Princeton, NJ, April 11, 2013–Princeton Theological Seminary will present a handbell concert “Sounds of America” for the Seminary and Princeton communities on Saturday, April 20, 2013, at 3:00 p.m. in Miller Chapel on the Seminary’s main campus. It will include sacred and secular music from the past and present American tradition. The concert, under the direction of Rachel Barker, features the Princeton Ringers, made up of 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. Click here for directions to the Seminary.

Princeton Theological Seminary was founded in 1812, the first seminary established by the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church. It is the largest Presbyterian Seminary in the country, with more than 500 students in six graduate degree programs.