Penobscot Bay Ringers, Midcoast Maine's community handbell choir, will present a workshop Saturday, Sept. 12, from 10 a.m. to noon at the First Congregational Church, 55 Elm St./Route 1.

Anyone who has ever wondered how to ring a handbell or handchime, who currently rings bells or chimes or has played in the past, who would like to learn new techniques or to find out more about joining a handbell choir is encouraged to attend this free workshop.

Penobscot Bay Ringers will teach workshop attendees the fundamentals needed to make beautiful music with handbells and also share some of the fascinating tricks of the trade. There are many sounds to be made with a handbell, accomplished by ringing, plucking, shaking and striking the bell with a mallet in the air or on a thick foam-padded table, just to name a few.

Ability to read music is helpful. This handbell workshop is designed for individuals age 13 and older. Advance registration is required. To reserve a spot at the table, call Leigh Smith at 921-6628 or email no later than Tuesday, Sept. 8.

Since its founding in June 2008, Penobscot Bay Ringers has performed at a variety of venues including the Camden Opera House, the Strom Auditorium in Rockport, the Alfond Arena in Orono, the University of New Hampshire’s Whittemore Center and Old South Church in Boston. In recent years, the Ringers have taken their handbell music to the Maine State Prison in Warren, Quarry Hill Retirement Community in Camden and the Togus Veterans Administration Center in Augusta.

“One of our missions is to bring handbell music to audiences which might not otherwise experience the orchestral sound of a five octave bell choir,” said Smith, co-founder of the group.

Penobscot Bay Ringers performs with five octaves each of Malmark handbells and Malmark Choirchimes, which means that there are 122 different instruments, each representing a pitch on the musical scale. Individual choir members are typically responsible for ringing between four and eight bells and/or handchimes, depending on the complexity of the musical score. The group rehearses Thursday evenings at the First Congregational Church in Camden.

Courier Publications’ A&E Editor Dagney C. Ernest can be reached at (207) 594-4401, ext. 115; or