We all know that handbells in the US began right here in Boston in the early 1900’s when Margaret Shurcliff received a set of English handbells and started a choir on Beacon Hill.  This grew into the New England Guild of English Handbell Ringers which grew into the American Guild of English Handbell Ringers, now Handbell Musicians of America.

Now we enjoy constant workshops, clinics, concerts, and massed ringing events where ringers can improve their skills and share their ringing experience.  Most of these events depend on volunteer directors, organizers, and instructors.

Both Karen Leonard and Ed Henderson have each been leaders in the handbell world for over 4 decades expanding this vision.  They’ve directed multiple choirs, lead workshops and skill building sessions, and continually share their expertise to inspire the growth and expansion of the art of handbell ringing.  30 years ago they organized the first MA Spring Ring, called the Chelmsford Handbell Festival bringing together 4 choirs to share a mass ringing concert.  They have organized the event ever since as the name changed to Merrimack Valley English Handbell Festival, then to MA Spring Ring, and it has grown to involve almost 20 choirs representing over 200 ringers.

In celebration of the MSR 30 year anniversary Karen and Ed will share the podium as our guest clinicians.  The repertoire is some of the favorite pieces from the past 30-years, and will include a brass ensemble, flutist, and bell trees to augment the pieces.  We look forward to a wonderful 30th year celebration.

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