Carolyn Gardner will long be remembered as one of the most avid, accomplished and generous handbell ringers in the small state of Rhode Island. For many decades, she rang with both the Peace Dale Rhode Island Congregational Church Ringers and the Jubilate Ringers of East Greenwich, Rhode Island. Carolyn was an enthusiastic and generous supporter of all things related to handbells ringing in Rhode Island. As a faithful member of two groups, her spirit and musicianship were constant blessings of both ensembles for many decades. In addition to her choir involvement, she frequently performed as a solo and duet ringer.
One of the reasons Carolyn is so important to the Hockanum Valley Ringers is she wanted her handbells to go to some place where they would be used and appreciated. We were blessed to be able to acquired these handbells in the fall of 2017 and use them on a regular basis.
Her ringing friends of Rhode Island commissioned a work by Paul McKlveen in her memory. Joy and Remembrance reflects both her buoyant personality and dedication to the ringing community. This piece was first performed on Carolyn’s personal set of handbells. During the spring 2018 season, Hockanum Valley Ringers obtained permission to perform this yet unpublished work and had the honor to play it at our concerts, also on the handbells she once owned.
Carolyn was a talented musician who took joy in sharing her music with others. We hope to continue to honor her memory and spirit both in our joy of ringing and our commitment to the handbell community.