“Twenty six bells will always ring at Christmas
Twenty six bells will ring in my heart
Twenty six bells will always ring at Christmas
Twenty six bells as long as we’re apart”

On December 14, 2012 another piece of our innocence was destroyed at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. On that day, twenty precious and innocent first graders, along with six amazing adults who had dedicated their lives to teaching and caring for children, were violently swept from our lives. The pain and anguish caused by this unthinkable act fueled the inspiration for Twenty Six Bells.

Twenty Six Bells was first written down on paper on the morning of January 13, 2013. At the song's inception, I believed it was just a distant dream, an impossibility of logistics with the need to gather a whole host of talented individuals together for a presentation. Twenty Six Bells would need a soloist, a choir, a hand bell choir, a pianist, and a violinist, all of which were available, but needed to be nurtured together from just the seed of an idea.

This seed of an idea eventually culminated in a presentation of Twenty Six Bells at St. Stephens Episcopal Church in Longview, Washington on December 14, 2014, the second anniversary of the Newtown tragedy. The St. Stephens Choir and the St. Stephens Hand Bell Choir were joined by soloist Samantha Solon, pianist Ann Long, and violinist Gary Lindstrom, to bring Twenty Six Bells to life and create a lasting memorial to ensure that those who lost their lives that day will never be forgotten.

~ Lloyd Solon