Handbell Ringers


The Mark Twain Ringers are a group of talented students from diverse backgrounds within the Los Angeles area. They are a multicultural group of young people who have devoted much time and energy to perfecting the art of English Handbell ringing. Their mastery of handbell ringing also helps them to focus on the academic and social aspects of their lives. Through music, they learn discipline and management skills that help them in the classroom. The fact that they are a close family of musicians at school helps them with their interpersonal skills and allows them to create a strong sense of community both at school and at home. These young ringers are an inspiration to their peers and to all others who are around them.

Mark Twain’s youthful ringing group was formed in September 2000, during school lunch break. They were and are supported wholeheartedly by the entire community at Mark Twain Music Academy, Hamilton High School for the Performing Arts, and Venice High School, and by their parents and local communities. Handbells are now offered as an elective to all 6th, 7th and 8th grade students, while the high school students come back and participate in after-school rehearsals and instruction. This keeps their skills sharp and allows them to do what they love—ring English handbells.

These talented young people have been featured at Knott’s Berry Farm, Disney World in Orlando, Florida, and various Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) functions. The Mark Twain ringers have also been featured at various local churches. Each December, their busiest season, these youthful ringers have a standing performance schedule ringing holiday music in various venues in the Los Angeles area, with the Los Angeles Concert Orchestra and the Master Chorale. In the summer of 2006, the Mark Twain ringers were recognized by the LAUSD Board of Education as official Youth Ambassadors of Southern California. They have gone on to represent young ringers at many venues throughout California, Florida and Nevada. They participate and perform at many American Guild of English Handbell Ringers’ (AGEHR) events and workshops in California and Nevada every year. Every January for the last 8 years, they have been a part of a tri-state group of several hundred ringers in the annual 12th Night Handbell Festival in Las Vegas, Nevada. In all AGEHR events, they attend workshops on ringing and bell handling techniques and, ultimately, perform for the public on the last day. They have broken the age barrier that once existed at these events. Their skill, behavior, and dedication has allowed them to participate as adults in AGEHR events, and our young ringers have forged a reputation as skilled artisans among ringers and clinicians alike.

Since these ringers have shown so much dedication to their craft, five English Handbell classes are offered every school year as a part of the curriculum. Now our ringers have an hour every day, five days per week, where they are motivated to attain higher levels of musicianship throughout the school year. Ultimately, this discipline, focus, and achievement, spills over into their academic lives, as well. Through the use of Motivation, Management, and Musicianship, Ron is able to produce a handbell choir that is not only musically talented, but are good students and great well-rounded young people.

Ringing Mid-Range Handbells
Mid-Range Bell Ringers

Ringing Base Handbells
Bass Bell Ringers

Ringing Upper Bells
Upper Bell Ringers

Treble Clef Ringers
Treble Clef Ringers


Home  -  Performances  -  Ron Theile  -  Mark Twain Ringers
Ringing Techniques -  Handbell History -  Photos -  Links