Ever wonder what it takes to set up for a handbell concert?  Wonder no more, click here for a time lapse of Ring Sarasota setting up for the final concert of their fifth season.

During a typical concert Ring Sarasota will use most, if not all, of our 214 individual handbell instruments including:

5+ Octaves (C3 – C#8) Malmark Handbells in Port-a-Bell cases
(given in memory of Sondra Thompson)
Ring Sarasota’s primary instruments. Spanning from two octaves below Middle C to three octaves above Middle C, this 62-bell set was manufactured by Malmark, Inc., of Plumsteadville, Pennsylvania. The bells are cast in bronze, an alloy made of approximately 80 percent copper and 20 percent tin, with individual weights ranging from several ounces to more than 9 pounds. Polished inside and out, these bells have adjustable clappers, black and white polymer handles that match the color of modern piano keys, and polymer spring dampers.

3 Octaves (C4 – C7) of Schulmerich Handbells
The group’s secondary instrument, spanning three octaves, is used for doublings and alternate handbell assignments. Manufactured by Schulmerich Carillons, Inc, of Sellersville, Pennsylvania, these bells are also cast in bronze, an alloy made of approximately 80 percent copper and 20 percent tin, polished inside and out, and black handles.

5 Octaves (C3 – C8) of Malmark ChoirChimes in Port-a-Bell cases
(3 octaves (C4 – C7) in memory of Sondra Thompson)
Malmark’s Choirchimes resemble aluminum tuning forks with exterior clappers. The chime’s prongs vibrate like those of a tuning fork, while the long tube serves as both a resonating chamber and a handle. They produce very quiet overtones relative to their fundamental pitches, which is why their sound approximates a mathematically perfect sine wave. These extruded square aluminum tubes are extremely durable. The chimes’ clappers are stopped by rubber bumpers that contact the resonating chambers.

2 Octaves (C6 – C8) of Malmark Cymbells
Designed by Malmark, Inc. these Cymbells simplify the ringing of melody lines, percussive patterns and ostinato. Authentic Malmark handbell castings mounted to a convenient rack. Each octave set contains 13 chromatic rack mounted castings, stand, and 2 mallets.

3 Octaves (C4 – C7) of Petit & Fritzen Handbells
(on loan to Ring Sarasota)
The sound of Petit & Fritsen handbells is very complex. Upon first hearing these Dutch bells, people are often reminded of tower bells. The unique sound of the Petit & Fritsens comes from their differences in both the bronze alloy and the casting profile, resulting in a unique combination of fundamentals and overtones. Although Petit & Fritsen still manufactures carillons and peal bells, their handbells are no longer in production.

Other Equipment Includes:

Schulmerich Handbell Tables
36” x 30” rectangular tables with 3/8″ Lite Ply with a High Pressure Laminate “HPL” top, crimped aluminum edge, durable steel legs with a secure locking system and adjustable legs.

Schulmerich Table Wedges
The Wedge, made for and compatible only with the Schulmerich Table is designed at a 60 degree angle to accommodate corners for various concert set ups. They come with a custom foam pad 30″ x 30″ x 30″ by 4″.

Table Covers
(given in memory of Karen Miller)
Deluxe two piece Corduroy fabric table covers. These covers Feature a top piece that cover the top and back side of the tables along with a matching separate three sided pleated front and side skirt that is fastened to the top cover with Velcro. Due to the variety of set-up configurations of Ring Sarasota, we have an assortment of both six foot and three foot table coverings and skirts. These custom covers and skirts were made for our group by Jeffers Handbell Supply.

Table Foam Pads
Sized to fit our tables (36″ x 30″) and 4″ thick.

Port-A Bell Cases
(Handbell and Choirchime)
These cases, similar to those that have carried sensitive military and photographic equipment for years, protect our instruments.  Cases include heavy-duty polyethylene pull-handles, molded-in bumpers, a three stage telescopic recessed handle, full-length piano hinges and a custom cut foam insert. Intended for any travel, including airline, the lightweight design make them easier to use than any other case.

Bass Bell Cradles
Bass Bell Cradles, designed and sold exclusively by The Raleigh Ringers’, consist of a block shaped strip of foam slightly longer than the diameter of a bass bell, about an inch and a half wide and high. One long side of the strip is cut to fit the casting of a bass bell. These “cradles” are placed on the table and used both to keep the bells from rolling around and to help damp the overtone when a bass bell must be table damped.

Greig Ashurst Artist Series Mallets
The Greig Ashurst Artist Series is a line of cutting-edge handbell mallets specifically engineered to meet the demands of today’s professional handbell musicians. Each of the series’ eight mallets are the result of months of intensive research, development, testing, and collaboration between Schulmerich and percussionist, conductor, composer, performer, educator, Greig Ashurst.

Intellistage Portable Staging System
The ultimate in portability and convenience, these risers are modular, lightweight platforms that can be combined to create customized stages. Ring Sarasota owns four 4′ x 4′ sections with 8″ risers allowing our bass bells and ringers to be seen and heard.

Road Case USA 6 Tub Road Storage Case
This case was produced by a leader in the ATA transit case industry and is extremely useful! The case is constructed of 3/8″ plywood with a heavy PVC grey vinyl laminate on the face and a black stained interior. Tub drawers are practically unbreakable, lightweight, and are a great and unique feature to this case. The case also has all recessed hardware to prevent shearing off in transit and heavy duty casters also come with the case.  This case is used to efficiently store and transport the many smaller items that we carry to and from concerts.

Our Wish List includes
Port-a-Bell cases for our 3 octave (C4-C7) set of handbells – @$1,700
clapper assemblies for our 3 octave (C4-C7) set of handbells – @ $2,500
1 Octave (C#7-C8) Schulmerich Handbells and cases – @$3,500
1 Octave (C2-B2) Malmark ChoirChimes and cases – @ $9,500
1 Octave (C2 – B2) Malmark Handbells and cases

Contact Ring Sarasota at if you or your business/organization would like to make a donation towards the purchase of anything from our ‘wish list.’ We are a 501(c)(3) organization.