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Three Rivers Ringers

Three Rivers Ringers (TRR) is Pittsburgh’s premier handbell ensemble, founded in 2010 by five handbell musicians with the goal of achieving musical excellence, performing challenging repertoire, and pushing the boundaries of the handbell art form. Composed of 16 accomplished handbell musicians, Three Rivers Ringers is a year-round community-based ensemble and holds biannual auditions.

Among its notable performances, Three Rivers Ringers performed with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra in 2015 on all seven of the Highmark Holiday Pops concerts. Three Rivers Ringers also performed with the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (USA) in 2012, gave a concert for the regional convention of the American Guild of Organists in 2015, and gave a solo concert at the 2016 National Seminar of the Handbell Musicians of America, the national guild for handbell musicians and directors.

Under the direction of Nancy R. Lutz, Three Rivers Ringers has become a growing fixture in the arts scene in Western Pennsylvania, giving 10-15 performances each year in winter and spring concert series throughout the region in addition to private bookings. The ensemble is recognized not only for holiday music during the winter, but for a variety of other programming, with past concert series featuring American composers, the music of dance, classical favorites, sacred music, and music from the stage and screen. Three Rivers Ringers is highly honored to be invited back as a guest artist with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra for the Highmark Holiday Pops in December 2016.

As part of its educational mission, Three Rivers Ringers organizes and runs the Western Pennsylvania Handbell Festival (WPA), an annual educational event for beginning and intermediate level handbell ensembles with massed ringing, classes, and workshops with nationally recognized clinicians. Nancy Lutz is also a founding director of the WPA Handbell Festival, now in its 17th year.

In addition to her work directing Three Rivers Ringers, Lutz served on the Board of Directors of the Handbell Musicians of America from 1999-2012. After retiring as appointed secretary, Lutz was presented with the first President’s Award for her years of service.

The ensemble released its first commercial recording, “Ringing in the Season,” in December 2014, completely selling out the first print run. In July 2015 Three Rivers Ringers was commissioned to record its second CD, “Jubilate,” featuring the handbell compositions of Stanley Leonard, retired principal timpanist of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra. Most recently, Three Rivers Ringers recorded two bonus tracks for a new edition of “Ringing in the Season,” releasing in December 2016.

Three Rivers Ringers performs with a 6.5-octave set of Schulmerich handbells, a 5-octave set of Schulmerich handchimes, a 1-octave set of Malmark bass chimes, and a 2-octave set of Schulmerich Silver Melody Bells.

For more information on Three Rivers Ringers and upcoming performances, visit threeriversringers.org.