Add the handbell musicians in your program as sub-members under your membership in the Guild and keep them engaged this summer and throughout the year by giving them access to all the member resources and benefits available at
Normally $10 per person for a one-year membership, this package special gives you the opportunity to give your choir members their own access at special volume discounts. Offer expires 10-31-2013.
Just over a year ago at National Seminar in Cincinnati, Ohio, we put out a video explaining an exciting new project that would bring handbell musicians from around the globe together for a unique musical collaboration. We uploaded what then appeared to be a mish-mash of musical segments and a tempo track, and asked handbell musicians to get creative and record themselves playing as many of those segments as they wanted, to be part of the project.
Over the following eight months, more than 400 handbell musicians had uploaded nearly 600 individual recordings. Many hours of organizing, sound editing, and video editing later, we have assembled the segments to complete the very first Virtual Handbell Ensemble recording.
Head on over to the Virtual Handbell Ensemble website and enjoy the premiere of James Meredith’s “Misterium,” and learn about the process of building the virtual performance.
We are pleased to announce that our first online class in the Handbell Musician Certification program is now available. The Handbell History course, developed by Martha Lynn Thompson, can now be accessed by those registered for certification at handbellmusicians.org. Students will review class content through a secured webpage before completing the online test for the course. Details are available HERE.
Please note, to access the course, you must be registered for Handbell Musician Certification and be logged in to your member account. For complete details about our certification program, go HERE.
The next Master Series, January 31-February 3, 2014, in Cincinnati, Ohio, will include several options for completing courses included in Handbell Musician Certification. The event offers registrants four class options to choose from, one of which will cover two levels of Handbell Techniques and Proficiency, with Michéle Sharik, PLUS two levels of Music Theory with Michael Glasgow – a great way to complete four complete classes in one weekend.
In addition, students can receive certification credit with the Master Class in Composition for the Arranging and Composing certification course and with Master Class in Conducting for the Conducting certification course. See all the details HERE.
Another option at Master Series 2014 is the Handbell Director Boot Camp with Bill and Carolynne Mathis. Over the weekend-long event, participants in the class will receive instruction on all aspects of building and managing a successful handbell program.
Basic conducting technique, rehearsal planning, rehearsal strategy, teaching techniques, handbell maintenance, score study, worship planning, and much more are all covered during the course. Handbell directors of all levels will benefit from this Master Series option. See the details HERE.
The National Seminar 2014 Planning Committee is seeking submissions from those interested in sharing their expertise and talents at the Handbell Musicians of America annual event. The event is scheduled for July 15-18, 2014, at the Sheraton Atlanta in downtown Atlanta, Georgia. Detailed requirements and application forms are available HERE.
DEADLINE FOR ALL SUBMISSIONS IS NOVEMBER 1, 2013.
The Trees Provide New Colors
As I write this E-Notes column, the weather is starting to turn a bit cooler, and very soon the leaves on the trees will be turning their magnificent colors. In the bell world there are new tonal colors occurring too as the popularity of bell trees has grown in recent years.
This month’s featured piece is a wonderful arrangement of the Christmas hymn, “Angels From the Realms of Glory,” AG35322, Level 2, with an optional bell tree part. It was arranged by Lauran Delancy, the director of the Kansas City area community ensemble, Rezound! She says, “In 2011, Rezound! was asked to provide a short solo piece for the Kansas City Symphony Christmas Concerts. Since it was the first season in the new Kauffman Center of Performing Arts, we also wanted to use this amazing space. It had to be memorized, since there was no room for tables, and it could not be a long piece. We performed ‘Angels From the Realms of Glory’ standing in two rows in the aisles on either side of the middle level of the audience. The bell tree was featured in a spotlight on the organ platform high above the orchestra, and the bells just sparkled!”
I asked Lauran if she had a favorite part and she said, “I really like the bell tree and the way it integrates with the melody, but it also does its own thing and has its own interesting parts. I also really like the ending; the bell tree is playing a descending scale while the bell choir is playing the opening passage of the melody. I think it is the perfect way to bring the two together for the ending.”
If you don’t know Lauran, she is in her second term as education chair for Area 8. She is also the artistic director of Rezound!, an auditioned community handbell choir in the greater Kansas City area. She has been a member of the ensemble for the last seven years. Her hobbies include sewing, crocheting, and baking. She says, she “is married to a wonderful man, brilliant software developer and fellow ringer, Patrick.” They have four children, and their dream is to have a family handbell choir. She says, “I think we might be able to make a pretty good showing on three octaves with the six of us before too long. A few years ago, when I was practicing for a solo concert, our daughter would frequently steal the bells off the table. She would wait until I was busy down in the 5s, then steal one of the 6s! That year we got her a set of the colored children’s bells for Christmas. We thought it was pretty fitting that just months later her little brother was stealing them from her.”
We hope you will enjoy the new colors of a Christmas arrangement that uses a bell tree. You can listen to this piece HERE.
Until next month,