This Month

National Seminar 2020 Pre-Registration Open

National Seminar Call for Performers and Faculty

Reminder to Choose Your Renewal Date

HMA to Commission New Work for International Symposium

New Member Health Insurance Benefit

Seeking Music Advisor

Next Member-Chat

Next Board Chat

Video of the Month



Nominations for national board are due by SEPTEMBER 1. GO HERE for details and nomination form.

Nominations for Honorary Life Membership award are due by DECEMBER 1. GO HERE for details and nomination form.

National Events

GO HERE to find out more about all our national events.

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Become a Sustaining Partner

Upgrade your membership to SUSTAINING PARTNER and play an important role in ensuring the future of Handbell Musicians of America. As a SUSTAINING PARTNER

  • You are CONNECTED to the handbell community
  • You are IN PARTNERSHIP with other handbell musicians
  • You are NURTURED through education and resources


hf-logo-260px 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 221047 Louisville, KY 40252

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

National Seminar 2020 Pre-Registration Open

Pre-register for National Seminar 2020 by October 1 and freeze the registration fee at $350.

Join us at the Omni Orlando Resport at ChampionsGate near Orlando, Florida for National Seminar 2020. Event dates are Thursday, July 16 through Monday, July 20.

Pre-registration requires a $125 deposit which will be applied to your final registration. All but $25 is refundable if cancelled before March 15, 2020 and before you complete full event registration. If you cancel after completing full registration, the full event cancellation policy will apply. Pre-registrants must complete full registration by May 1, 2020, to receive the discounted rate. Registration completed after May 1 will be charged the non-discounted registration fee.

Pre-Register Today

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National Seminar 2020 Call for Performers & Faculty

National Seminar 2020 will be Thursday, July 16 through Monday, July 20, at the Omni Championsgate near Orlando, Florida. Several performance opportunities are offered throughout the event. We are also seeking submissions for classes and faculty to present at the event.


Apply to be considered for one of the following options:

  • Feature Concerts: There will be one feature concert each date of the event. This concert will feature one performing group or ensemble for a one-hour concert.
  • Mini Concerts: One to two Mini Concerts will be scheduled each day. Performers will present 30-40 minutes of music.

Application Submission Process & Timeline:

  • Completed applications are due by 5:00 PM EDT on October 1, 2019.
  • Performers must have a current membership in Handbell Musicians of America.
  • Applications MUST be completed using the form below.
  • Applications sent in any other format will NOT be accepted.
  • Each application must include a link to a recently-recorded (within the past 12 months) video of the performer.
  • A minimum of 80% of the performers included in the audition video must be part of the performing ensemble at the event.
  • All video submissions must include a minimum of two selections of contrasting style.
  • Include live introduction of each piece on the video as it would be presented in concert.

AFTER submitting your application, please send a current photo of the performer in jpeg format and with a minimum resolution of 300 dpi to [email protected].

Applications will be reviewed by the selection committee at the end of October, and those selected will be notified in November. Selected performers may not share their selection for the event until it is officially announced by Handbell Musicians of America.

We encourage innovation and new ideas. If you plan to include a new concept, performance technique or feature in your event, please include a representation of this in your video submission. Also, please ensure your performance has been fully tested and vetted prior to your concert at National Seminar.

Any questions about the application, video requirements, or selection process should be directed to [email protected].

Performer Details & Application


Application Process & Requirements

  • Those submitting must have their own individual Handbell Musician Membership or be the primary contact for an organization’s Handbell Musician Membership.
  • Consider all aspects of handbell musicianship in all settings as you develop your class ideas. The committee strives to select a wide variety of classes for all constituencies of our membership. We also encourage innovation and new ideas. However, please make sure any new concepts are fully tested and vetted prior to presentation at National Seminar.
  • Those submitting more than one class topic will be given priority consideration.
  • Those interested in teaching at the event must submit a separate Class Submission Application for each class topic/idea they would like to present using the form below. ONLY submissions completed using the form below will be accepted.
  • Any applicant who has not taught at a National Seminar or Pinnacle in the past three years (since Anaheim 2017) must provide two letters of reference from individuals who have observed the applicant teaching within the past 12 months. These letters must be sent directly to [email protected] by the person providing the reference. The applicant is responsible for ensuring that the required recommendations are received.

Deadline for submission is 5:00 PM EDT, October 1, 2019. Applicants will be notified of committee selections by January 1, 2020.

Class sessions at National Seminar are 75-minutes long. Topics may be offered as single classes or multi-session courses. Single-session classes will usually be offered twice in the schedule during the event. Multi-session courses will only be offered once in the schedule.

Questions regarding the process should be directed to [email protected].

Faculty Details & Application

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Reminder to Choose Your Renewal Date

Please complete survey below by Sept. 1 to choose your new renewal date.

Beginning in our fiscal year 2020 (October 1, 2019 – September 30, 2020), we are making a change in the schedule for membership renewal. Rather than renewing memberships every month of the year, we will move everyone to their choice of one of three renewal dates – November 1, January 1, or March 1.

Beginning in our fiscal year 2020 (October 1, 2019 – September 30, 2020), we are making a change in the schedule for membership renewal. Rather than renewing memberships every month of the year, we will move everyone to their choice of one of three renewal dates – November 1, January 1, or March 1.

This change in schedule leads to several benefits for the organization:

  • Reduced costs in invoice mailing as we consolidate the work to three projects rather than twelve.
  • By completing renewals by March 1, the mid-point of our fiscal year, we have the time needed to adjust our financial planning based on actual membership revenue received.
  • Moving the renewal period to a shorter time-frame, we can launch a concentrated membership campaign and better use our staff and volunteer resources to promote member benefits and services.

Choose Renewal Date Online

Please complete this by September 1, 2019 Your new renewal date will take effect in fiscal year 2020

No matter which date you choose, you will continue to receive uninterrupted access to a wealth of benefits through where you will find all the online editions of Overtones, numerous in-depth resources, and much more.

Questions about this change? Contact your regional membership coordinator at [email protected] or call 937-438-0085.

Choose Your Renewal Date Here

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Handbell Musicians of America to Commission New Work for the 19th International Handbell Symposium

The 19th International Handbell Symposium will be in Hong Kong, August 4-8, 2020. Keeping with event tradition, each of the eight participating countries will submit music to be included in the massed ringing repertoire. The Handbell Association of Hong Kong, the event hosts, have requested that the music submitted for the 2020 event be representative of each country’s culture and history.  In response to this request, HMA will be commissioning a new work with a focus on our African American heritage.

As a country founded by immigrants, America has a vast amount of repertoire to choose from when seeking representative music. When we think of typical “American” music, we often think of patriotic tunes or the works of American composers like Henry Cowell, Stephen Foster, or Aaron Copeland. We don’t tend to first think of African American musical history that has helped shape our country’s music. If one were listing American composers, Scott Joplin, Duke Ellington, Louis Armstrong, Moses Hogan, and James Weldon Johnson might not be first on the list.

African American music is rarely seen as the sole representation of American music, yet there is a rich musical well to be drawn from that can represent America. For this reason, Handbell Musicians of America would like to feature an American piece that represents the immigrant history of our nation through its African American heritage.

The national board of directors will select a composer for this commission at it’s bi-annual meeting in October.  If you have a recommendation of a composer to be considered for this commission, or wish to be considered yourself, please contact [email protected]. Your recommendation/interest will be shared with the board.

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New Member Benefit

Handbell Musicians of America is excited to announce a new membership health insurance benefit that can help keep you, your family, and even your small business cost-effectively covered and healthy.

We have partnered with the Lighthouse Insurance Group, LLC (LIG) to be able to offer you health insurance and related coverage options including major medical, short term health plans, vision and dental plans, critical care coverage, life, and several different supplemental health options.

These programs are exclusively offered to you, your family, and even small groups, which are ideal for a small business. As these are individual health plans, they are tailored to your unique health and financial needs. This will allow you to find affordable coverage from major carriers regardless of where you live in the USA.

For business owners, LIG can arrange coverage for not only you but your employees and their families with a cost-effective turnkey program that uses pre-tax money to fund new Health Reimbursement Arrangements (HRAs) accounts to help pay for your health insurance benefits in easier to use alternatives to group plans – plus it can include part-time, seasonal and other employee classes that are not typically covered.

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Would You Like to be Our Music Advisor?

Do you love handbell music? Do you have extensive knowledge of handbell literature available today? Are you looking for a way to support Handbell Musicians of America? If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, then this may be the opportunity you’re looking for!

Handbell Musicians of America is seeking an individual to serve as Music Advisor.  The individual selected will assist national staff in managing and promoting the existing AGEHR Music Publishing catalog. This includes identifying music that will be re-promoted each fall and spring, advising on new ways to promote AGEHR music, manning an AGEHR Music Publishing booth at National Seminar each year, and coordinating the “Music Notes” column for E-Notes each month. If you are interested in being considered for this position, please email your resume to the executive director ([email protected]) and include a cover letter (can be the body of the email) explaining why you are the right person for the job. The selected candidate will be compensated.

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Next Member-Chat: Practicing at Home

with Nick Hanson • Saturday, August 31, 2019 • 3:00 p.m. Eastern

Practicing at home for me takes three different steps:

1) Marking music without touching a bell (bell changes, challenging rhythms, sharing situations)
2) Tapping rhythms and ringing through the most challenging sections
3) Rehearse by ringing along with a pre-recorded part if one exists (rinse and repeat!)

For me, each of these steps is essential in learning a part successfully. Step one prepares me for what initial challenges are in any given song (and I can quickly read bell changes using Don Allured’s method), step two solidifies the basic rhythmic structure first through tapping out the rhythm and then working on it with bells in hand, and step three then brings it all together with the audio assistance.

Details & Registration

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Next National Board Chat

Our next National Board Chat is Saturday, October 26 at 11 a.m. Eastern, live from the national board meeting. Ask questions, discuss goals, and offer your ideas and suggestions related to the direction and future of Handbell Musicians of America. Please note: This is a members-only feature.

Register to Join Chat

Can’t attend but have a question? All sessions will be recorded and available to members through our online Member Center at Send your question or comment in advance to [email protected] and it will be addressed during the next chat.

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Video of the Month

Our selection this month is “Tempest” by Kevin McChesney and performed by the Raleigh Ringers and Virtuoso. Virtuoso is a three-day performance event for advanced handbell ringers sponsored by the Raleigh Ringers.


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