The Regina Bell Ringers hold the Composers Competition to acquire new, original music for the Darke Memorial Chimes. Approximately every two years, notices are sent out calling for entries by a certain deadline. All entries received are judged by a panel. The winning entry is premiered in a special concert on the Darke Memorial Chimes and the winning composer receives a monetary award. All composers receive a critique of their work by the judges. Entries may be submitted at any time and will be held until the next judging.
Competition rules are straightforward - create an original composition using 12 notes in the diatonic scale of C. The low note is C. The high note is G, one and a half octaves above. The challenge is to write a composition for an instrument that weighs nearly 16 tons.
The sound for each note is made by a bell ringer pulling a rope which in turn moves a clapper to strike a stationary bell. The twelve ropes of the Darke Memorial Chimes are hung in a circle with a diameter of approximately 10 feet. The ringer must physically move from one rope to the next for the next note in the music. Extremely fast runs are generally impractical as are some larger intervals. Rests can me l Rests can me larger intervals. Rests can be included but remember a two ton bell will continue to vibrate and produce sound long after the clapper has struck. This in itself can be an exciting effect.
The ringer is not physically close to the bells. Permanent hearing damage would occur if the ringer were in the tower with the bells. The ringer is in the ringing room directly below the bells. The ringer hears the muffled tone of the bells as the room is sound-proofed. The person outside on the street has a much clearer and louder sound even when several blocks away.
Entries have been received from around the world. The repetoire of new tower bell music expands with each competition. The quality of the entries improves with each judging as the composers become more familiar with the instrument. However, familiarity doesn't necessarily mean winning. Several first-time entrants have won the competition.
As of August 18, 2005 there is no competition scheduled.
Music may be sent anytime to:
Regina Ringers Bell
2340 Victoria Avenue
For more information, send a letter to the address above or send a query to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Revised: August 27, 2011