This Month

National Seminar & Distinctly Teen Registration Opening Soon

National Board Chats

International Handbell Committee Design Competition

Cyber Monday Deals November 26

Save the Date for Giving Tuesday, November 27

John Behnke’s Music Notes


National Events

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

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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
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  • You are NURTURED through education and resources


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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 Registration Opening Soon

Meet us in St. Louis July 16-20 for our annual National Seminar and Distinctly Teen. Our summer events offer something for ALL handbell musicians.

Participate in educational and engaging classes; enjoy performances by some of our best choirs and ensembles; browse and shop through exhibit booths from handbell publishers, retailers, manufacturers and more; meet and network with fellow handbell musicians and develop life-long friendships with those that share your enthusiasm and passion for our art.

Seminar Website

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National Board Chats

Beginning in 2019, we are offering quarterly webinars giving members the opportunity to connect directly with national board members. Ask questions, discuss goals, and offer your ideas and suggestions related to the direction and future of Handbell Musicians of America. Our first chat was held January 12 and you can view the video below. Please note: This is a members-only feature.

Remaining 2019 Chat Dates

Click on a date to register

Saturday, March 23
12:00 PM Eastern
Live from National Board Meeting

Saturday, July 20
12:30 PM Eastern
Live from National Seminar

Saturday, October 26
11:00 AM Eastern
Live from National Board Meeting

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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International Handbell Committe Design Competition

The International Handbell Committee is seeking designs for a new ceremonial item that will represent the ideals and mission of the committee at future International Symposium events.

The current Symposium bell

The current piece is an engraved handbell atop a wooden base to which plates are attached indicating each International Symposium. The bell is one of three from each of the major bell manufacturers–it is switched out for each Symposium. Because of the cost and difficulty of transporting three bells and the base from country to country, the committee is looking for a single design, not incorporating an actual working handbell, that will become the official representation of its mission at events going forward.

The winning designer will receive complimentary registration to the 19th International Handbell Symposium in Hong Kong and their name listed on the base of the design.

Design Competition Details

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Music Notes from John Behnke

Share Some Joy

One of the tasks of a composer is to translate a feeling or emotion into music notation, so that others can then play the music and share that feeling. I asked this month’s composer, Lauran Delancy, what inspired her to write our featured piece, Jubilant Spirit, AG35376. Lauran said, “I was asked to write a piece to celebrate the 10 years that Regina Harmison had directed the Joyous Sounds handbell choir at First Baptist Church in Chanute, KS. When I sat down to work on this piece, I wanted to write something that would express the joy of sharing music with others. I had some fun with the various themes and even incorporated the name “Regina” and the group title “Joyous Sound” into the melody.” Lauran said she used a French method of generating cryptograms with Regina’s name for the melody in measures 23 and 24, and ‘Joyous Sound’ in the opening of the chime melody at measures 37-42. The result is a truly original and joyous piece called Jubilant Spirit, AG35376.

Jubilant Spirit is for 3-5 octaves of handbells and 3-5 octaves of optional handchimes, Level 3, and has A-B-A form. The A section in C Major uses an 8/8 time signature, that’s 8 eighth notes grouped 3+3+2. The main melody for the A section begins at measure 13 and repeats again at measure 29. The middle section is contrasting in the key of A minor and has an option for hand chimes. This section is from measure 37 to 62. The A section returns at measure 63 with a fun malleting accompaniment bass. Other techniques used in the piece are echoes, martellatos, martellato lifts, and shakes.

I asked Lauran if she had any favorite section and she said, “I really like the way the opening material propels the piece forward with the 8/8 rhythmic pattern and then the melody in the A section just has this light and joyous lilt to it. Knowing there is a ‘secret message’ in the melody is kind of fun.” The community handbell choir that Lauran directs, Rezound!, played through the piece before it was finalized and she said, “I felt the energy and joy coming through as they played.”

So who is Lauran Delancy? She says, “I live in the Kansas City area. I was introduced to handbells in high school and fell in love with the instrument. I attended Concordia University Wisconsin where I earned a BA in Parish Music and then an MCM with an emphasis on Handbells. I am currently the artistic director of Rezound! Handbell Ensemble, an auditioned ensemble from the greater Kansas City area. I am also serving as the music director at Beautiful Savior Lutheran Church in Olathe, KS. We have an active handbell ministry involving children from age 4 all the way up through retired adults with four different choir opportunities. I am also blessed to be part of a duet team, A Lovely Shade of Blue, that allows me to stay active in advancing my own ringing skills.

Lauran is married to husband, Patrick, and they have four beautiful children. The oldest will be ten very soon. Lauran says, “I consider myself very blessed to have all my children involved in the various handbell choirs at church. I love being a mom and I am very thankful for the blessing of watching them grow up.”

We hope you will take a look and listen to Jubilant Spirit, AG35367 and then through your playing will share some joy with others at this festive time of year!

See & Hear the Music

Until next month,
Happy Ringing!

John Behnke, Music Editor

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