11th Annual BHF – May 16, 2017, 8pm
Special Guest Conductor: Griff Gall
Special Guest Choir: Penobscot Bay Ringers
To celebrate our 11th annual Boston Handbell Festival, BBR will award a set of handchimes to a Boston-area school. See below to apply.
Boston Handbell Festival Massed Ringing
On the third Tuesday of May, Old South Church plays host to the Boston Handbell Festival, an annual celebration of handbell musicianship co-sponsored by the Back Bay Ringers and Old South.
The Boston Handbell Festival brings together local community handbell ensembles–the Back Bay Ringers, Merrimack Valley Ringers, New England Ringers, and Old South Ringers–and an invited guest choir, for an evening of massed and solo ringing in Old South’s beautiful sanctuary. The concert is free and open to the public. Many audience members at the BHF are seeing handbells for the first time! They’ve been treated to an enormous variety of performances, including pieces that included choreography, singing, baseball hats, or pirate costumes, as well as a memorable massed piece involving five choirs and Old South’s stunning Skinner pipe organ.
Past Guest Choirs
2015 Choirchime Donation
Founded to honor the tradition of the Perkins Handbell Festival, originated by Adele Trytko of the Perkins School for the Blind, the festival also prioritizes BBR’s commitment to education, as 100% of BBR’s proceeds from the evening’s free-will donation goes to support our chime donation program.
The Boston Handbell Festival committee invites applications from Boston-area schools who wish to integrate chimes into their own music programs.
At a ceremony at the BHF, the selected school is presented with a two-octave set of Malmark Choirchimes and a packet of music appropriate for use with young musicians. The selected music teacher also receives a one-year mentorship with BBR Artistic Director Griff Gall, an elementary music specialist who successfully incorporates chimes into his music curriculum. We’re very proud to think of how many young musicians are being introduced to ringing instruments through the success of the BHF and the chime donation program!
Past Choirchime Recipients
- 2007: Rafael Hernandez Bilingual Elementary School, Boston
- 2008: A. C. Whelan Elementary School, Revere
- 2009: Alexander Hamilton Elementary School, Brighton
- 2011: Thomas J. Kenny Elementary School, Dorchester
- 2012: East Somerville Community School, Somerville
- 2013: J. F. Condon Elementary School, Boston
- 2014: Wood End and Birch Meadow Schools, Reading
- 2015: JFK School and South School, Holbrook
- 2016: Watertown Middle School, Watertown and Donald McKay School, East Boston