Local churches to participate in handbell concert
Westborough - Lots of bells will be ringing in Kingston, R.I., Sunday July 1 and some of those bells will be rung by members of two local churches.
Both the Evangelical Congregational Church and United Methodist Church are sending ringers to the Area 1 Bi-Annual Conference Festival of the American Guild of English Handbell Ringers.
The festival will be held at the University of Rhode Island from June 28 through July 1, with the final concert, open to the public, scheduled for 3 p.m. Sunday July 1 on campus at the Ryan Center.
More than 750 ringers will perform and they will represent all six New England states as well as three provinces in Canada.
Three diff erent varieties of English handbells will be used in the concert: tin handbells, which ring at three diff erent octaves; copper handbells, which ring at five different octaves; and brass handbells, which are used for more difficult pieces.
Sue Menzel is the director of the Bell Choir at the Congregational church, while Cynthia Hamburger directs the ringers at the Methodist church.
"It's [The conference is] a great weekend," Menzel said. "We have lots of classes and discussion and then we finish it up with the concert on Sunday. Everybody seems to have an awesome time."
The festival has been held and the final concert performed at many different venues in New England in- cluding on the campuses of Holy Cross in Worcester, the University of New Hampshire in Durham, the University of Maine in Orono and the University of Vermont in Burlington.
"We're really excited to be playing at the Ryan Center," Menzel said. "Even though I haven't been there yet, I've been told it has lots of seating and that's wonderful. We've played a lot of places that have sold out and people have been turned away because the facility simply wasn't large enough to hold all the bell ringers and all the people who come to listen to the concert."
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