. Written in 6/8 time in the keys of G minor and D minor, the music has a definite ethereal quality.

AGEHR Level: 3-
Time: ~2½ min.

Published in 2010 by From the Top Music
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“Meditation on Ave Maria”

for 3-5 octaves handbells or handchimes

This slow and legato arrangement is based on traditional chant and equally playable on handbells or handchimes or a mixture of both. A careful musical interpretation of varying dynamics and tempo fluctuations will add greatly to the performance of this work’s light and fragile passages.

AGEHR Level: 3
Time: ~2½ min.
Published in 2007 by Flagstaff Publishing
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“Meditation on Veni Emmanuel”

for 3-4 octaves handbells and  3-5 octaves handchimes

A ethereal arrangement of the Advent carol, which is LVed  throughout and makes much use of mallet-suspended handbells (including hitting them with sticks). Optional sextet assignments are also offered

AGEHR Level: 3+
Time: ~2½ min.

to be published in 2011 or 2012



“More About Jesus”

for 4-6 octaves handbells

The well-known hymn tune is couched in a new harmonic language.

AGEHR Level: 3
Time: ~3 min.

Published in 2010 by Flagstaff Publishing
[buy from Handbell World]



“Morning Song”

for 2-4 octaves handbells or handchimes

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[preview score]

A hauntingly beautiful arrangement of the hymn tune “Morning Song” that can be played in its entirety with handchimes or with mallets on suspended bells, LV throughout, producing an etherial sound. This piece is appropriate in any venue: church, community concerts or schools.

AGEHR Level: 2
Time: ~3½ min.
Published in 2006 by From the Top Music
[buy from From the Top Music] [buy from Handbell World]



“My Faith Looks Up to Thee”

for 3-5 octaves handbells

A somewhat fantasy-esque arrangement of the classic hymn tune.

AGEHR Level: 2+
Time: ~3 min.

arranged in 2006; contact Matthew Prins for more information



“My Redeemer Lives”

for 3 octaves handbells

A short, musically very easy arrangement of the DUKE STREET hymn tune. A great way to practice various techniques, including mart, mart lift, echo, shake, thumb damp, and more. Arranged for the 2006 James River Ringers Annual Ringers’ Workshop.

AGEHR Level: 1+
Time: ~1½ min.

arranged in 2006; contact Matthew Prins for more information



“O Sacred Head, Now Wounded”

for 3-5 octaves handbells (with optional 2 octaves handchimes) and string quartet

A meditative arrangement of the Lenten hymn for handbells and strings. Some optional use of the singing bell technique.

AGEHR Level: 3+
Time: ~4 min.
arranged in 2008; contact Matthew Prins for more information



“Quem Vidistis Pastores”

for SATB chorus and 3-5 octaves handbells

A new, somber setting of the classic Latin Christmas text.  Lots of mixed meter, but at a very slow tempo.  Handbells are played entirely mallet-suspended.

Premiered by the Memorial Choir and Memorial Bells, December 12, 2006; Memorial Lutheran Church, Ames, Ia.

Time: ~3 min.
composed in 2006; contact Matthew Prins for information



“Rock of Ages”

for 3-5 octaves handbells

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The old gospel hymn tune TOPLADY is set in ethereal, flowing mood, making extensive use of the LV technique.

AGEHR Level: 2+
Time: ~3 min.
Published in 2009 by Concordia Publishing House
[buy from Concordia Publishing House] [buy from Handbell World]



“Sing out a Cry of Joy”

for TTBB choir and piano

A joyous original work for men’s choir and piano.

Time: ~3 min.

arranged in 2005; contact Matthew Prins for more information



“Sleep! Holy Babe”

for SSA chorus and harp or piano

A new melody set to Edward Caswall’s 19th-century Christmas lyrics.

Time: ~2½ min.
composed in 2006; contact Matthew Prins for information



“Ten Christmas Hymn Introductions”

for 3-5 octaves of handbells

This collection of ten Christmas hymn introductions provides an opportunity to incorporate handbell into congregational hymn singing during the Christmas season. The collection includes 3-5 octave handbell introductions plus harmonizations for one verse of ten popular Christmas carols. The introductions are for bell choir only and the harmonizations can stand alone or augment the standard keyboard accompaniment.

AGEHR Level: 2+
Time: less than 1 min. each
Published in 2008 by Hope Publishing
[buy from Hope Publishing] [buy from Handbell World]



“Thaxted”

for woodwind quintet

An woodwind arrangement of Gustov Holst’s lovely hymn tune.

AGEHR Level: 3
Time: ~2½ min.

arranged in 2011; contact Matthew Prins for information



“The Holly and the Ivy”

for 4-6 octaves handbells,  flute, violin, and piano (one or two players)

Taizé-style arrangement of the classic Christmas tune. Based on track 3 of Emmanuel Shall Come to Thee‘s CD Noël.

AGEHR Level: 2
Time: ~3 min.

to be published in 2011



“The World in Solemn Stillness Lay”

for 5-7 octaves handbells and solo vocalist

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[preview score]

A fantasy arrangement of the Christmas standard “It Came Upon the Midnight Clear,” “The World in Solemn Stillness Lay” sets and maintains a mood with the use of random ringing, singing bells and a haunting vocal line. The arrangement makes use of multiple meter throughout with major sections in 5/4, 4/4 and 3/4. At times, the piece is very transparent and at others very complex with as many as four simultaneous lines.

Premiered by the Austin Handbell Ensemble, December 15, 2006; Austin, Tx.

AGEHR Level: 4-
Time: ~9 min.
Published in 2008 by Peal Publishing
[buy from Peal Publishing]



“This Advent Moon Shines Cold and Clear”

for SA choir and 3-5 octaves handbells with optional 3-4 octaves handchimes

Setting of Christina Rossetti’s advent poem of the same name. Some meter changes, particularly in the handbell part, but relatively easy otherwise.

Time: ~3½ min.

arranged in 2009; contact Matthew Prins for more information



“Three 2-Octave Acclamations”

for 2 octaves handbells

Wonderfully refreshing, this original work is in three movements: “Let Peace Reign,” “Reflection and Meditation,” and “Postlude for Ordinary Time.” The movements can be presented as a suite or rung individually. Each piece has an optional repeat which extends the time of these joyous works.

AGEHR Level: 2+
Time: ~2 min. each
Published in 2009 by GIA Publications
[buy from GIA Publications] [buy from Handbell World]



“Ukrainian Bell Carol”

for 5-octave handbell quartet with percussion

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[preview score]

An exciting and challenging quartet arrangement of the popular Christmas carol written in 5/8, 7/8, and 6/8 time and performed with traditional ringing, table malleting, mallet rolls and percussion executed by the ringers with their choice of untuned percussion. Percussion played by the ringers — no additional percussionists required. Commissioned by the handbell ensemble Toll Free in celebration of spirited ringers everywhere.

Time: ~3 min.
Published in 2010 by From the Top Music
[buy from From the Top Music] [buy from Handbell World]



“Until the Son of God Appears”

for solo carillon and 3-4 octave handbell choir

Simple, short arrangement combining “Verbum Supernum, Prodiens” and “Veni Emmanuel.” Track 16 of Emmanuel Shall Come to Thee‘s CD Noël.

AGEHR Level: 1
Time: ~1 min.

arranged in 2009; contact Matthew Prins for more information



“Variations on ‘Leoni’”

for 3-5 octaves handbells and optional 3-4 octaves handchimes

Five variations on the tune to “Our God of Abraham Praise.”

AGEHR Level: 2+
Time: ~3 min.

to be published in 2012



“Verbum Supernum, Prodiens”

for solo carillon

Very straightforward arrangement of “Verbum Supernum, Prodiens.” Track 1 of Emmanuel Shall Come to Thee‘s CD Noël.

Time: <1 min.

composed in 2009; contact Matthew Prins for more information



“Via Dolorosa”

for 5 octaves handbells and optional handchimes

An arrangement of the Holy Week Sandi Patty song. Under copyright; not available for performance without original publisher’s written permission. “Dedicated to the St. Mark’s Ringers and our beloved ringer, Mary Swann, who always reminded us of the changes in the time signature.”

AGEHR Level: 3
Time: ~4 min.

to be published in 2012/2013



“We Three Jazzy Kings”

for 4-6 octaves handbells

A jazzy rendition of the Epiphany favorite, “We Three Jazzy Kings” uses syncopation and mixed meter to make the long journey to Bethlehem fun for all. Arranged in e minor, measures total 81 with repeats.

Premiered by the James River Ringers, December 10, 2006; Epiphany Lutheran Church, Richmond, Va.

AGEHR Level: 4
Time: ~3 min.
Published in 2007 by Flagstaff Publishing
[buy from Flagstaff Publishing] [buy from Handbell World]



“When I Survey the Wondrous Cross”

for 4-5 octaves handbells (plus optional C2) and 3 octaves handchimes

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[preview score]

This unusual arrangement, set in the key of c minor, expresses the pain, torment and sorrow of the crucifixion. It opens with the optional use of the Singing Bell technique to accompany a plaintive statement of the melody. Measure 19 alters the mood dramatically with the introduction of a subtle, yet driving rhythm in the bass. The hymn tune is brought in and new motifs are introduced as the melody soars above the tension below. The intensity continues to grow until it all comes to an abrupt endconcluding with a thoughtful statement of the melody, rung on handchimes, accompanied by a soft random ring using only C3/4/5/6/7 and G3/6.

Premiered by the Bells of Dundee, March 16, 2008; St. Catherine of Siena Catholic Church, West Dundee, Ill.

AGEHR Level: 3
Time: ~3 min.
Published in 2009 by From the Top Music
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“Where Peace Prevails”

for SATB choir or congregation

A hymn for congregational singing.

Time: ~2 min.

arranged in 2005; contact Matthew Prins for more information



“Wonderful Words of Life”

for 3 or 5 octaves handbells or handchimes

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Lush, sustained ostinatos render a gentle, peaceful atmosphere and contribute to the timelessness of this classic gospel hymn.

AGEHR Level: 2+
Time: ~5 min.
Published in 2010 by GIA Publications
[buy from GIA Publications] [buy from Handbell World]



“You Are Mine”

for 3-5 octaves handbells

An arrangement of the well-known modern hymn written by David Hass. Under copyright; not available for performance without original publisher’s written permission.

AGEHR Level: 2+
Time: ~3 min.
arranged in 2006; contact Matthew Prins for more information



“Þá grét Jesús. (Jóhannesarguðspjall 11:35)”

for handbells C3 to C5 (eight players)

An atmospheric, amelodic work that is built entirely on long notes played using the singing bell technique and mallet-rolling suspended bells.  Follows the guidelines of the burgeoning miniaturist genre: no more than 100 notes are played during the entire piece.

AGEHR Level: 3
Time: ~3 min.
composed in 2008; contact Matthew Prins for information



“Psalm 88”

for a capella SATB choir

An original choral lament based on Psalm 88 (KJV).

Time: ~4 min.
composed in 2006; contact Matthew Prins for information