On April 25, 2004, Artistic Director Linda Simms met with local church handbell ringers in Kent County, Delaware, to determine if there was interest in establishing a community handbell ensemble committed to performing challenging sacred and secular music. Soon thereafter, Capital Ringers, an ensemble of handbell and handchime ringers, was formed.
Capital Ringers Inc. established a non-profit (tax-exempt) IRS 501(c)(3) status in 2005.
Initially, Capital Ringers borrowed equipment from a local church, until 2007 when the group began acquiring its own bells and chimes.
Capital Ringers currently owns the largest set of handbells and handchimes on the Delmarva Peninsula. The ensemble performs on 6 octaves (73 bells) of handbells, 5 octaves (61 bells) of Whitechapel Handbells (made in London, England), and 5-1/2 octaves (67 chimes) of handchimes.
During the COVID-19 shutdown, a Task Force on Organizational Restructuring met virtually over more than two months to generate recommendations for changes to the board, organizational structure, and bylaws. The changes were adopted by Capital Ringers Inc. membership on June 28, 2020. Click the button below to read more.
Linda S. Simms is the founder and Artistic Director of Capital Ringers, Inc. Originally from Maryland, Linda earned her B.A. from Salisbury (State) University, Salisbury, MD, and her Master’s of Music Education degree from West Chester University in PA. In addition, she has completed post graduate studies at Westminster Choir College in NJ, Central Connecticut State University in CT, and George Mason University in VA.
Linda has been involved with handbells since 1980 when she started her first handbell choir. She is a former Delaware State Chair, Delmarva State Chair, National Education Liaison, and Area 3 Chair of the Handbell Musicians of America (HMA).
In addition, Linda has been the guest conductor and clinician for national, regional, and local handbell festivals and events for youth and adults, and she has published several articles in the HMA “Overtones”. Linda and husband, Jim, co-authored a PowerPoint presentation for HMA to publish for Michael Helman’s “Prayer for Peace” for handbells.
Linda actively assists handbell directors and ringers by conducting massed ringing events and workshops in Maryland, Delaware, Virginia, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey.
After teaching music in public schools for 20 years, and serving churches in Maryland and Delaware, Linda teaches private music lessons (piano, Instrumental, music theory, and handbells) in her studio in Dover, DE. She lives with husband, Jim, Sebastian the miniature golden doodle, and cats, Izzy, Sam, and Frodo.