Merrimack Valley Ringers Coming to Bedford on June 9

Submitted by the First Church of Christ, Congregational  

Hear the Merrimack Valley Ringers at 3 p.m. on Sunday, June 9 at the First Church of Christ, Congregational, 25 Great Road in Bedford as they embark upon a musical journey that celebrates the 70th anniversary of the Handbell Musicians of America. 

The program encompasses a rich legacy of handbell composers past and present who have created repertoire for handbell musicians throughout the country and the world. People will hear a full complement of handbells, chimes, and percussion. 

The music includes old favorites such as “Bugler’s Holiday” and “Gabriel’s Oboe” as well as more recent compositions, such as “Arethusa Falls,” a new original composition by Susan Capestro, the church’s Director of Music. For handbells and ocarina, it captures some of the beauty of an actual waterfall in Crawford Notch, NH. 

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This concert is the same program MVR will present for opening night of the Handbell Musicians of America National Conference held in Hartford, CT in July. 

MVR’s Artistic Director is Karen E. Leonard. She is a graduate of Boston University and the University of Massachusetts – Lowell with degrees in church music, organ performance, and conducting. She is now in her 55th year as the Minister of Music at West Chelmsford United Methodist Church in North Chelmsford. Leonard was awarded Honorary Life Membership in AGEHR (American Guild of English Handbell Ringers), the highest award given for service to this handbell organization.

Learn more about the Merrimack Valley Ringers at

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