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E-Notes December 2014


This Month

Brand New Member-Notes and Member Chats

Pinnacle 2015 YouTube Showcase Challenge Winners

New Member Referral Program Here

Support Handbell Musicians of America through Amazon Smile

Music Notes from John Behnke




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

National Events

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


Member Rewards



Organizing a Handbell Program-Recruitment and Assimilation

“Retention of Ringers” continues Karen Eastburn’s “Organizing a Handbell Program” series by offering suggestions to help retain those ringers whom you have successfully recruited.

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.



Brand New Member-Notes and Member-Chats
An Expert at Your Fingertips!

One of the Guild’s greatest assets is our inclusive community. When we are together, there are no barriers between musicians, composers, clinicians and providers from the handbell industry. Everyone is accessible and there is abundant sharing of information and resources.

We are about to make that a monthly reality for each and every member!

Beginning on January 13, 2015 Handbell Musicians of America will launch “Member-Chats” and “Member-Notes” in alternating months. Here’s how it will work.

Have you ever wished you could talk directly to a handbell “celebrity” and ask them questions? Every other month, we will host a one-hour live chat with a new personality from within our talented ranks. Everyone will have an opportunity to submit questions in advance. Many of you will be able to tune in live and participate. And, all members will be able to access the video on the Handbell Musicians of America website after it airs live.


On alternate months we will send you a topical newsletter that offers detailed information on, say, working with children and youth, or, 800 ways four-in-hand is done around the world or maybe even how to get permission to arrange popular music. These Member-Notes will have a feature article by a handbell expert and links to additional resources that will assist you in your quest to perfect your knowledge and skills.

The best part? . . . This is a FREE resource for members of Handbell Musicians of America!

Watch your inbox for the inaugural issues coming to you in 2015.


January 13, 2015, 2pm PST (5pm EST) • Belltrees with Barbara Brocker

Are you intrigued by belltrees? Are you a novice? An expert? Spend an hour chatting with Barbara Brocker, one of our pre-eminent belltree musicians.

Our featured guest, Barbara Brocker, became fascinated with belltrees in the 1990s. Over the past 15+ years, she has developed the art of the bell tree as a solo instrument and has published over 20 arrangements for bell trees.  She is a frequent guest instructor at local, regional national and international events and has performed solos on many stages. Barb is a past board member of Area 10 and served as Oregon Chair.  She founded the handbell program in Sunriver, Oregon where she continues to ring in the 5-octave choir and a small ensemble of five.

Register to be part of the live broadcast at The first 23 members to sign up will be sent an access code for the broadcast and instructions for logging on.

Although the live broadcast is limited to 23 participants, we will maintain a waiting list and all members are welcome to send their questions for Barbara to with the subject line "Member Chat Question." She will answer as many as she can.


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Pinnacle 2015 YouTube Showcase Challenge

Congratulations to our winners of the Pinnacle 2015 YouTube Showcase Challenge. Three ensembles and a soloist competed via YouTube videos for spots as showcase performers at Pinnacle 2015 in Dallas, Texas. Viewers voted on their favorites by "liking" the video.

The two performers with the most number of "likes" on their videos are Rezound!, from Missouri, and the trio TreBelles, of Minnesota.

Watch for further details about Pinnacle 2015 in Overtones and E-Notes.

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Announcing OurNew 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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Support Handbell Musicians of America through AmazonSmile

We’re excited to announce that Handbell Musicians of America is now an AmazonSmile participant!


AmazonSmile is a simple way for you to support the Guild every time you shop at Amazon, at no cost to you. Simply click on the “Get Started” link to the left and sign in with your Amazon account information (or create an account if you do not already have one).

Be sure to bookmark that page so that every time you shop at Amazon, you’ll be helping to support the Guild.

With every eligible purchase you make,
Amazon will donate .5% to Handbell Musicians of America.

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Music Notes from John Behnke

What "Vision" Do You Have for 2015?

The holidays and the end of another year will soon be upon us.   It’s a natural thing for us to reflect back on 2014 and consider how we can improve things in 2015.  Now is a good time to do some “ visioning.”    

This month’s featured piece is Sandy Mullaney’s new thought-provoking arrangement of "Be Thou My Vision," AG35323.  It’s Level 2+ difficulty for 3-6 octaves of handbells and 3-5 octaves of optional hand chimes.   I asked Sandy what inspired her to write this arrangement and she said, “I began working on ‘Be Thou My Vision’ after receiving some devastating news.”  She said, “The first verse of this piece is about the anguish and pain of the situation; feeling completely overwhelmed. The second verse is in a minor key with chimes and reflects that feeling of isolation, and asks the question, ‘Where are you God?’  Then we hear a transition in the music when a choice is made to trust and follow."  Sandy says her arrangement of this well-known hymn,  “acknowledges that every person’s faith journey includes challenge.” 

If you don’t know Sandy, she is the handbell ministries director at Church of the Epiphany, Episcopal in Plymouth, Minnesota.  She also is the past chair of Area 7, where one of her focuses is coordinating the service project components for Area 7 events. She plays flute and sings in her church’s contemporary music group.  She enjoys cooking, having a big collection of slow cooker recipes that are fun to make and share.  She says, “in a couple of months our church will host its Midwinter Warm-Up Contest where everyone brings their favorite slow cooker dish to share.  I’m tweaking recipes to get ready for it.” 

When she is not arranging music or working on service projects for Area 7 events, Sandy says she and her husband Mike like to travel.  They recently took their first trip to the New England area, thoroughly enjoying the beautiful fall leaves and all the history in the Boston area. She says, “My choir Jubellation recently celebrated our 25th year of ringing at Church of the Epiphany.  One of my personal goals is that every man, woman and child in our church will try ringing, and we are not too far from realizing it!"   Here’s a picture of her and her choir, Jubellation.   Sandy is the third in from the right.

We hope your vision for 2015 looks bright and that it will include playing Sandy’s piece.  Click on this link and you can take a look and a listen to AG35323, "Be Thou My Vision," arranged by Sandy Mullaney.   



Until next month,
John Behnke, Music Editor

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