from Marlene Anderson

I have loved the Guild (Handbell Musicians of America) for who and what it represents for so many years and for so many reasons. I am always delighted to think back and remember the ways to serve and the people I have met, those who have become lifelong friends, as well as those I have helped.

When I was faced with my first bell choir, I did not know the difference between a handbell and a doorbell. Back in the day we had Area 10 but the only events were the Area Festival.

Unfortunately communication was not instantaneous as it is these days in our “tech world”. You pretty much didn’t know about the Guild unless you were a member of the Guild. As sometimes happens, life can give you a “lift” when you need it, I met Larry Fink over a bin of handbell music at Capitol Music in Seattle. Had it not been for the mentorship of Larry Fink, Bob Ivey and Don Allured, I am quite sure I would have happily continued in choral music. Once I understood how to use the instrument I decided then and there that I wanted to be a part of this world of handbells, and do everything in my power to assist others to enjoy this wonderful art.

Having been involved with handbells for so many years, it has been a joy to watch my granddaughter “fall in love” with handbells, just as my daughter and son had done. But more than that, I have watched handbells, a simple musical instrument, change the lives, of children, teens, adults and seniors. Handbells have enriched their lives and given them a bit of color and purpose for life. I’m not fooled into thinking that handbells can fix all the world’s problems. I do know that music has a healing power than can speak to people’s individual spirit and help them grow and heal and become better people in unique and fantastic ways.

Currently, I have the pleasure of working with the board and staff on our new initiative “rINg!–Are You In”. The Guild is moving forward on such an exciting pathway. There is so much to learn from the physical events happening near and far. We also offer online classes and many other helpful resources. With each of us contributing a little extra for the next few years we can make a huge difference and keep our Guild strong for the next generation. I truly want them to experience the joys of making music on handbells. I give because I know what a wonderful difference being a part of a handbell team has meant to the hundreds of children, youth and adults that I have taught over the past 50+ years!

Marlene Anderson


Join Marlene with your gift of $30 or more and help us continue to provide training and educational events for both new and seasoned new handbell directors and musicians and develop new resources for handbell musicians at all levels of skill and experience.

How to Help

Membership dues cover just our basic operational expenses. In order to continue offering robust resources, educational events, Overtones, and other member benefits; or to develop new services and tools for all handbell musicians, additional contributions are needed. While gifts of any amount are welcomed, consider how donations to the general fund can support our mission:

  • $50 helps with the creation of a single MemberChat or MemberNote
  • $120 provides membership and resources to a school to add handbells/handchimes to their music curriculum
  • $150 supports the development of a new online education resource
  • $200 funds one Back to Bells workshop for 10 people
  • $500 will help us create new, portable events that members can offer in their own communities
  • $1000 allows us to live-stream performances from National Seminar

Thank you for your continued support and commitment to uniting people through the musical art of handbell and handchime ringing.