Our Instruments

In the fall of 1982 under the direction of Ellie Linden, First Church of Bethlehem purchased three octaves of Schulmreich Handbells and launched a handbell choir that rang until 1991.

In 1995, a new group of handbell choirs began ringing at First Church of Bethlehem under the direction of Rick Wood and in 2011 incorporated as Chime In! Music With a Mission.

Over the decades, the collection of handbells has grown to include a six octave, a three octave, and a two octave set of Schulmerich Handbells and a two octave set of Schulmerich Silver Melody Bells. The chime collection has grown to include a six octave set and a three octave set of Mallmark Choir Chimes. In addition, Chime In! owns two digital keyboards and a multitude of percussion instruments along with smaller chimes, bells, and other instruments for audience participation.

In each piece of music we ring, we ring out memories of friends and families.

1982 Handbells

Schulmerich Handbells C4 - C7

In the fall of 1982 under the direction of Ellie Linden, First Church of Bethlehem purchased three octaves of Schulmreich Handbells.

1996 Handbells

Schulmerich Handbells, C3 to B3, and C#7 to C8

C3 in memory of Kristen Prince by Steve, Karen, Suzanne, and Andrew Prince

On June 9, 1996, twenty-four Schulmerich Handbells, C3 to B3, and C#7 to C8 were dedicated during the first public concert of the Handbell Choirs of First Church of Bethlehem.

C#3 in memory of Evelyn Davis by Mahlon, Janet, and Ray Lynn

E3 in memory of Isabel & Floyd Nichols and Stephen Brittain by Frank and Gladys Nichols

F3 in memory of Salvatore Devine by loving family

G3 given by the Handbell Choirs of First Church of Bethlehem

G#3 in memory of Samuel & Mildred Swendsen and Arthur & Ethel Colsson by Sam and Dorothy Swendsen

A3 in honor of Steve Miller and Family by Lesley Waldron and Anna Nelmes

B3 in memory of Harold Hungerford by Fern Hungerford

C#7 in memory of Richard Lincoln Ruppel, Jr. by Donald Ruppel and family

D7 in memory of Judy Litchfield by Katharine Alexander and family

D#7 in memory of Marcus Ruffalo by John, Jane, Rachel, Lucinda, and Claire Pittari

E7 and F7 in memory of Evelyn Bowie Smith by Janice Benson

F#7 in memory of Herbert Goodwin by Shirley Goodwin

G7 in memory of Edna Munford Johnson by Carol Johnson Springmeyer and family

G#7 given by Mr. & Mrs. Linton Simerl

A7 in memory of Henry & Julia Kröger by Ruth Raymond, Barbara Roberts, Audrey Ruccio, and Elizabeth Curtis

A#7 in memory of Marion & George Brencher by Dave Brencher and family

B7 in memory of Mom, Pop, and Brother Bill by Julia Baysinger

C8 in memory of Lucille Hall Wood by Rick, Sandy, Ben, and Sam Wood

D3, D#3, F#3, and A#3 given by gifts from The Argall Hull Fund, The Memorial Fund of First Church, and the Women’s Fellowship of First Church, and a gift in memory of Evelyn A. Davis by Doris Panteli

1997 Handchimes

Malmark Choir Chimes C4 - C7

On May 4, 1997, three octaves of handchimes, C4 to C7, were dedicated in memory of H. Richard Dolbey, Concepcion Estevez, The Reverend Francis C. Hawes, Janet Marsden, George Penso, Lois Richards, Charles F. Woodward, Charles Simonson, Sr. and Andrew Manchester, and in honor of Dave and Dawn Nichols, and Thelma Leora Hawes.

1998 Handchimes

Malmark Choir Chimes C3 - B3, C#7 - C8

The fourth octave of handchimes, G3 to B3 and C#7 to G7 were dedicated on June 7, 1998 in memory of Ella C. Box, Stephen M. Brittain, John C. Dauch, Pauline Belle, Ken & Alice Hudson, Frank Markitan, Anthony & Amelia Scinto, Mrs. Jennie Biros, and Lourdes Kirbach, and in honor of the Music of the First Church Handbell Choirs, and in honor of the First Church Handbell Choirs’ support of the Connecticut Children’s Medical Center.

In October of 1998, the fifth octave of hand chimes, C3 - F#3 and G#7 to C8 were purchased with general donations.

1999 Handbell

Schulmerich Handbell D8

At the Ashlar Village Concert in March 1999, a new D8 handbell was dedicated in honor of Dorothy Anderson as The Messengers played for her one of her favorite tunes, “Forgotten Dreams” by Leroy Anderson, using the D8.

1999 Boomwhackers

Three Sets of Two Octaves of Boomwhackers with Octavators

In 1999, the Handbell Choirs purchased three sets of two octaves of Boomwhackers. The purchase was made directly from Craig Ramsell, the MIT graduate inventor of these tuned plastic tubes and founder of Whacky Music, Inc.

At the 1999 Area 1 Handbell Festival, The Messengers entered the arena playing Capriccio, a level 5 Bronze handbell piece, by Kevin McChesney. However, they were not using handbells. They were performing it using Boomwhackers in a conga-line striking the Boomwhackers on the hardhat of the next person ahead in line.

Even 20 years later, ringers at Festival identify director, Rick Wood, as the "Boomwhacker Guy".

2001 Handbells

Schulmerich Handbells G2 - B2

Five bass bells, G2 to B2 were dedicated at the Annual Handbell Concert on June 10, 2001.

The handbells were given in honor of Jan Benson, Nancy Brencher, John & Martha Carlson, Virginia Jackson, Ashley Nichols, Ruth Raymond, Curtis L. and Josephine C. Wood, and Rick Wood,and in memory of Dorothy Anderson, Rena Bate, Pauline Belle, Stephen Brittain, Raymond Gallagher, Harold Hoss, Zip Meister, George, Helen, & Tony Penso, Scinto family members, Fred Taylor, Winfred Tibbals, John Philip Urfer, and Lucille Hall Wood.

2002 Community Handbells

Schulmerich Handbells C4 - C7

A three-octave set of handbells were dedicated in worship on Sunday, November 24, 2002 in memory of John D. Botelle, Sr., Zip Meister, William Nurnberger, Justine Smey, the Victims of September 11, Ann Frances Turner Waldron, and Lucille Hall Wood, and in honor of Friends and Relatives, Ruth Ann Lever, and the Wood Family, and with a grant from Thomaston Saving Bank Foundation.

2008 Bass Chimes

Malmark Choir Chimes C2 - B2

An Octave of Bass Chimes, C2 - B2, were dedicated on June 8, 2008 at the Annual Bells & Berries Handbell Concert.

Chimes were given in memory of Dorothy Swendsen and Walter Schulze and in Honor of Julia Baysinger’s 100th birthday.

2014 - 2015 Handchimes

Malmark Choir Chimes C4 - C7

Three octaves of hand chimes were added to the collection through a grant from Thomaston Savings Bank Foundation and contributions from ringers and friends.

2016 Handbells

Schulmerich Handbells G4 - G6

In January 2016, Chime In! received a gift of two octaves of used Schulmerich Handbells from South East Consortium for Special Services, Inc. of Mameroneck, NY, Jerry Peters, Executive Director.

2018 Silver Melody Bells

Schulmerich Sliver Melody Bells C5 - C7

Listen to The Angel Gabrielle arranged by Fred Graman played on Silver Melody Bells & handchimes

On June 10, 2018, at our Annual Bells & Berries Handbell Concert, a set of Schulmerich Silver Melody Bells were dedicated in memory of Dr. William & Mildred Arnold, Nancy Berry, Shirley Goodwin, Ruth Ann Lever, Mahlon and Janet Lynn, Gladys & Frank Nichols, Bonnie Schulze, Diane Sutton, and Rhonda Werling, and in honor of Barbara Hunt and Rick Wood.

2021 Handbells

Petit & Fritsen Handbells G3, C4 - G7

In April 2021, acquired a set of Petit & Fritsen Handbells cast in the Netherlands from the 350-year-old First Congregational Church of Woodbury.