This Month

New Virtual Recording Kit Available

Community Group Survey

Two Spots Remaining for Distinctly Bronze West plus COVID update

Video of the Month

Brian’s Music Notes


Like many non-profits, the COVID-19 pandemic has placed Handbell Musicians of America in the middle of difficulties, but therein lies an opportunity to

Renew Our Vision
Refresh Our Mission
Refocus Our Future Together

Handbell Musicians of America remains committed to uniting people into a diverse musical community that advances the art of handbell/handchime ringing through education, community, and communication.

Visit Campaign Page

Keep Your Member Information Updated

It is important that you keep your membership information current so that we may be sure we are getting you the information you need such as renewal notices, information pertinent to your Area, Overtones, etc. Please take a moment periodically to check that your member profile is up to date. Just CLICK HERE to log in, then choose “Update My Profile” in the “What Would You Like to Do” drop-down menu at the right of the welcome screen.

National Events

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


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

Learn More

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 be sent to:

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

New Virtual Recording Kit Available

Handbell Musicians of America and AGEHR Publishing are proud to announce we will be providing two Virtual Handbell Choir Kits for purchase. “Festive Peal” by Karen Thompson is available now and “Rejoice! The Lord is King,” arr. Susan Geschke, is coming soon. Each kit comes complete with a pdf score, permission to make 12 copies for your ringers, a one-year streaming License, click tracks at two different speeds, and access to Brian Seemann’s virtual class on recording and assembling your own virtual handbell ensemble.

We are grateful to Brian Seemann for partnering with HMA to make these kits possible.

Order Here

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Community Group Survey

Last winter during one of the Raleigh Ringers Roundtable Zoom meetings, there was a request for the Handbell Musicians of America to put together a survey that would help develop connection between community group ensembles.

The results of the survey are designed to help groups reach out to other groups for assistance with organizational questions, 501 (c)(3) questions, grant writing questions, audition questions and the like.

All HMA members who indicated a relationship to community/professional group when joining/renewing their membership were sent the survey. Since this list is far from exhaustive, we are publishing the link to the survey for other community groups, both HMA members and non-members, to have the opportunity to complete the survey.  Please feel free to share the survey with any community group you know.

Go To Survey

Many thanks to PL Grove, David Harris, Stevie Berryman, and Colin Walker for developing the survey. And thank you for taking the time to complete the survey.




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Two Spots Remaining for Distinctly Bronze West

Plus COVID Update

October 7-10

Embassy Suites Portland Washington Square
Portland, Oregon
Beth Judd, Conductor

The massed ringing event for advanced handbell musicians which provides the opportunity to perform on the largest handbell sets available under the direction of Beth Judd. Four days of rehearsal lead up to a Sunday afternoon concert which is open to the public for a small admission charge.

Distinctly Bronze West COVID Update

We will be following CDC and Oregon mask mandates and guidelines. If further restrictions come we will evaluate and announce as needed.


Application & Registration Info

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Video of the Month

“The Greatest Show” by Benj Pasek, Justin Paul & Ryan Lewis; arranged for Handbells by Michael Glasgow & Nick Hanson; performed by Ministry of Bellz (Singapore) for their “MOB-14: IT’S SHOWTIME AGAIN” handbell concert.

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Brian’s Music Notes

with Brian Childers

What Child Is This

Arr. John Behnke

3-6 OctavesHandbells
Level 2
with optional string quartet or orchestra and tambourine
Full Score and Instrumental parts AG36067

This arrangement of GREENSLEEVES is one you don’t want to miss! Packed with performance options (tambourine, string quartet or orchestra) this setting features no bell changes, making it an ideal selection for memorizing. Utilize this for sparkling concert opener in the round or ring it socially distanced, using only bells and music stands. Behnke weaves in a verse of The First Noel in this steller and fun to ring arrangement. 

You can hear, preview and order your copies here

Click here to hear Dr. Behnke’s comments about this composition and view the score with a recording.

Notes from Dr. John Behnke

My favorite performance was when I was allowed to direct the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra with the Milwaukee Handbell Ensemble playing these pieces at my last Holiday Pops concert in Milwaukee in 2018.  The conductor, Stuart Chafetz, was nice enough to allow me to take the podium and do this.  It was a mountaintop experience to say the least. Sadly there are no recordings because the Symphony does not allow them.  

How did you begin conducting handbells?

I became a bell director overnight. I got a call from my pastor one morning who said, “John, you are now the new bell director. Someone donated money for bells.” I didn’t know anything about it, but began to learn by attending a National Seminar years ago in San Francisco.   

What brought you to composing for bells?

Even in college, I was writing music for me to play on the organ, or my choir to sing at my first church. So trying my hand later at writing for bells was a logical step; and one I enjoy. My first published piece was an arrangement of Amazing Grace for bells, flute, and guitar published by National Music. Nancy Jessup was the editor there and was so kind to publish it.   

When asked about his compositional process, John said, “The process to me is a wonderful mystery. You get a simple idea, put it on the page, and begin to work with it. You never know exactly what other ideas will emerge and what the end result will be. At the end, you marvel at how it all came about. Everyone thinks I’m a pretty serious musician with a doctorate and all. I am, but I also love to have fun and think a good sense of humor is essential to life. A smile, a good (or bad) joke, and some laughter can really make a difference.”

Here John talk about the piece and see and hear the music as well below.

Until next month,

Brian Childers
Music Adviser

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