All posts by pete

Jane Nolan directs handchime class at Ledyard Center School

For two days, Jane Nolan took part in music classes at Ledyard Center School, teaching students about handchimes and spreading the joy of ringing.

“Can I just tell you what a breath of fresh air it has been for Mrs. Nolan to visit my classes? The kids were on better behavior to make the music happen – their faces when they heard the chimes for the first time was priceless–like someone turned on a light inside! Their understanding of reading music improved from the ensemble work, and their immediate success was such a confidence boost for them! I’d love to make this a regular yearly visit”

Engaging in Bristol, CT

I have brought the Shoreline Ringers to two churches, and the response at both has been very enthusiastic and gratifying. Both the Christmas season programs and the spring programs are full of challenging pieces that are exciting to watch and sensitively played, under the direction of Jane Nolan. The handbell ringers in the group are all very experienced and musical. If you add up the years of experience of everyone in the ensemble (a large number!), you get a sense of how they can play difficult music so well.

We have found that the programs are engaging and popular because they are a nice mixture of classical works (to start off) and more popular and lighter pieces to round off the program. Jane ties the pieces together nicely with some commentary as the ringers prepare for the next piece. Also, a question and answer period always elicits some great questions, often from people who have not heard handbells before and who are fascinated by the very idea of the ensemble combining to make up one instrument.

Shoreline Ringers is one of the best handbell ensembles in the region, if not the country.


Bill Degan
Music Director, First Congregational Church of Bristol, Connecticut