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Change Ringing

Join Us!

If you are interested in learning to ring the bells at the Mendenhall Bell Tower, please contact Hannah Durrant or Anne Wibiralske to arrange a visit. Visitors from other towers are welcome. Please contact us in advance to ensure that practices are being held.

Practice Times

Monday and Wednesday
Mendenhall Bell Tower
5–7 p.m.

All practices are open to new ringers and visitors. Come for an hour, or for one or both whole practices. Enter Mendenhall Performing Arts Center at the Berenson Studio across from Sage Hall.


January Interterm Course

English Change Ringing

This workshop offers instruction in bell handling and theory of English Change Ringing. Though common in England, only about 45 towers in North America have bells like ours. We will use the tower bells, handbells, and other exercises to develop an understanding of this art. Participants will tour the Mendenhall Bell Tower and ring the 8 bells ranging from 300 to 960 lbs. No experience necessary. Select one or more of the daily sessions by emailing the instructor. For more information, contact Hannah Durrant.

Jan 16–19 and Jan 22–23, from 3–5 p.m.
Jan 20–21, from 11 a.m.–4 p.m.

January Area Meeting

Saturday, January 20, 9 a.m.–5 p.m.
Sunday, January 21, 11 a.m.–4 p.m.

Many opportunities to learn to ring and join others from New York to Boston. Detailed schedule to follow.

Smith Bell Ringers in action

 

Change ringing is open to all faculty, staff and students and extended community members who wish to ring the bells on campus and share their wonderful sounds on important Smith occasions. The current band of ringers at Smith College includes Smith students, faculty and alumnae. There are also members from the wider community, including ringers from Mount Holyoke College and the University of Massachusetts Amherst, New Hampshire and Connecticut.


Smith College Bells

Sarah Moriarty visiting the bells

 

The Smith College bells are cast in bronze, weigh between 300 and 980 pounds and are characterized by richness, dignity, and mellowness of tone. The bells are hung in a ring of 8 near the top of Mendenhall Bell Tower in the belfry.

Bell Weight Inscription Donation Information
Treble (A) 2-2-21 cwt
(301 lbs.) 22.75"
In honor of Marjorie Resnikoff Botwinik ’37 Donated by Mr. Norman T. Botwinik in honor of his wife
Second (G#) 3-0-17 cwt
(353 lbs.) 23.75"
I am Grace Donated by Janet Carlile Harris
Third (F#) 3-1-16 cwt
(380 lbs.) 25"
To the joy of music, mathematics and memory Donated by Edward P. Hutchinson and his daughter Joan P. Hutchinson ’67 in honor of his wife and her mother, Louise Forbes Hutchinson ’36
Fourth (E) 4-0-16 cwt
(464 lbs.) 27"
I am Equity Donated by Janet Carlile Harris
Fifth (D) 4-2-24 cwt
(528 lbs.) 28.75"
I am Diligence Donated by Janet Carlile Harris
Sixth (C#) 5-0-25 cwt
(585 lbs.) 30"
I am Courage Donated by Janet Carlile Harris
Seventh (B) 7-0-17 cwt
(801 lbs.) 33"
I am Blessed Donated by Janet Carlile Harris
Tenor (A) 8-2-11 cwt
(963 lbs.) 36" *
*Per Dove's Guide. Elsewhere listed 8-3-0 cwt (980 lbs.)
Gaudeamus igitur juvenus dum sumus In memory of Margaret Nichols Shurcliff. Donated by members of her family and friends in the American Guild of English Handbell Ringers

Janet Carlile Harris also donated funds to strengthen the tower. Her sister, Dorothea Carlile ’22, died while a student and her mother, Florence Jeffrey Carlile 1893, was an original donor of the carillon in College Hall.