Change ringers from across the Eastern US and Canada will be travelling to Mt Lebanon to ring the bells at Southminster Church August 5th through 7th. This is a wonderful opportunity to learn more about this thrilling, ancient art.
Mt Lebanon is fortunate to be home to one of only fifty sets of change ringing bells in North America. Change ringing is a 400 year old tradition of bell ringing that started in England, which is still home to 5,000 towers. It was imported to colonial America, the first tower here being the famous Old North Church in Boston, where one of the original ringers was Paul Revere. Bells weighing hundreds or thousands of pounds are swung through 360 degrees several dozen feet above the ringers, using just ropes and skill to produce cascades of sound according to centuries old patterns.
The change ringers at Southminster hold a well regarded annual course one weekend each summer, that attracts ringers from across North America looking to improve their skills. It is the only such repeating course available in the country. This year's course will be attended by ringers representing Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, Ontario, Pennsylvania and Washington DC.
It is also a wonderful time for folks to visit and learn a little about this 400 year old art form. Out of politeness, when practicing there are louvres that close around the bells to reduce the volume, so they may be difficult to hear outside for most of the weekend. However, visitors would be most welcome to come up to watch and listen in the tower on Friday 7pm to 9pm, Saturday 10am to 11am and again 2pm to 3pm, and Sunday 11am to 12 noon. That last time, following a 10am church service, will be the only time during the weekend the bells will be fully audible outside.
Ringing Master: Ross Finbow -
Area Rep / Secretary: Alison Peters -
Treasurer: Rich Pinkerton -
Steeple Keeper: Nick Rossi -
Tower Safety: Jim Strader -
Social Secretary: Elizabeth Boyd -
We welcome visiting ringers to the tower. Refer to our Ringing Times and Policies page for complete details. Currently (June-August '05), service ringing is at 11 am Sundays, and tower practices are Thursday evenings from 7 to 9 pm. Visiting bands wishing to schedule ringing sessions outside of our regular practice times, or to schedule quarters and peals should contact , PCRG Secretary. Also we encourage anyone interested in learning to ring to contact us. Orientation sessions will be held in December followed by a 3- to 4-month series of learners' sessions. For further information, see the Learners Page.
The North American Guild of Change Ringers website has a wealth of information about ringing activities at various bell towers throughout the United States and Canada. To learn more about the exercise of change ringing itself, visit the MIT change ringing web site. For further resources, refer to our Publications & Links page.
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