Distinctly Bronze Evaluation Process

Evaluation Explained

Distinctly Bronze (both West and East) is unique in the skill and commitment of our handbell musicians. Every year, attendee event comments urge us to preserve and improve the level of ringing at the event. To this end, all DB attendees are evaluated each year and placed in one of three categories.   Here is a description of the process followed and the categories in which handbell musicians will be placed:

Each handbell musician who attends a DB event and performs in the final concert is evaluated and placed into one of the three categories below.  This evaluation takes place every event the musician completes.

Category A – Handbell musician in good standing – no concerns – 20-40% of attendees

  • well prepared
  • creates sense of ensemble with those around them through musical interaction
  • high level of performance energy and interaction (with those around them and the director) with a visually appealing performance style
  • watches the conductor and is sensitive to the musical direction provided
  • has the ability to take direction when others are leading – NEW 
  • shows respect and courtesy to the conductor and/or other leaders – NEW
  • consistently demonstrates proper rehearsal etiquette – NEW
  • sufficient stamina to make it through many hours of rehearsal and still be focused for the concert
  • can play a variety of positions and is flexible about assignment
  • adapts well to changes and different setting of the event
  • self-aware of mistakes and works quickly to correct them
  • almost always technically and rhythmically precise and accurate
  • memorizes key passages

What this means for future Distinctly Bronze Events

Can attend one DB event within the next 24 months (4 events total) – no reapplication required.  If don’t attend within that period, will be required to reapply.

Category B – Handbell musician is in good standing – some concerns – 50-60% of attendees

  • not as well prepared but shows visible improvement during event
  • generally watches the conductor, but is not always sensitive to their musical direction
  • acceptable performance level – musical product and/or visual appeal – but could provide more energy and interaction
  • will play only a limited number of positions
  • sometimes inserts their opinion/comments in front of the full group instead of deferring to the conductor or other leaders or expressing these opinions/comments privately to the conductor or other leaders – NEW
  • Noticeably counts with their mouth/lips – NEW
  • tends to remain isolated during performance – fewer performance interactions with those around them
  • adapts to some of the differences of the event
  • mostly correct technique or rhythm execution, but some concerns with consistent precision and accuracy
  • adequate stamina, but may be waning  some by concert time
  • not always aware of own mistakes or doesn’t always act quickly to correct them

What this means for future Distinctly Bronze Events

Can attend one DB event within the next 24 months (4 events total) – no reapplication required.  If don’t attend within that period, will be required to reapply.  Expected to show improvement in specific areas at next event. Specific areas in which development and/or instruction are needed will be cited.

Category C – Handbell musician must reapply – significant concerns – 0-10% of attendees

  • unable to withstand the rigors of the event physically or mentally
  • consistent incorrectness of notes and/or technique
  • consistently unable to recognize when incorrect
  • exhibits poor ringing technique
  • does not show significant improvement over the course of the event
  • plays tentatively
  • little or no interaction with the conductor or those around them during performance
  • inflexible and unwilling to compromise – NEW

What this means for future Distinctly Bronze Events

Must reapply and may be asked to provide a video and/or evidence of significant skills building experiences such as lessons, workshops.  Specific areas in which development and/or instruction are needed will be cited.

How are attendees evaluated?

The evaluation is based on direct observation of all handbell musicians at the event by one or more staff.  On occasion, there are persons present who are not ringing who will be asked for input.  We begin the process with the first rehearsal to try to assess preparation.  We watch throughout the event to see what improvement (for example, how much they are watching the director and the ability to correct mistakes) we see.

On occasion, handbell musicians may be asked to provide input on others.  Also, other musicians occasionally provide unsolicited input on their neighbors, and that input is tested with the observations.

Please note that there is NOT a forced distribution of the handbell musicians into these categories – the percentages are only intended to give a general idea.