Seats avail for bus charter May 16

Penobscot Bay Ringers invited to perform in Boston

Apr 17, 2017
The Penobscot Bay Ringers will be performing at the prestigious Boston Handbell Festival this spring.

Camden — Penobscot Bay Ringers, Midcoast Maine’s community handbell choir, will be performing at the prestigious Boston Handbell Festival, an annual event that takes place at Old South Church in Boston, Mass., Tuesday, May 16.

Local residents who would like to attend the Boston Handbell Festival concert can purchase a seat on the charter coach that will transport the Penobscot Bay Ringers to Boston, regarded as the hometown of handbell ringing in the United States

It is all thanks to a woman named Margaret Shurcliff, who returned from a trip to England with a set of eight English handbells in 1902. Over a span of 50 years, she introduced many friends to the joys of handbell ringing, and her Beacon Hill Ringers became well known for its annual Christmas caroling on Beacon Hill. The Boston Handbell Festival continues to honor Shurcliff's legacy through the playing of glorious handbell music and through a gift of handchimes presented to a local school each year. The gift is made possible largely through audience donations received at the Boston Handbell Festival concert.

"We are so thrilled to be invited to play in Boston this spring," said Amy Rollins, artistic director of Penobscot Bay Ringers. "As a nonprofit organization, Penobscot Bay Ringers has two missions: to provide exceptional handbell performances; and to provide handbell education. By participating in the Boston Handbell Festival, we honor both of these objectives."

Penobscot Bay Ringers will play two pieces on their own and two pieces as massed rings, which means that every choir present will be playing as one, Rollins said. The audience in the Old South Church sanctuary literally will be surrounded by the music, making for a very memorable experience. The 2017 Boston Handbell Festival also will feature the Back Bay Ringers, Merrimack Valley Ringers, New England Ringers and Old South Ringers.

May 16’s full-day excursion, which includes round-trip transportation between Camden and Boston, will leave from the First Congregational Church, 55 Elm St./Route 1, at 9 a.m. (with one additional pickup on Route 1 in Waldoboro. This allows for an afternoon of shopping, dining and exploring Boston’s Historic Faneuil Hall Marketplace and Copley Place before taking in the 8 p.m. concert at Old South Church.

The cost of the bus trip is $50 per person. For more details and to reserve a seat, contact Eve Bell at 315-0378 or For more information about Penobscot Bay Ringers, visit

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

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