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E-Notes April 2015


This Month

Have you updated our address in your records?

New Venue for Pinnacle 2015

New Pop Arrangement for Distinctly Teen

Earn Valuable Handbell Bucks with Our New Member Referral Program

Music Notes from John Behnke


National Events

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by making a contribution to


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Order $25 or more from and receive FREE SHIPPING!* Use promo code ENotes0415 at checkout.

*Free shipping is defined as free standard shipping and cannot be combined with any other promotions. International shipping does not apply. Limit one coupon per customer. Offer expires 6/1/2015.


The Care and Feeding of Youth Handbell Choirs

Barbara Brocker teaches you how to use bell trees in various worship settings. Also learn about selecting music and equipment. Visit Handbell Musician Resources>>

If you’ve not yet seen our first ever Virtual Handbell Ensemble, have a look HERE. Help us get as much exposure as possible by commenting and sharing.


Help build a pension for the Guild, by contributing to the HERITAGE FUND


Please note that any PAYMENTS sent to the Guild should now go to the following address:

Handbell Musicians of America
PO Box 145400
Mail Location 521
Cincinnati, OH 45250

This includes membership renewal, contributions, event registration payments, invoice payments, etc.

All GENERAL CORRESPONDENCE that DOES NOT include a check payment should should be sent to:

Handbell Musicians of America
201 E. Fifth Street
Suite 1900-1025
Cincinnati, OH 45202



Have you updated our address in your records?

Many renewal payments and other correspondence are still being sent to our old office address in Dayton, Ohio.  Please make sure you have updated our address in your records, including your bill payment systems, to ensure we receive your payments and messages.

As a reminder, all RENEWAL PAYMENTS should be sent to P.O. Box 145400, Mail Location 521, Cincinnati, OH  45250.

All OTHER CORRESPONDENCE should be sent to our new office address – 201 E. 5th Street, Suite 1900-1025, Cincinnati, OH  45202.

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New Venue for Pinnacle 2015

Due to circumstances beyond our control we have had to move all Pinnacle activities and sleeping rooms to a new venue.  We are excited that we have been able to secure space at the Hyatt Regency DFW, located on the grounds of the Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport.

The Hyatt Regency is offering the same rates and amenities provided by the previous venue including complimentary in-room internet access.

Due to the change in venue to the Hyatt Regency, it was necessary to adapt the event schedule to better fit the new location.  All classes are still in the same class session number, but the time of some sessions and other activities have been changed.

Learn more about our new venue and review the updated schedule on the Pinnacle 2015 website


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New Pop Arrangement for Distinctly Teen

The votes are in!  Distinctly Teen registrants have made their choice and conductor Nick Hanson will be arranging OneRepublic’s “Love Runs Out” for the group to rehearse and perform at the event in Dallas this summer.

Distinctly Teen is designed for individual young ringers (8th-12th grade) who wish to stretch their ringing skills and challenge their musicianship. Participants will spend 2 ½ days working on intermediate to advanced repertoire and developing skills in handbell technique and general musicianship under the leadership of Nick Hanson.

The event schedule will combine dedicated rehearsal time for Distinctly Teen with the opportunity to attend classes offered as part of the Handbell Musicians of America Pinnacle.


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Earn Valuable Handbell Bucks with Our New Member Referral Program

Would you like to earn discounts toward attending events or your membership dues? Just by referring and signing up new members you will be awarded with Handbell Bucks, which can be used toward national event registration or dues.


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Music Notes from John Behnke

Options Are Good

It’s good to have options. Options in life and also options in music. Options allow us to “personalize” things for our particular situation.  Our featured piece this month has options, lots of options. It’s written for the wonderful combination of handbells/handchimes and keyboard/organ. In past years there were numerous pieces published for this combination, but lately not so many. Because handbells are a transposing instrument sounding an octave higher than notated, adding a keyboard or organ to the handbell/handchime sound truly enriches the overall sound spectrum into something quite glorious. Processional in C, AG35327 was originally written for a wedding of two longtime ringers. It was only natural that they wanted handbells or handchimes included at their wedding. Because the bell choir was an ad hoc group with limited practice time, the handbell/handchime part had to be relatively easy to play (Level 1+)  and be able to quickly come together with the keyboard/organ part. There is nothing better when a piece that comes together quickly and sounds great; like you worked on it a long time. The first four measures of the piece can be an optional processional, repeated as needed so the handbell/handchime choir could even process down the aisle if desired.   And there is an optional B-flat trumpet part written high for an experienced player and low for a beginning trumpeter.

With weddings, you never quite know how long it will take the for the bridal party to walk down the aisle. So “Processional in C” has two repeats in the music that can be used or not used depending on how much music is desired. And the repeated sections do not demand turning the page back. They are both contained on two adjacent pages.

Now even though the piece was written for a wedding, this piece makes a wonderful prelude or voluntary at any festive service, and will probably be used mostly for this. For 3, 4, or 5 octaves of bells, it won’t take but a few minutes to put the keyboard/organ part together with the bells/chimes.   At Level 1+ difficulty this piece could be an easy piece for an advanced choir, or just the right piece for a beginning group.

Normally it’s at this point in the article where the “dirt” on the composer is shared. In these case, since this piece was written by me, I’d like to share with all of you that as of August 31st, I will be retiring from Concordia University Wisconsin where I have taught for 29 years. I’m hoping to still continue to teach summers in the graduate program, but my time directing The Alleluia Ringers will end with this 28th bell tour in May with stops in Peoria, IL; Kansas City, Winfield, and Dodge City, Kansas; Colorado Springs and Centennial, Colorado and the final concert in Lincoln, NE. At that point, my life too will have a few more options. I will be continuing as Music Editor for AGEHR Publishing as well as continuing as Organist/Choir Director at Trinity Lutheran Church in Milwaukee.



Until next month,

John Behnke, Music Editor

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