Berea College’s Bluegrass Ensemble’s performance of the “Carol of the Bells” has reached more than one million people—1,373,876 as of this writing—since their video recording was posted to the College’s Facebook page last year. The always-popular Bluegrass Ensemble is one of a diverse range of musical groups at Berea College.
Al White, the ensemble’s director, first developed the arrangement of “Carol of the Bells” about a decade ago for the Berea College music department’s annual Christmas concert. This video performance, recorded inside Berea’s Danforth Chapel and outdoors, features Casey Papendieck on bass; Al White on mandolin; Theo Macmillan on fiddle; Matt Parsons on guitar; and Brenna Macmillan on banjo and vocal.
Subsequent members of the Ensemble have also performed the distinctly Bluegrass version of this Christmas classic in a lively arrangement showcasing a complex interplay by each of the traditional Bluegrass instruments. Audiences enthusiastically receive it every time it is performed. You can view the now-viral video on Facebook here.