The Oakland East Bay Symphony gave concert goers a rare treat Friday evening ... in a bold stroke of programming, the Symphony premiered the only known major work written specifically for handbells and orchestra. Sonos Handbell Ensemble ... joined conductor Michael Morgan ... in William Ludtke's bracing, immensely likable "Suite for Handbells and Orchestra" ... the sounds were enchanting and the piece enthusiastically received. Watching the talented Sonos perform added a great deal to the enjoyment of the piece. It's clear that playing a handbell requires a great deal more than knowing which bell to pick up and when to shake it. The ringers deftly snap their wrists, creating a consistent single ring that somehow lands precisely on the correct beat. It's mesmerizing and immediately engaging. Much to the delight of the audience, the ensemble demonstrated its considerable skills with an encore: The "Trepak" from "The

Roger Kim, The Oakland Tribune
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