Ringing in a New Spring Season
Every spring, the Vermont Hand Bell Association’s ‘Spring Ring’ travels around the state to perform. For the first time in 37 years, the town of Bennington will echo with the beautiful hand bell music performed by 19 hand bell choirs – a total of 150 ringers – from all over the Northeast and Ontario, Canada.
The event will be held on Saturday, April 21, and feature pieces by individual choirs, ensembles and individuals, as well as the entire group.
Hand bells have been around since they were designed in the late 1600s England; the first set came to the United States in 1901. A handbell choir acts as one instrument, with each ringer responsible for playing one or two notes within a tuned set. The ringers work together to perform their harmonious melodies, which are arranged specifically for the characteristic resonance of the handbells and their unique pitch.
This year the performing choirs will be under the direction of Danny Lyons, a handbell virtuoso who regularly plays concerts and festivals, and conducts clinics and classes across the nation. The 4 p.m. concert will be held at Mount Anthony Union Middle School, 747 East Road, Bennington. It is free and open to the public. Donations will be accepted to help support the handbell choirs and their events. For further information, you can contact Sue Green at 802-375-3563.