The Community of Jesus in Orleans, MA will host church bell ringers from throughout the United States and Canada for a demonstration of English-style change ringing on Thursday, August 22nd from 2pm - 5pm.
The 100-foot bell tower at the Church of the Transfiguration is home to a set of ten change-ringing bells, cast by the Whitechapel Bell Foundry in London, England. Visitors are welcome to observe.
The ringers will be in the greater Boston area from Wednesday, August 21st to Sunday, August 25th for the North American Guild of Change Ringers' Annual Meeting. The ancient English art of change ringing requires mental agility, concentration, and teamwork. The ringers guide the massive bells through rapidly changing progressions of sonic permutations.
The progressions can be short (a few minutes for practice exercises or to announce an event) or long (a few hours for a peal, the bell ringing equivalent of running a marathon, which consists of over 5000 unique permutations). Because the bells take over a second to swing through a full 360-degree arc, the ringers do not play songs, but rather ring methods. The methods, or rules for generating the permutations, vary in complexity, constantly providing challenges, even for expert ringers.