Blue Ridge Ringers play last concert of the season at Tryon Estates

Published 12:31 pm Tuesday, May 30, 2023

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

COLUMBUS–On Friday night at Tryon Estates, the Blue Ridge Ringers, an advanced auditioned group of handbell musicians out of Hendersonville, finished its spring performance season, entitled “Spring Dances.”

The performance featured numerous classic songs themed to spring dances beautifully played on the handbells. The well-known pieces include Chop Sticks, Fantasy at Londonderry Air (Danny Boy), and Just a Closer Walk with Thee. The performance was conducted by Blaine Russell, with Karen Grady filling in while Russell took up the mandolin for a number. They were accompanied by Donna Maynard on drums, Karin Small on clarinet and Diana Flores on flute. 

“We’ve been performing since 1995, but this particular group has only been performing for about five months, and we even added two new members in January,” said Lynn McFarland, the group’s treasurer.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

The Ringer ages range from the mid-20s to around 80 years old, with several of their members conducting church and school handbell and voice choirs or are professional musicians. Others have played handbells and other instruments for decades.  

“We play many styles of music, including jazz, pop, classical, patriotic, hymns and gospel and others,” McFarland adds. “Our most popular music and time to perform is Christmas/December holidays, and we are fully booked for concerts in December 2023. We will begin rehearsing that music in August.” 

The group has members hailing from Spartanburg to West Asheville, including three members who live and work in Polk County. They have performed locally at Tryon Estates Retirement Community, Saluda Elementary School, the Polk County Library in Columbus, FENCE, Holy Cross Episcopal Church in Tryon and the Seventh Day Adventist Church in Tryon.

The Blue Ridge Ringers have been entertaining audiences for years with its handbell music, and the recent concert at Tryon Estates was no exception. The group’s dedication to their craft and love for music was evident in their f performance. Fans of the Blue Ridge Ringers can look forward to their next concert season, which promises to be just as impressive as their previous ones.