Applications Now Being Accepted

Handbell Musicians of America is pleased to announce a new opportunity for conductors who wish to work with massed handbell ensembles – the Distinctly Bronze Associate Conductor. Our goal for this program is to identify, train and nurture potential new conductors for massed ringing events throughout the Guild. Through an extensive application and interview process, this program will select an Associate Conductor for each Distinctly Bronze event beginning with Distinctly Bronze West 2015. The selected associate will work closely with either William Payn (West 2015) or Beth Judd (East 2015) in a mentoring relationship that provides training in massed conducting and the opportunity to conduct one selection on the Distinctly Bronze program.

The application for this program is now available here.  From the initial applicant list, four finalists will be selected for web/video conferencing interviews with Dr. Payn and Mrs. Judd, who will make the final selection of two Associate Conductors, one for each Distinctly Bronze event in 2015.

Those selected will receive airfare to and from the event site and lodging at the event hotel during the days of the event, as well as all items included in the standard event registration (included meals, polo shirt, CD of final concert.) The Associate Conductor will NOT ring during the event, instead focusing their time on observing and working with the event’s Music Director to improve and develop their massed conducting skills.

General Criteria:

  • Applicants must either have a minimum of a Bachelor Degree in Music (or the equivalent training with an emphasis in conducting*) or currently be enrolled and working toward their Bachelor of Music and have completed at least two years of in-classroom and/or ensemble conducting.
  • Applicants will be required to provide a minimum of three references from individuals including those who have observed the candidate conducting and observed their work with handbells.  References must complete and submit this reference form before the application is considered complete.
  • Applicants will be required to provide a private YouTube link to a video showing them conducting two full selections of music of contrasting styles.  The video must show a full-body view of the conductor facing the camera while conducting a handbell choir. Conducting to a recording or a non-handbell group is not acceptable.
  • Some experience with ringing handbells is preferred as is familiarity with massed ringing events/settings.

*The determination of what constitutes “equivalent training” will be at the sole discretion of the selection committee based on information provided during the application process. All decisions of the committee are final.


  • Deadline for submitting an application and all accompanying references is October 1, 2014
  • The four finalists will be selected by November 1, 2014
  • Web-conference interviews will be completed by November 21, 2014
  • The final selection will be announced December 1, 2014
  • Distinctly Bronze West dates: February 26-March 1, 2015.  The event will be held in Portland, Oregon.
  • Distinctly Bronze East dates: October 8-11, 2015.  The event will be held in New Bern, North Carolina.