Princeton, NJ, November 27, 2012–Princeton Theological Seminary will present a holiday handbell concert for the Seminary and Princeton communities on Saturday, December 8 at 3:00 p.m. in Miller Chapel on the Seminary campus. The concert, “Ringing in the Season,” under the direction of Rachel Barker, includes the ringing of holiday songs by Princeton Seminary and Princeton University students, spouses, staff, alumni/ae, and friends.

Brothers Robert and William Cor of Aldbourne, Wiltshire, England, developed the first tuned handbells between 1696 and 1724. Originally used by change ringers (who rang a set of tuned bells in a series of mathematical patterns called “changes”) to rehearse outside their towers, the handbell sets had the same number of bells as did the towers (usually six to twelve handbells tuned to a diatonic scale).   

Margaret Shurcliff brought the first handbells from England to the United States in 1902. She was presented a set of ten handbells in London by Arthur Hughes, the general manager of the Whitechapel Bell Foundry, after completing two separate two-and-one-half-hour change ringing peals in one day. 

The concert is free and open to the public. For more information, please contact the Chapel Office at 609.497.7890. For directions to the Seminary, visit www.ptsem.edu.

Princeton Seminary was established in 1812 by the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church as a post-graduate professional school of theology. Currently celebrating its Bicentennial, Princeton is the largest Presbyterian seminary in the country, with 500 students in six graduate degree programs.