Hope O’Brien became interested in handbells as a young girl growing up in the Berkshires. But handbells were serious business at her home and although her parents were in a handbell choir, young Hope couldn’t touch them until she entered high school. Since then she has never been without her bells.

She started with a group in high school called the Aldersgate Bell Ringers of the First United Methodist Church. It was a five octave choir. She kept ringing and then also began teaching the secrets of the bells. For the past 15 years she has lived in Parker, Colo., and directed several groups of ringers, including a children’s choir. Evidently, she still remembers the pain of waiting until high school to ring her first bell and didn’t want others to suffer like she did.

In Colorado she directed ringers at a Methodist church that owned five octaves of Schulmerich bells and five octaves of Suzuki hand chimes. She also directed a four octave choir at the local Lutheran church.

Recently, Ms. O’Brien moved to Martha’s Vineyard and she is looking to create a handbell choir here. She is working with members of the West Tisbury Congregational Church’s handbell choir, which has sat silent for the last year or so. Anyone who is interested in learning how to ring bells is invited to join. Ms. O’Brien will be happy to teach newcomers the art, but says that the ability to read music is a big help.

Contact Ms. O’Brien through the West Tisbury Congregational Church at 508-693-2842.