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Larry & Carla Sue
Husband and wife duo, Larry and Carla Sue, were both active ringers in different groups – in fact, on different continents; Larry in California and Carla in England. They first met online through The Handbell Community in 2008, spent time connecting on Facebook and Skype, and finally met in person at the Bay View Week of Handbells in 2010. And the rest, as they say, is history!
Larry and Carla have been active as a handbell duo (and co-directors of the handbell choir) in their church, Los Altos United Methodist Church and the San Francisco Bay Area community since Carla moved to the US in August of 2012. They have attended the Bay View Week of Handbells every year since meeting at the event in 2010 (they celebrated their engagement at this event in 2011 – how special is that?) and Distinctly Bronze West in 2013, 2014 and 2015. As a duo, they have participated in The Bay Area Spring Ring, United Methodist Handbell Festival, Redding Bronze, Redding Handbell Festival, Siskiyou Summit Handbell Conference and HRGB SE Region New Year Rally (England).
In addition to playing regularly at their church and participating in handbell festivals and workshops, they have performed concerts to benefit the Alzheimer's Association and have played duets for the Salvation Army Red Kettle campaign every December since 2012 (anywhere from 4 to 12 hours worth of duets!), as well as for fund-raising and charity events in the Bay Area. Carla hasn't forgotten her friends and neighbors in England either; she and Larry are involved with a UK-based volunteer handbell project called “Inspiration International” which aims to take handbell music into the lives of people in the Berkshire community, with particular focus on the elderly in care homes and disadvantaged people in the community.
If you live in, or plan to visit, the Bay area, there are several annual events where Larry and Carla play, including The Sundar Shadi Holiday Display in El Cerrito, CA; The Kara Candlelight Service of Remembrance in Palo Alto, CA; the German Holiday Market in Mountain View, CA; and at the Mountain View Center for the Performing Arts during the Pacific Ballet Academy's “Nutcracker” weekend.
They use Malmark handbells and practice in their home, often several times a day, whenever they feel like practicing. Now that's convenient!
They arrange all of their duets, with the goal of challenging preconceived ideas about what's possible with just 2 people and 8 bells. A few of their favorites are “Allegro” from Vivaldi's Concerto for 2 violins, selections from “The Nutcracker” and “One Day”.
Visit Larry & Carla's YouTube page for additional videos and http://www.choraegus.com/wordpress/ring/ if you are interested in purchasing any of their duets (other music is available as well). You can also connect with them through their website, on Google+, follow them on Facebook and Twitter or contact them via email: firstname.lastname@example.org if you'd like to book them for a performance.