This Month

Registration Now Open for National Seminar Online and in Orlando

Online Silent Auction Set for National Seminar

New Business Membership Coming Oct. 1

Video of the Month

Ad Correction for Overtones

Brian’s Music Notes


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
  • You are IN PARTNERSHIP with other handbell musicians
  • You are NURTURED through education and resources

Learn More

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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

Registration Now Open for National Seminar Online and in Orlando

Our newly re-designed hybrid National Seminar takes place July 16-19 with both online and in-person options.

As the nation begins to reopen amid the pandemic which has affected us all, handbell musicians are eager to attend their favorite events. But for some, the time is just not right yet, so we have designed this hybrid event to give everyone an option of how best to participate and continue to unite through our unique and special musical art.

Enjoy your favorite classes in our new, robust virtual environment, complete with virtual classrooms, Handbell Industry Council exhibits, and evening online games and social activities. Chat with other attendees and with HIC representatives during Virtual Exhibit Hours.

Seminar Website

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Online Silent Auction Set for National Seminar

To complement our virtual National Seminar, we are introducing our Silent Auction in a virtual environment as well, so that all may participate. Those attending in Orlando as well as those at home will have to opportunity to bid on our usual lineup of donated items. Click the link below to learn how to donate items to the auction.

Silent Auction Details

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Introducing our New Business Membership – Coming Oct. 1

Handbell businesses and individuals who perform handbell-related services are an integral part of the handbell world. We are pleased to introduce a new Business Membership with all the benefits you are used to with the current HIC membership, plus some new ones at a new, lower fee.

This new membership will include all the benefits you’re used to receiving plus some new ones, including e-blasts sent by HMA on behalf of the business; a new, enhanced online buyer’s guide that the member can manage with rich text and photos; inclusion in an annual printed buyer’s guide in Overtones with contact information, photo, and description; and more.

Learn More

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Video of the Month

With the Fourth of July approaching, we bring you James Harrison performing “America’s Flag,” a handbell solo medley with “The Star Spangled Banner,” “You’re a Grand Old Flag,” and “America, the Beautiful”, arranged by Christine Anderson with piano accompaniment arranged by Anna Laura Page. He is accompanied by Dottie Adcock.

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Ad Correction for Overtones

Click for Larger Version

In the current issue of Overtones, we inadvertently ran an incorrect ad for Malmark Bellcraftsmen. Click the image to see the correct ad as it should have run.

Spring is in the Air and It’s Time to Shine!
Refurbish your Malmark Handbells and Choirchimes Today!
Give us a ring at 800-426-3235 to Schedule an Appointment.

Malmark Refurbishment

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Brian’s Music Notes

with Brian Childers

“Immortal, Invisible” Arr. Julie Stitt

AG35218; Level 4-; 3-6 Octaves Bells; Opt. Trumpetz
Originally Released Fall 2003
Liturgical Season: Ordinary Time


Immortal Invisible (ST. DENIO) is a powerful, celebratory handbell anthem that will challenge your ringers and thrill listeners. This anthem is appropriate for any general worship occasions (it also makes an occasional Easter and Advent appearance in several lectionaries. You can hear a recording, preview the music and order it for your bell choir from Lorenz: Order “Immortal, Invisible” here


This challenging handbell selection will become a favorite for your ringers. It contains many quick transitions from ring to mart (dotted eighth-sixteenth). The chromaticism will require smooth bell changes and strong table damping skills from ringers. The trumpet part adds a festive flair. The tessitura for the second part of the setting is a bit high for the average player and, with several high D’s, you will want to find a player with a strong range to play the trumpet part well.

Notes from Julie

“My intention was to compose an arrangement of this hymn with a festive and celebratory theme. My niece, who is a trumpet performance major, played this piece with us at our church’s 130th anniversary celebration in 2002 where it made its debut. We actually rang the piece outside as part of the festivities.”

What you should know about Julie Stitt

How were you first introduced to bells?

I’ve been ringing handbells since I was 12 years old. My mother, brother and I all belonged to a handbell choir at First United Presbyterian Church in San Bernardino, CA where I grew up. Our church had a 3 octave set of White Chapel Bells. I remember being surprised to see Schulmerich bells that could stand up on end when I joined my current church!

How did you get started composing for bells?

I’ve been composing and arranging pieces since high school, but didn’t get serious about composing for handbells until I joined my current church, Our Saviour’s Lutheran Church of East Bethel, MN in 1989. I began ringing with the choir under the direction of Donna Nelson who did fundraising to bring bells to the church in the early 1980’s. She retired in 1997 and I’ve been directing the group since then with some of the original members! I started to pursue getting published after that. I now direct an experienced intergenerational choir, a kids choir, and a small ensemble of 5-6 ringers.

What was your first published piece?

My first published piece is an original composition called “Prayer” with CPH. I took a composing/arranging course with John Behnke and Arnold Sherman in Wisconsin in 1998. John was instrumental in getting my first piece published in 2000.

Any thoughts about your compositional process?

I’m a piano player, so my first ideas are usually composed on the piano and written out on composition paper. I usually have some kind of map of the piece which may include an intro, number of verses, key, and maybe an accompaniment idea. Sometimes, I just start with a fragment and then build on it. I then use Finale software to enter music and do my editing (and editing and editing). I often have music “playing” in my head and as my ideas progress, I make changes in my mind and then try them out on the piano. I constantly walk away from a piece and let it “percolate” for a while.  

What you love most about composing

I love that the possibilities are endless and that I can express myself creatively through my musical ideas. I also love that I get to ring ensemble style with my experienced choir and share my pieces with them before they are published. They are incredible musicians and often have great ideas.

Personal Information to share

Husband Don is a postal carrier.  Grown sons: Michael who is an electrician (Mike has a daughter, my granddaughter Emily) and Erik who is an airline pilot. I’m a newly retired school teacher with 38 years in public education. I plan to spend more time composing and arranging in my retirement! Don and I are scuba divers and love to travel to new destinations.

  1. DENIO is based on a traditional Welsh ballad popular in the early nineteenth century. It was first published as a hymn tune in 1839. The tune title refers to St. Denis, the patron saint of France.

1 Immortal, invisible, God only wise,
in light inaccessible hid from our eyes,
most blessed, most glorious, the Ancient of Days,
almighty, victorious, thy great name we praise.

2 Unresting, unhasting, and silent as light,
nor wanting, nor wasting, thou rulest in might;
thy justice like mountains high soaring above
thy clouds which are fountains of goodness and love.

3 Great Father of glory, pure Father of light,
thine angels adore thee, all veiling their sight;
all praise we would render; O help us to see
’tis only the splendor of light hideth thee!

See & Hear the Music

Until next month,

Brian Childers
Music Adviser

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