Founded in 2010, Ring Sarasota handbell ensemble features advanced handbell ringers from New Port Richey, St. Petersburg, Bradenton, Sarasota and Englewood. The group performs a wide variety of music, from classical to Americana, Armed Forces tributes to original compositions written specifically for handbells.
Now in its seventh season, Ring Sarasota, the area’s premier handbell ensemble, is making music throughout the Gulf Coast. With a passion for playing, these spirited musicians captivate audiences age seven to seventy-seven with a unique combination of entertainment, education, and community engagement.
Dedicated to bringing ringing prime time, the Sarasota‐based group under the direction of former Navy bandleader Rick Holdsworth showcases over 200 bells rung by 30 hands to create a symphony of sound with special effects mimicking the piccolo, percussion, chimes, trombone, even the Tibetan singing bowl. Their music has been described as an inspirational mix of melody and muscle.
Performance history highlights include a news making Veterans Day celebration benefiting 48 hometown soldiers through Manatee Operation Troop Support, a sold out Christmas collaboration with Bay Chorale at Neel Performing Arts Center, debuting director Rick Holdsworth’s original transcription of Holst’s “Jupiter” from The Planets, radio and video broadcasts of their first CD recording, and an invitation to ring as the featured ensemble at the Handbell Musicians of America Florida state festival.
Inspired by the toe tappin’ and finger snappin’ tunes of the last 50 years, Ring Sarasota enters into its 7th season with “We’ve Got Rhythm”, a dynamic concert lineup exploring the meaning of rhythm. Rhythm is everywhere. It is what makes music move and flow. It has sounds. It has silences. It has a steady beat … or not. It has been said that “rhythm can exist without melody, as in the drumbeats of primitive music, but melody cannot exist without rhythm.” You can experience nature’s rhythm as you listen to the ebb and flow of a song bird’s melody or the steady clicky-clack beat of train wheels on the track. Rhythm surrounds us.
This season, Ring Sarasota explores rhythm through various musical interpretations from a new, light-hearted and daring rendition of Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony to the classic Glenn Miller style in “Moonlight Serenade,” to the West Indian Island Calypso beat of “Yellow Bird.” Feel the pulse of modern rhythmic selections such as Abba’s disco classic “Dancing Queen” and one of the Beatles beloved rock and roll favorites, “Eleanor Rigby.” But it doesn’t stop there as we continue our exploration of rhythm from the pizzicato stylings of Leroy Anderson to the smooth jazz texture of Errol Garner’s “Misty” and more! You won’t want to miss this lively and entertaining performance.
 Crossley-Holland, Peter. “Rhythm-music” Encyclopedia Britannica, n.p., n.d., Web. 14 August 2016
Contact: Director/Founder: Rick Holdsworth
More information and a concert schedule can be found at www.ringsarasota.org