Leroy Anderson’s ‘Sleigh Ride’ played on handbells is the best thing that ever happened to Christmas

7 December 2018, 09:09

By Maddy Shaw Roberts

This ultra-percussive rendition of Leroy Anderson’s light orchestra standard is just magical.

KIRIKU Handbell Ensemble has arranged a wonderful new version of Leroy Anderson’s Sleigh Ride for handbells, whips and other percussion instruments.

After Anderson composed it in 1948, Sleigh Ride quickly became a standard for light orchestral music.

Oddly enough, the idea for the festive piece first came to Anderson during a heat wave, in the summer of 1946 in Connecticut.

It was first recorded in 1949 by the Boston Pops Orchestra, who re-recorded it with John Williams when he conducted the orchestra in the 1980s.

Sure, their version was joyful. But just listen to how Christmassy those handbells sound…

Watch the full video from KIRIKU on Facebook.