Leroy Anderson’s ‘Sleigh Ride’ played on handbells is about the most Christmassy thing there is

17 December 2019, 11:32 | Updated: 17 December 2019, 11:41

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.

SLEIGH RIDE John Williams & The Boston Pops (Live)

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

Watch the full video from KIRIKU on Facebook.