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.

Sincerely,

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

Simply Spectacular in North Stonington

We were once again thrilled to have the spectacular Shoreline Ringers return to North Stonington Congregational for their final Holiday Concert of 2017, ringing to an energetic and enthusiastic packed house on January, 7, 2018, also the day after Epiphany.  This group of friendly and superb musicians rang with precision, musicality and showed their sheer enjoyment of ringing through the beautifully programmed concert by director and founder of the group, Jane Nolan.

Director Jane Nolan had the eye of every ringer when conducting and the ringers made their handbells speak with such beauty that one could see the audience being transported to another dimension when they experienced the beauty of music created by this talented group.  There are always a few in the audience who experience seeing and hearing this group perform for the first time and they are utterly amazed at the sounds that handbells can make.  At the same time, there are audience members who have attended many, if not all of Shoreline’s concerts and are still in awe as to how this group continues to make each performance fresh and new with visual beauty and creative sounds.

The Shoreline Ringers were last in North Stonington for their last Holiday Concert of their 2013 season performing in our sanctuary in January, 2014.  Back then we had comments such as “We have to have them back again.” and “I did not know that bells could sound like that.”  Those same comments were heard again and we were once again thrilled to have them return.  Our church members and our handbell choir members were excellent hosts and the audience and Shoreline Ringers were delighted in the fantastic reception following this wonderful afternoon of music.

Once again, this was a wonderful Christmas gift to the community of North Stonington and was simply spectacular!

Michael G. Noonan
Director of Music / Organist
North Stonington Congregational Church (UCC)
North Stonington, CT