As the only instrumental ensemble in Purdue Musical Organizations, the men and women of the Purdue Bells blend traditional handbell ringing with innovative techniques to play styles from classical to jazz. Formed in 1979, and currently under the direction of Purdue graduate and former Purdue Bells member Michelle Beimfohr, the Purdue Bells also includes specialty groups ranging from the Four-In-Hand quartet and the Off the Table quartet to the Shaker Chime Ensemble. Featured performances for the Indiana Music Educators Association Conference, corporate, business and religious functions, and Purdue events across the campus and beyond provide a wide variety of opportunities to share this one-of-a-kind experience at the highest level.
The Purdue Bells are privileged to enjoy a set of rare, antique Shaker Chimes donated by a former Glee Club member in 1986. Hand crafted in 1911, they were originally a novelty instrument for vaudeville and traveling side shows. Together, three bell members play the Shaker Chimes, "shaking" the 8-foot tall chimes to sustain the tone of the instrument.