In the aftermath of Hurricane Florence, HMA has been communicating with our contacts in New Bern, exploring the NOAA website, and talking with others in North Carolina to determine flood forecasts, overall impact, and recovery plans.  After reviewing options for relocating to other venues throughout that region of North Carolina, and in consultation with the national board, it has been determined that we don’t have enough solid information to ensure we can hold our Distinctly Bronze event safely in two weeks.  Estimates from New Bern are that it will take 6 months for the convention center to recover and be ready to host events again.

Therefore, the decision has been made to postpone Distinctly Bronze East.  We have secured space at the New Bern Convention Center to hold the event June 6-9, 2019 – so we’ll have DB East 2018 in June 2019!

As a registered attendee of the event, you have the following options:

  1. Plan to attend the event over the new dates in June.  The conductor, music, ringing assignments, etc. will all remain the same.
  2. Transfer the value of your registration to another event.  Choose from DB West 2019 with Bill Payn (February 28-March 3), National Seminar in St. Louis (July 16-20), DB East 2019 with Stephanie Rhoades (October 10-13.)
  3. Request a full refund of your registration. Refunds will be issued to the address listed on the member account of the registrant. Please allow 4-6 weeks for refunds to be processed.

Please follow this link to inform us of your choice – Your response is required by Monday, September 24.

A few details to note:

  • If you transfer your registration to another DB event, your current ringing assignment is not guaranteed.  You will enter the pool of registrants for assignments as you would if you register normally.
  • Anyone who previously cancelled their registration for this event and have not received a refund, can transfer their registration to the new dates ONLY.  Their former ringing assignment is not guaranteed.
  • Anyone who previously cancelled and received a partial refund may apply any cancellation penalty to the new dates ONLY and repay the registration balance to re-register for the event. Their former ringing assignment is not guaranteed.
  • In researching airline policies regarding Hurricane Florence, most airlines have posted that they will allow changes with no penalty for travel planned to an impacted area. Travelers may be responsible for paying the difference in fare.  You may need to get a bit demanding when communicating with airlines.  If you get push back about changing your flight, insist on speaking with a supervisor.  Explain the event has been postponed because of the hurricane.

This was not an easy decision, but we believe this is the best solution for the event and for Handbell Musicians of America.

Through this process, let’s not forget the devastating effect Hurricane Florence has had for those living and working in North Carolina. Our little event, while important to us, is a minor blip in the midst of the loss they are experiencing.  Our hearts and prayers remain with our friends in New Bern and everyone impacted by the Hurricane Florence.

Any questions regarding the postponement or your registration options should be directed to event registrar, Vickie Iverson at

Thank you for your patience and support as we move forward.