Palmetto Bronze is an auditioned community handbell group. PB includes ringers from Summerville, Mt. Pleasant, Charleston, North Charleston, James Island, West Ashley and Beaufort. The group began as an outgrowth of Rollings Middle School of the Arts Handbell program in Summerville. It was formed to play the opening concert for the 50th Birthday Celebration of the American Guild of English Handbell Ringers in Norfolk, VA in 2004 and at that time consisted of current and former ringers from the Star Ringer groups from RMSA. Over the last few years other community ringers have been added as students have graduated. As was our hope at the time of inception, Palmetto Bronze has become a permanent community group in the Charleston, SC area offering handbell enthusiasts in the community a place to ring challenging music and share the love of handbells with others.
Our mission is to work together help to bring the art of Handbell Ringing into the public eye as a respected musical medium. We seek to ring challenging music in a musical manner and bring a smile to the faces of people who listen. Palmetto Bronze plays a wide variety of music including transcriptions, hymn arrangements, patriotic music, folk songs, Broadway show tunes and original compositions written and arranged by many of the most prolific handbell writers of our day. Most of our music is Level 3 - 5+.
Palmetto Bronze was very proud to be chosen to play for Piccolo Spoleto 2012! We also played for the North Charleston Arts Festival. During the 2012 Holiday Season, Palmetto Bronze played for the Governor's Carolinging Ceremony in Columbia, SC, Nights of a Thousand Candles at Brookgreen Garderns, The Low Country Singing Christmas Tree and James Island County Park's Festival of Lights. In January 2013 Palmetto Bronze sponsored the first annual Low Country Handbell Workshop at Hibben UMC in Mt. Pleasant, SC and hope to have another one in January of 2014. During the 2011 Holiday season we played for the Town of Summerville Tree Lighting, A Night of a Thousand Candles at Brookgreen Gardens, The Low Country Singing Christmas pre-concert music and pre-concert music for the Charleston Symphony Orchestra's Holiday Pops concert. The highlight of our Holiday 2011 season was a joint concert with the Charleston Community Band at the Summerall Chapel at the Citadel on Dec. 13. In past years we also played at James Island County Park for the Festival of Lights. 2011 Spring Season we played for North Charleston's Arts Festival and participated in Sculpture in the South's Arts Education Week as well as a concert at Westminster Presbyterian Church - West Ashley and a pre-service concert and other service pieces at Summerville Baptist Church on September 11,2011 for a 10 year remembrance service for Sept. 11 2001. Check or Concert Schedule page for upcoming concerts. Please contact us if you would like to schedule a concert. We will play again this Spring for the North Charleston Arts Festival on Sunday, May 5 and hope to play again for Piccolo Spoleto.
Palmetto Bronze is under the direction of Marcia J. Brantley of Summerville, SC. Mrs. Brantley holds a Bachelor of Music Degree from Furman University and has been teaching Handbells for 30 years. Before she retired, she was the Handbell Director/Teacher at Rollings Middle School of the Arts in Summerville. In addition to directing Palmetto Bronze, she is currently employed as Pianist and Handbell Coordinator/Director at Summerville Baptist Church where she currently directs an adult ensemble. She has served as SC Chair for the AGEHR Area IV and is now serving as the low country SC liason for Area IV. She has studied conducting under Dr. William Payn and attended numerous seminars and workshops offered by AGEHR, Handbell Exploration International and the Southern Baptist Convention.