This Month

National Seminar Website Up

Elections Coming Up for National Board and Bylaws Revisions

Video of the Month

Brian’s Music Notes


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

General Registration for Our Summer Events Opens Tomorrow, February 18.

Plan to join us in Orlando, Florida, for National Seminar, Master Class, 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 Election Opens Feb. 15

See candidate bios and videos online now

The national election will take place February 15 – March 15, 2020, to determine the three who will join ongoing board members Jill Fedon (who becomes president on October 1), Bill Mathis, Linda Minnotte, and Kyle Webber. You will also be voting on updates to the National Bylaws.

Please visit the National Election pages on our website, where you will find the slate of candidates for your national board as well as instructions on the voting procedure. Please take time to read these pages so that you are able to make an informed decision on who will determine the vision and goals for your organization in the coming years.

Included on the ballot this year is an update to Handbell Musicians of America’s national bylaws. While most of the edits are not substantive, this election cycle creates an opportunity for the board to go forward with several proposals we have been discussing over the past year.

Election Details


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Video of the Month

Canadian indie pop band Walk off the Earth has fun with handbells and a number of “found” instruments in their cover of Old Town Road (Lil Nas X, Billy Ray Cyrus). There are some non-traditional ringing techniques, but they work for this setting.

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Brian’s Music Notes

with Brian Childers

Fervent Freedom
by Michael Mazzatenta

AG35387 – 3-5 octaves bells with optional 3-5 octaves handchimes

About the composition

“Fervent Freedom” is the winning composition of the Area 12 Composition Contest and will be performed at the Area 12 2020 Biennial Conference, July 3-5 in Las Vegas, Nevada. It is a bright and rhythmic piece featuring soaring melodies, percussive accompaniment, and a wide variety of techniques. The beginning of the piece is marked “with passion” emphasizing the spirit of freedom and celebration throughout. The Level 3 difficulty rating presents a number of challenges such as key changes (handbell changes), tempo changes, sixteenth notes, malleting, and various techniques: LV, Shake, Thumb Damp, Martellato Lift, and Echo. This energetic and enjoyable anthem would be a great piece for any church, community, or festival group. You can place an order for Fervent Freedom from Lorenz:

 Form of the Work

 This piece is written in standard ABA form. The fanfare-like intro, featuring LV chords ending with a D Major shake, is followed by a malleted rhythmic ostinato in F Major, which accompanies the soaring A theme above it. The contrasting B theme for optional chimes is in the key of Ab Major and is marked “stately, lyric” with a slightly slower tempo and a thumb-damped, march-like accompaniment. After a short transition, the bright and rhythmic A theme returns. The piece ends with a bold progression of chords with shakes (marked “with boldness”) and then crescendos to the final rung F Major chord.

 About the Composer

Michael (aka “Mazz”) has been called the “most winning” composer by past AGEHR music editor John Behnke for his competition wins in Area 1, 2 (historic double-win), 3, 11, and 12 (now twice). He also won the Bells of The Sound (“All That Jazz”) composition contest with his “The Glad Sound Blues.” He is a past Chair of Area 11 and currently has over 70 handbell compositions published by a variety of publishers. He received his Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Organ Performance at Arizona State University and performs nationally as an organist, accompanist, handbell director/clinician, and jazz pianist. Dr. Mazzatenta is an adjunct faculty member at Texas A & M University in Corpus Christi, Texas as well as the organist at First United Methodist Church and accompanist for the Corpus Christi Chorale. Michael’s first

handbell competition-winning piece was “Fanfare Celebration” written for Area 3 in 2003. He resides with his wife Joan Zimmerman, also a musician, on Padre Island in Corpus Christi, Texas. For additional information, event availability, and commission requests, please visit:

See & Hear the Music

Until next month,

Brian Childers
Music Adviser

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