About Our Instruments

Our Handbell & Handchime Collection

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.

1996 Handbells

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.

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

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, Benjamin, and Samantha 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

On May 4, 1997,  three octaves of handchimes, C4 to C7, were dedicated.

The gifts were given by many 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

The fourth octave of handchimes, G3 to B3 and C#7 to G7 were dedicated on June 7, 1998. 

The chimes were given 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

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

2001 Handbells

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

A three-octave set of handbells were dedicated in worship on Sunday, November 24, 2002. 

The handbells were given 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

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

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

2014 - 2015 Handchimes

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

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

On June 10, 2018, at our Annual Bells & Berries Handbell Concert, a set of Schulmerich Silver Melody Bells were dedicated.

These bells were given 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.