The Raleigh Ringers is an internationally acclaimed, Emmy-nominated, advanced community handbell choir that dazzles concert audiences.
Under the direction of David M. Harris, The Raleigh Ringers has released seven CDs, and two DVDs of holiday concerts titled One Winter Evening at Meymandi and A December Tradition. Two one-hour concert specials were created from the first DVD and broadcast on over 250 American Public Television stations in 45 states. A new, one-hour holiday special based on the second DVD aired over 400 times in 38 states in its first year of national distribution. The group has performed in 39 states, the District of Columbia, Canada, England and France during its tours, and plays two dates each year at a major venue in Raleigh. The Raleigh Ringers also sponsors an annual festival for adult ringers, an annual festival for youth and less experienced ringers, biannual sight-reading sessions for those interested in new handbell music, a biennial performance experience for advanced ringers, and handbell techniques classes several times a year.
The Raleigh Ringers promotes the art of handbell ringing by:
- Presenting entertaining performances of advanced handbell music to the widest possible audience;
- Commissioning composers to create works for advanced handbell choirs;
- Supporting and encouraging fellow handbell musicians;
- Offering educational opportunities through classes and event sponsorship.
David M. Harris, Director
David M. Harris has been the director of The Raleigh Ringers since January 1990, when he was instrumental in the formation of the group. David is a graduate of The Pennsylvania State University and has studied conducting privately with Dr. William A. Payn at Bucknell University. He was the director of the handbell program at Hudson Memorial Presbyterian Church, and has served Handbell Musicians of America in several capacities: as All-Star Conductor, Ringing Track Conductor, Instructor for the National Seminar, North Carolina State Chairman, and as Area III Treasurer. He chaired the national committee that planned the first Community/Professional Handbell Choir event, Pinnacle 2000, held in Las Vegas, Nevada and has recently been elected to a six-year term as a member of the HMA National Board of Directors. In addition, David has led well over 200 handbell festivals and workshops in 36 states as well as in England, Puerto Rico, Canada, and the Caribbean. He has also been the primary handbell clinician for several denominational music events, including Montreat, Lake Junaluska, and Lutheridge (NC); Mo-Ranch (TX); Massanetta (VA); and the National Association of Pastoral Musicians (KY). David has taken on a position as adjunct professor at Meredith College in Raleigh, where he leads the Meredith College Ringers. He also conducts the educational groups sponsored by The Raleigh Ringers, the Millbrook and Atlantic Ringers. He has written several articles for Overtones, the national publication of Handbell Musicians of America. After growing up in the Northeast, David moved to Raleigh with his wife, Kristina. Dave and Kris have three grown children and one granddaughter.
The Raleigh Ringers is proud to be affiliated with several outstanding organizations:
The Raleigh Ringers is a member of the North Carolina Presenters Consortium, the North Carolina Center for Nonprofits, and Handbell Musicians of America.
In addition, The Raleigh Ringers is pleased to be considered a designated beneficiary of the United Way of the Greater Triangle and State Employees Combined Campaign.
"The music was beautiful, the entertainment hilarious, and the whole experience was wonderfully worthwhile. We loved it so much we tried to get a flight changed to come hear your concert again!"
- Anonymous Fan
“What skill and diversity of music! I could have listened another three hours! Thank you for the inspiration and entertainment!”
- Anonymous Fan
“I never would have thought I'd want to go to a handbell concert, but when I heard handbell rock ’n’ roll on the radio, I told my friends, ‘We're going!’ And it was just great.”
- Anonymous Fan
"The Raleigh Ringers are the best handbell ensemble on the globe!!!!”
Minister of Music and Composer
“Wow!!!!!!!!!!!!! They never cease to amaze me. Their playing is so musical, their technique impeccable.”
Cleveland Area, Ohio
"Thank you all for being ambassadors of superb musicianship, amazing technique, and sharing the joy of doing something you love, which is contagious.”
Assistant to Director of Music Ministries
National Presbyterian Church, Washington, D.C.
“The Raleigh Ringers are truly a wonderful instrument. It is a joy to watch how precisely they respond to director David Harris' musical goals, and how audiences respond as well. This group has definitely attained 'handbell superstar' status.”
Sonos Handbell Ensemble
San Francisco, CA
“The best part was, in spite of all the amazing things that they can do with bells – the bass ringer assignments, flawless technique, and all of those kind of things – the best part was that it was musical. I simply enjoyed the music.”
Associate Director of Music and Organist
First United Methodist Church of Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio
“...I did not know how good 'good' is in bell ringing until I heard you. It was simply superb, and you must have known that from the unusually enthusiastic response from the audience.”
Chautauqua, New York