Sydney woman playing chimes goes viral on Facebook

A video of a Sydney woman playing the chimes at what used to be the St. Andrew's Church has become an online sensation, generating more than 1.6 million views and 18,000 shares on Facebook.

Glenda Watt's video has had more than 1.6 million views

Glenda Watt says the chimes are more than 100 years old and weren't properly maintained, so playing them is a workout in and of itself. (CBC)

A video of a Sydney woman playing the chimes at what used to be the St. Andrew's Church has become an online sensation, generating more than a million views and 18,000 shares on Facebook.

"I certainly never expected 1.6 million [views]," said Glenda Watt.

For the last three years, she's posted videos of herself playing the chimes on Facebook for her mother. Watt says her mother is terrified of heights and wouldn't climb the ladder needed to get to where the chimes are, so that's why she started posting the videos online.

Watt first played the chimes at the church when she was 12 and learned from her brother who played the chimes at Sunday services for years.

She took a 30-year break from playing them and when the church was decommissioned in 2013, church officials asked her to play at the final service.

"It was just like riding a bike. They couldn't drag me out of there," said Watt.

After the church was decommissioned, the building was repurposed and became the Highlands Art Theatre. When a production of A Christmas Carol was put on at the theatre, Watt was asked to play the chimes.

Since then, she's been playing the chimes when her schedule permits. Watt owns a personal training studio across the street from the theatre and when she has some free time, she goes over and plays.

Physically demanding performance

At this time of year, she plays Christmas songs, but is also known to play Cape-Breton inspired tunes such as Out on the Mira and The Island.

"I get lost in it. I get up there, I forget people are listening. I'm having a great time," said Watt.

In the viral video that was posted on Nov. 25, Watt plays the song Angels We Have Heard On High, and it is evident playing these chimes is a physical affair.

Watt says the chimes are a century old and weren't properly maintained, so playing them is a workout in and of itself.

"There's one bell that if I'm going to come down on that thing, I have to be airborne because it's so heavy. I have to jump into it," said Watt.

Interestingly enough, one year prior to posting this video, Watt posted another version of her playing the same song. She says it only generated about 30 views.

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