Penobscot Bay Ringers, the Midcoast's community handbell choir, will present a workshop Saturday, Oct. 19, from 10 a.m. to noon at the First Congregational Church, 55 Elm St./Route 1. Reservations to participate are being taken now.

Those who have ever wondered how to ring a handbell or handchime; currently ring bells or chimes, or have played in the past; would like to learn new techniques; or would like to find out more about joining a handbell choir are encouraged to attend this free workshop.

Penobscot Bay Ringers will teach workshop attendees the fundamentals needed to make beautiful music with handbells, and they also will share some of the fascinating tricks of the trade. There are many sounds to be made with a handbell, accomplished by ringing, plucking, shaking and striking the bell with a mallet or on a thick foam-padded table, just to name a few.

Ability to read music is helpful. This handbell workshop is designed for those age 13 and older, and advance registration is required. To reserve a spot at the table, call Leigh Smith at 230-6628 or email no later than Oct. 15.

Since its founding in June 2008, Penobscot Bay Ringers has performed at a variety of venues, including the Camden Opera House, the Strom Auditorium in Rockport, the Alfond Arena in Orono, the University of New Hampshire’s Whittemore Center and Old South Church in Boston. One of its missions is to bring handbell music to audiences  that might not otherwise experience the orchestral sound of a five-octave bell choir, said Smith, co-founder of the group. In recent years, the Ringers have taken our handbell music to the Maine State Prison in Warren, the Quarry Hill Retirement Community in Camden and the Togus Veterans Administration Center in Augusta.

Penobscot Bay Ringers performs with five octaves each of Malmark handbells and Malmark Choirchimes, which means that there are 122 different instruments at hand, each representing a pitch on the musical scale. Individual choir members are typically responsible for ringing between four and eight bells and/or handchimes, depending on the complexity of the musical score. The group rehearses Thursday evenings at the First Congregational Church in Camden.

Courier Publications’ A&E Editor Dagney C. Ernest can be reached at (207) 594-4401, ext. 115 or