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Carol of the Bells Around the World Cello Project


Carol of the Bells Cello Peace Project

To quote the University of Oxford, we at the Cello Museum

“are appalled by Russia’s action and in awe of the bravery shown by Ukrainians as well as the bravery of those Russians who have denounced their government’s aggression.”


For our initial project, we invited cellists of all levels to join us in playing the Carol of the Bells to show their commitment to peace and support for Ukraine.

Ukrainian cellist Vlad Primakov has arranged Ukrainian composer Mykola Leontovych’s 1914 piece, “Carol of the Bells,” based on the Ukrainian folk chant “Shchedryk” for three and six cellos. There is also an unaccompanied version available. The parts are free to download but are not intended for resale.

Our project video will be coming out shortly. In the meantime, join us by posting a link to your video in the comments of our video here.

Like our Ukrainian National Anthem Cello Project, it is free to participate in this project, but we encourage you to donate to the charity of your choice.

Vlad’s Recommended Charity

Supplies loaded into a van by volunteers, including Vlad, in Ukraine. Photo courtesy Vlad Primakov

Volunteers loading a van of supplies in western Ukraine. Top left: Vlad Primakov. Photo courtesy Vlad Primakov

Like our previous project, this one is free to participate in, but we encourage you to donate to a charity to support Ukraine. This is Vlad Primakov’s recommended charity. Read more about it in our interview with Vlad.

Please make sure all donations collected go directly to charity. Thank you!

Sheet Music and Practice MP3s

This sheet music is free for you to use but is not for resale. This arrangement is the work of Vlad Primakov.

First Level Cello Trio

This is the easiest arrangement. However, the top part is the most challenging, and it is more of an intermediate part than a beginner part.

Intermediate Level Cello Sextet

This is the option for the largest ensemble. Cello 1 is the most difficult in this arrangement and is more of an advanced part, and Cello 6 is by far the easiest part, suitable for a beginner. The middle parts are more of an intermediate or advanced beginner level.

Advanced Level Cello Trio

This is the most advanced version arranged by Vlad Primakov. Cello 1 has extended sections in thumb position in treble clef, while Cellos 2 and 3 are in first position.

Unaccompanied Cello

For those who want to play this as a solo, here is an unaccompanied version based on Vlad Primakov’s arrangement that will fit with the other recorded parts. It is aimed at an advanced beginner level. More advanced players can try taking sections up an octave – or two!

4. PDFs to Display During Your Performance

To show your commitment to peace and support for Ukraine, you may display one of our project PDFs for your performance and/or video. We suggest you put it on a screen or print it and hang it from your music stand.

Feel free to write in your location – as specific as your town or city or as general as your country.

Choose from one of the project PDFs below. We have provided you with both US letter and A4-sized PDFs.

Project PDF #1: Ukrainian flag with the cello and bells

Carol of the Bells Around the World Cello Project Bells Cello and Flag PDF

You may download one of our project PDFs to display during your performance.


Project PDF #2: Ukrainian flag

Carol of the Bells Around the World Cello Project Flag PDF

You may download one of our project PDFs to display during your performance and add your location to it, as shown in this example.


Tuning Notes

Here are tuning notes for those who need them.


  • Do a practice run of your recording.
  • If using your phone, shoot with your back camera (see the second video below for instructions)
  • Be aware of what else is in the shot. A blank wall or a planned, simple background is best so that the focus is on you and your cello as you are playing for peace.

If you need some additional tips, the following video is helpful.


On Your Own

Make a difference in your part of the world by performing this beautiful piece of music and sharing it with your community.

Your performance can be for as small or large an audience as you can logistically manage – you may play at home by yourself, or for a large audience in a concert hall, if you have access to one. Please let us know if you perform online (by the Wednesday before the performance) so that we can put it in our weekly events listings.

If you make a video of your performance, please share a link to it in the comments of this video.

Make a Difference in the World

If we all spread the word of peace through our cello activities, we can make a positive change in the world.

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