Back Bay Ringers (BBR) is an advanced, auditioned community handbell ensemble based in Boston, Massachusetts. Founded in 2003 as the nation’s first open and affirming handbell ensemble dedicated to friends and members of the LGBTQIA+ community, BBR has quickly developed a reputation for excellence with performances at the Shalin Liu Performance Center, Symphony Hall, the Boston Children’s Museum, and the Prudential Center, and has collaborated with renowned local arts organizations including The Handel and Haydn Society, The Boston Pops, Coro Allegro, and the Boston Children’s Chorus.
Under the leadership of artistic director Griff Gall, BBR has grown into one of the country’s most innovative handbell organizations. In its short history, BBR has founded the Boston Handbell Festival, an annual celebration bringing together the region’s best community and church handbell ensembles, with proceeds donated toward the purchase of handchimes for a selected Boston-area school. BBR has also commissioned multiple original works and arrangements, sponsored workshops with noted handbell composers, and performed throughout the Northeast. Perhaps one of the most unique collaborations for our ensemble was in 2014 when the ensemble was invited to perform part of the soundtrack for an episode of 48 Hours. In 2016, BBR was a featured performing ensemble at the Handbell Musicians of America National Seminar. BBR’s members and directors have become leaders in the national handbell community as clinicians, organizers, and administrators.
Back Bay Ringers’ commitment to community has led to the development of our Season of Giving Back concerts during the spring season, where BBR has supported partner organizations that serve the Greater Boston area in striving for social justice issues. Previous partners have included LGBT Asylum Task Force, Boston Living Center, and Stop Handgun Violence.
BBR has produced three recordings. BBR’s first recording, Merry and Bright: A Celebration of Carols with the Back Bay Ringers, was released in 2007, Perpetual Motion was released in the summer of 2010, and the ensemble’s latest recording, Comfort and Joy, was released in December 2013. The first two of these recordings are now available in a digital format wherever digital music is available.