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E-Notes June 2017


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This Month

It’s Not Too Late to Register for National Seminar

National Seminar Concerts Streaming Live!

Support Handbell Musicians of America through the National Seminar Silent Auction

Music Notes from John Behnke


National Events

to find out more about
all our national events.



Please consider helping defray the Guild’s
day-to-day expenses
by making a
contribution to

Featured Resource


Learn some of the finer points of programming a handbell concert with Janet Van Valey’s Speak to Your Audience presentation.

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.


Watch us break the Guinness World Record for the Largest Handbell Ensemble Nov. 19, 2016 at the Mall of America in Minneapolis, Minnesota.


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

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It’s Not Too Late to Register for National Seminar!

For a limited time, we have specials on both full and daily registrations


Register for any single day at National Seminar by June 30 and receive a $25 discount on that day’s registration.

With dozens of captivating classes and tracks designed for directors, ringers, and educators, exciting concerts, performance opportunities, and handbell industry exhibits, you will truly find something for everyone.

Not a Member? We’ve got great news for you!

We’re giving you the same $25 discount off the member price, and since you must be a member to attend, your first year’s membership is ON US. Just register at the non-member rate, which includes a one-year membership, and enter the appropriate promo code to receive the first year’s membership free as well as the $25 Seminar commuter discount. And as a new member you’ll receive Overtones and have access to all other member benefits.

Deadline for both discounts and the free one-year membership is June 30, so register today.

Use the appropriate promo codes below to receive the discount for DAILY REGISTRATIONS

Date Member Non-Member
Wednesday, July 12 COMMUTER12M COMMUTER12
Thursday, July 13 COMMUTER13M COMMUTER13
Friday, July 14 COMMUTER14M COMMUTER14
Saturday, July 15 COMMUTER15M COMMUTER15

[button link=”” color=”orange” newwindow=”yes”] NATIONAL SEMINAR DETAILS[/button]


We’re also offering a $70 discount off the full event registration fee. When registering for the full event, enter promo code MICKEY.  Non-member? We’ve got you covered on the full event as well. Non-members enter the promo code MINNIE to receive both the discount AND your first year’s membership free.


While you’re on the Seminar website, be sure to check out the Handbell Musicians of America Spectacular page and plan to stay an extra day to hear the Distinctly Teen concert in the morning and enjoy the rest of your day at Disneyland.

[button link=”” color=”orange” newwindow=”yes”] NATIONAL SEMINAR DETAILS[/button]

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National Seminar Concerts Streaming Live!

We are excited to offer a live stream of concerts at National Seminar this year.  For the first time ever, those not able to attend the event will have the opportunity to join us for performances by some of the best handbell musicians around the world. Watch our Facebook page for more details.


This opportunity is made available through the generous contributions of Wilson Van Tine.  To help support this initiative for future events, make your contribution today.

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Support Handbell Musicians of America through the
National Seminar Silent Auction

Our annual National Seminar Silent Auction is an important part of our fundraising efforts each year.  You can support Handbell Musicians of America and our mission by donating items for the Silent Auction and bidding on items donated.  Plus, YOU decide which fund your contribution will support.  Choose from any of our scholarship funds, the Grant fund, the Heritage Endowment Fund, or select “Area of Greatest Need”.

To donate an item, complete the information by following the link below and deliver your item to the event registration desk at the Hyatt Regency Orange County beginning Wednesday, July 12.

[button link=”” color=”orange” newwindow=”yes”]Donate to Silent Auction[/button]

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Music Notes from John Behnke

It’s a Large and Very Small World

I’ve been the Music Editor for AGEHR Publishing – Handbell Musicians of America now for 14 years and I’ve seen first hand how large and how very small the handbell world is.   In an instant, the joy of ringing handbells and handchimes is shared worldwide through internet posts.   Music publishing reaches around the globe with immediate digital downloads as music is available for ringers worldwide.  And through social media we can instantly communicate with and get to know handbell directors and ringers.   It’s a very large, yet very small world of handbells.

This month’s featured piece, Quickening Spirit, AG35359, is by a first-time published composer from Hong Kong, Phoebe T.T. Yeung.  Phoebe comes to the United States each summer as she is currently working on her Master of Church Music degree at Concordia University Wisconsin.  She previously graduated from the Education University of Hong Kong (EdUHK).   Her piece is Quickening Spirit is an incredibly creative piece of music from a composer who knows handbells and handchimes very well.

Phoebe T. T. Yeung
Phoebe T. T. Yeung

Phoebe said, “I always think handbell music has magic to move the soul. I want ringers and audiences to have fun and connect with handbell music. I was really connected to some rhythmic pieces when I was in a concert. The next day, a rhythmic theme came to me and then I started to develop it into an exciting piece to ring and listen to.”

Quickening Spirit, a Level 3+ piece, AG35369 is in ABA form.  It begins with a simple malleted idea in 8/8 time which becomes a rhythmic ostinato.  A five note ringing idea joins this malleted ostinato and the music builds with bigger and fuller chords to a climax in m. 37 with a “fff” chord.   Out of this very loud chord emerges a beautiful SB (singing bell) bass chord upon which handchimes play the five note ringing idea now suddenly slower and in a new key.  This is indeed a beautiful and contrasting B section.   Phoebe says, “I really like the B section in this piece. The handchimes playing along with singing bell in the bass creates a mysterious atmosphere. Both of the sounds match so well and give this piece a very contrasting section. The last accelerando section is also one of my favourite parts because it makes me feel excited and alive.”   The A section in 8/8 time returns and now every ringer is malleting, but one surprise is left for the listener.  Suddenly 8/8 time turns into 4/4 time and the accents move closer together as the music intensifies to the closing thrilling RT (ring touch).

Phoebe comments, “This piece will keep ringers busy (no matter treble or bass) and it is fun to ring. It can give excitement to both ringers and audiences.”

In an attempt to help promote HK music education in handbells, Phoebe has founded a handbell education centre – BelleMusik Studio. Since 2012 she has directed various handbell, handchime and belleplate ensembles. I am currently a belleplate, handchime and handbell director in various schools; conductor of “BellSingers” (HK community handbell ensemble) ; ringer of “Bellprints” (HK Handbell Quartet Ensemble), and also an assistant conductor of the EdUHK Handbell Ensemble to help training undergraduates in handbell ringing and teaching.



HK Handbell Quartet


The handbell world suddenly gets smaller as we get to know Phoebe, about handbell and handchime education in Hong Kong, and the love for ringing throughout the world.   Through Quickening Spirit AG35359, all of us can enjoy the creative work of Phoebe T. T. Yeung and our large world is suddenly so much smaller, as music, is indeed the universal language.

In her spare time, Phoebe says, “I like cooking and seeing how my family and friends enjoy what I cook.  I also love eating a lot. I always try out new restaurants with friends and have “dim sum” with my family.”

To experience our small, small world, all you have to do is follow the link below to look and listen to Phoebe Yeung’s composition, Quickening Spirit, AG35359.   It will make your heart glad.

[button link=”” color=”orange” newwindow=”yes”]See & Hear the Music[/button]

If you are attending National Seminar in Anaheim, (and I hope everyone is), you can meet Phoebe, and watch her conduct her piece, Quickening Spirit, at the AGEHR Reading Session.

Until next month,
John Behnke, Music Editor

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