Every two years, for as long as I can remember, there has been a fantastic handbell choir from outside of Area 1 attending Festival Conference. They are the Carol Ringers and Celebration Ringers from St. Matthew’s UMC in Annandale, VA. They are always a pleasure to listen to, and bring some youthful liveliness to the event.

It’s a long way from Virginia, and they will be doing a concert in CT on their way.

The concert will be at St. Michael’s Parish, 25 South St., Litchfield, CT on Monday, June 26 at 7:00 pm. The group has a strong reputation for excellence, so if you can make it, I highly recommend going.

Read below for their press release!


St. Michael’s Parish, 25 South St., Litchfield will host a handbell concert on Monday, June 26 at 7:00 PM.  The Carol and Celebration Ringers are youth handbell choirs from St. Matthew’s UMC, Annandale, VA.  They are junior high and high school students from six schools in Northern Virginia.  They perform a repertoire of classical, popular, folk and sacred music. The choirs have a reputation for excellence, which has grown over the past 44 years.  The Carol Ringers performed at the State Department in 2014, 2015 and 2016 at Christmas Parties for the American Diplomats. The St. Matthew’s Handbell Choirs have performed on the Millennium Stage at the Kennedy Center for 15 years, 11 concerts at the White House, 3 years as guest artists of the Air Force Band at Constitution Hall, the National Gallery of Art, the Corcoran Gallery of Art, the Historical Society of Washington, the Smithsonian and many other venues in the Washington, DC area. The Carol Ringers have played the opening concert for several Handbell Festivals and two Directors Conventions for the American Guild of English Handbell Ringers, Inc. They have been on ABC, CBS and CNN.

             The handbell choirs perform on 7 octaves of Schulmerich Handbells and 7 octaves of Malmark Choirchimes. The groups have recorded 7 times with 3 of the CD’s available tonight. “March from the Nutcracker” and “Stars and Stripes Forever” are on the most recent recording “Impromptu”.  Three Handbell CD’s are available for purchase after the concert.

Nancy Cappel, founder and director of the handbell choirs is in her 47th year as Music Director at St. Matthew’s United Methodist Church. She directs two children’s, one youth and one adult vocal choir and four of the seven handbell choirs. Nancy has a BS in Music Education from Manchester University and an MA in Music from Ball State University, both in Indiana. She taught public school general music for 6 years, middle school chorus for 3 years, private piano for 20 years and for 11 years directed four handbell choirs at The Potomac School in McLean, Virginia.

Tammy Freeman, the Assistant Director of Handbells directs the Celebration Ringers and two of the children’s handbell choirs.  She graduated with a BS in Music Education from Frostburg State University in Maryland.  Tammy has directed elementary, junior high and high school bands in southern Maryland and in Fairfax County for 10 years and handbell choirs at St. Matthew’s for 13 years.

Click here to see a previous concert by the Carol Ringers: Kennedy Center Millennium Stage Carol Ringers

For information about the concert on June 26:  860-567-9465