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E-Notes June 2014


This Month

Distinctly Teen Registration Still Open

National Seminar Silent Auction

Website Spotlight

Music Notes from John Behnke

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NEW MAILING ADDRESS 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. Also note that general correspondence that DOES NOT include a check payment should still be sent to our Dayton office address – 1055 E. Centerville Station Road, Dayton, OH  45459.

National Events

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


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.

Member Rewards

Subscription.aspx#Handbell and make your church-year programming easy with a subscription to Ring and Rejoice! Each of the 5 issues per year contains seasonal and general-use titles especially designed for 2–3 octave handbell or handchime choirs, delivered right to your door in plenty of time to prepare for important celebrations in the church year. Even better, this convenient format saves you approximately 75% off the cost of purchasing single handbell titles for your choir! Enter promo code ENotes2014 at checkout and receive 10% off your order of a 1- or 2-year subscription. Or call 937-228-6118 and use the same code.


The Care and Feeding of Youth Handbell Choirs

Part of a three-part series of resources by Karen Eastburn on Organizing a Handbell Program. Also available, Mission Aspects of a Handbell Program, and Retention of Ringers.

Visit Handbell Musician Resources>>


Distinctly Teen Registration Still Open

We are still accepting registrations for Distinctly Teen, July 16-18, in Atlanta.Distinctly Teen is a great opportunity for ringers in grades 8-12 to ring challenging repertoire, form new and lasting friendships, and participate in classes offered during National Seminar – all under the direction of Kim Strepka.

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National Seminar Silent Auction

Support the Heritage Fund by contributing items to our annual silent auction at National Seminar – whether or not you are planning to attend the event.  Consider items specific to your hometown or state, specialty items like handmade jewelry or scarves, handbell related crafts or collectables, commissioned handbell works, your services as a clinician for a workshop or festival, travel items such as hotel stays or airline miles, items that relate to the 60-year history of the Guild; the possibilities are endless.  Help us make this our biggest silent auction ever!

See all the details and make your PLEDGE HERE.

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Website Spotlight

The HIC Buyer’s Guide is found on the Music & Resources tab.  All our Handbell Industry Council members are listed here, categorized by the products and services offered.  This is the place to go to find the music, instruments, accessories, and services you need for a successful handbell/handchime program.

This month’s spotlight: HIC Buyer’s Guide

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Music Notes from John Behnke

Time to Celebrate

Summer has finally arrived. Yippee! For some of us, this winter and spring were particularly cold and brutal. A week ago I saw someone post a Memorial Day Weekend picture on Facebook from a beach on Lake Superior, where there were still chunks of ice floating in the water. Despite the floating ice chunks, the temperatures are getting warmer and we can celebrate that. Summer is a time for vacations and educational experiences, like attending the National Seminar in Atlanta, where we can replenish our creative energies and start planning our music for next season.

I hope by now you have received our new 2014 AGEHR New Music CD promotion in the mail and that you will take some minutes to look at and listen to our quality new music. Leading off our new CD is a great new piece all about celebrating. It’s Michael Mazzatenta’s new original piece “Celebrate With Ringing” (AG35326), a Level 2+ piece for 3 to 5 octaves of handbells and 3 octaves of optional hand chimes. “Celebrate With Ringing” is filled with bell patterns and peals that are both fun to play and exciting to listen to. It was a commissioned piece from the Red Door Ringers of Emanuel Episcopal Church in Southern Pines, North Carolina, who wanted an “upbeat, festive, and celebratory” piece. Michael says “I came up with a bright and rhythmic theme in C Major, with a contrasting theme played by chimes in A Minor, and both the introduction and ending use LV and shakes to build up excitement.” He goes on to say that his church handbell choir “loves to sightread new music that I bring to rehearsal. This piece was tested and proofed by them, a number of times. Their playing always sounds better than when I composed it at the piano!” He says, “Besides the nice contrast in themes, I really like the intervallic and motivic relationships I’ve used as a basis for the piece, as well as some passages in sequence. I think that the intro and ending, both based on a dominant pedal, are especially effective.” I would definitely agree.

Michael is the organist/handbell choir director at La Casa de Cristo Lutheran Church in Scottsdale, Arizona (see the picture) and music instructor at Chandler-Gilbert Community College in Chandler, Arizona. He also does freelance accompanying, directing, composing, and performing. Beyond church and school work, he says, “I love listening to all types of music, especially jazz and progressive metal. My twin brother, Mark, is a fantastic guitarist, and we perform together as duo/combo called Mazzjazz.” He goes on to say, “The Guild is really like an extended family to me, as I know it is to a lot of other members. I’m very grateful for the friendship, and all the wonderful handbell opportunities it has brought into my life.”

So during these summer months, as you plan out next year’s music, why not “Celebrate with Ringing” (AG35326)? The title says it all.

Have a great summer! Relax and replenish, and I hope to see you at the National Seminar in Atlanta, July 14 to 18, for a great time of learning and fellowship! I’ll be at the AGEHR Publishing Booth in the exhibit area. Please stop by and say hi.

Until next month,

John Behnke, Music Editor

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