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home : features : arts & media April 23, 2019

6/15/2017 10:00:00 AM
Upcoming Estonian handbell concert in Hamilton to be featured in documentary

By Thomas Wiedmann | Correspondent

The Campanelli Handbell Ensemble of Tallinn, Estonia, will be visiting Our Lady of Sorrows-St. Anthony Parish, Hamilton, July 23 not only to perform with local musicians, but also to record footage for the second part of a documentary.

The evening performance, titled “Sue’s Blues Too,” will include compositions by composer Susan T. Nelson of Hamilton, who has received notable recognition in Estonia. Pat Potavin, the parish’s director of handbells, shares a musical friendship with Nelson for nearly 20 years in welcoming the composer to the church.

The Estonian group’s connection to the Mercer County town dates back to 2010, when conductor Inna Lai sent Nelson a Facebook message informing her that the ensemble had recorded one of her compositions. Nelson then shared more of her work with the ensemble. This online connection led to Lai inviting Nelson to Estonia in 2013 for a concert in which the Campanelli group performed her compositions.  

Nelson’s trip to Estonia and the concert were chronicled in a 2014 documentary titled “Dreaming Wide Awake,” which was produced by the film company Kopli Kinokompanii. The July 23 concert, which will be held in Our Lady of Sorrows Church, will be part of a sequel to this documentary as Anneli Ahven, a producer with Kinokompanii, accompanies the ensemble to the United States. 

In addition to Nelson’s works, the concert will feature original compositions by Lai and musician Liis Viira, who is also a harpist. The ensemble will present a variety of music, from traditional and jazz to contemporary. The concert will also showcase professional musicians from Trenton and Philadelphia, which include a brass quartet, flutes, a chamber ensemble, marimba, percussion and tambura.

The ensemble and Lai have performed throughout Europe and Russia, and have appeared on television and radio. They will be visiting other locations on their U.S. tour.

The show will begin at 7 p.m. A suggested $10 free-will offering is encouraged. Our Lady of Sorrows Church is located at 3816 East State St. Ext., Hamilton.

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