This Month



Deadline for International Symposium Registration is TODAY

Focus on the Overwhelming Positive

Venue & Hotel Selected for Distinctly Bronze West 2022

Video of the Month

Brian’s Music Notes


National Events

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

August 1-6, 2022
Nashville, Tennessee

July 31-August 1, 2022
Nashville, Tennessee

July 30-August 1, 2022
Nashville, Tennessee

October 6-9, 2022
Portland, Oregon

Keep Your Member Information Updated

It is important that you keep your membership information current so that we may be sure we are getting you the information you need such as renewal notices, information pertinent to your Area, Overtones, etc. Please take a moment periodically to check that your member profile is up to date. Just CLICK HERE to log in, then choose “Update My Profile” in the “What Would You Like to Do” drop-down menu at the right of the welcome screen.



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 be sent to:

Handbell Musicians of America
201 E. Fifth Street Suite 1900-1025
Cincinnati, OH 45202

International Symposium Registration Deadline is TODAY,
June 15

The International Handbell Symposium comes to the United States just once every 16 years. Don’t miss this opportunity to perform with fellow handbell musicians from around the world, work with some of the finest international conductors, and learn from instructors of various cultures.

It all happens at the
Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center
Nashville, Tennessee


Register for any or all of these exciting events

August 1–6: International Handbell Symposium
Massed ringing and workshops with international conductors and instructors

July 30–Aug 1: College Ring-In International
Performance event for young musicians ages 18-30

July 31–Aug 1: HMA National Seminar Experience
A two-day sampling of Handbell Musicians of America’s annual flagship event

When not in mass ringing rehearsal, attend workshops led by international instructors and shop vendor exhibits. PLUS, you’ll find plenty to do in Music City USA, Nashville, Tennessee, and help wind down the event with a lively party at the famous Wildhorse Saloon.

Symposium Website


Make your hotel reservation here

Hotel Reservations


Our block of rooms at the Gaylord Opryland is full on the evening of July 30. We have arranged for a group rate at the nearby Courtyard by Marriott ($209/night). This rate only applies to July 30 with a July 31 departure date, and must be reserved by June 30, 2022.

CLICK HERE to book for July 30 ONLY at Courtyard by Marriott or call
1-800-Marriott and refer to group code HMO.


Wilson VanTine

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Focus on the Overwhelming Positive

From Linda Onorevole, Executive Director

For the past few years, we have all had to experience various levels of transition and compromise. Gatherings ceased, jobs were changed, communications moved online, and the communal creation of music stopped. For many of us, the missing musical component may have been the hardest challenge of all.

As Handbell Musicians of America has been relaunching events—locally, regionally, nationally, and internationally—we are finding that participation overall is not yet what it was before 2020. This has led to some hard choices (cancellations, postponements, content adjustments) and frustration for registrants and event planners. As we all know first-hand, our lives are very different than they were two years ago and there are many reasons that attendance may be different. Some people are comfortable traveling and gathering in groups; others may have health challenges that deter them from doing so; inflation is rising, forcing all of us to make difficult choices about spending; job changes may hinder taking time off, etc.

I recommend that we all take a beat (pardon my musical pun) before using a year-to-year comparison as a gauge for success. Handbell Musicians of America does not feel that lower participation numbers are a sign of failure or foreshadow a troublesome future. We instead recognize and identify the current challenges and are moving forward with flexibility and openness to what comes next. Participation levels and growth will be incremental, and we will continue our planning and budgeting conservatively. No doubt there will still be some changes after events are launched, though hopefully fewer, as time goes on.

I received a book last year for my 50th birthday—The Four Agreements—from my aunt in Charleston. I am finding it very helpful when navigating the inevitable changes that we have been experiencing after emerging from this universal pause. Sometimes it feels like we are all having to relearn how to be with each other; how to share our thoughts and feelings; how to express our wishes and goals. And though I find the book overall to be helpful, there are two parts that I seem to return to more frequently. Perhaps these excerpts will resonate with you, too.
Don’t make assumptions. Communicate with others as clearly as you can to avoid misunderstandings, sadness, and drama.

Be impeccable with your word. Speak with integrity. Say only what you mean. Avoid using the word to speak against yourself or to gossip about others.
For my part, I am going to try to choose a telephone or video call instead of an e-mail or text message to help with clear communication. Admittedly, I am guilty of taking advantage of the speed and ease of a message, though by doing so, tone and feeling are lost, which can lead to misunderstanding.

I leave you with this: musical skill and talent are certainly necessary for musicians. However, the way we interact with and treat each other is, in my opinion, of equal value. Let us all focus on the overwhelming positive—we are together again, albeit in smaller numbers for now, making music.

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Venue & Hotel Selected for Distinctly Bronze West 2022

October 6-9, Portland, Oregon
Carlos J. Ávila Báez, Conductor

We are very excited to announce that our home for Distinctly Bronze West 2022 will be the Airport Embassy Suites, Portland, OR. We will be just minutes from the airport and right on the Max line for an easy ride downtown!  The group room rate is $169 (+ tax/fees) per night and includes in-room wifi. If you wish to extend your trip, this rate is available two days prior and two days after the event, based on availability. The self-parking rate is $18/day. The deadline to book your room is September 9, though we encourage you to book soon. Hotel reservation details can be found on the website.

Details & Registration

Spaces are Still Open, so Register Soon!

Conductor Carlos J. Ávila Báez has assembled a fabulous repertoire for you to ring:

  • Aglow, Jason W. Krug, Grassy Meadow, MGMH350013, L3
  • Waltz No. 2, Dmitri Shostakovich, arr. Gina Marie Williams, From the Top, MFM20710, L3
  • Mountain Journeys, Brian Childers, Choristers Guild, CGB1242, L4+
  • Humoresque, Antonín Dvorák, arr. Elo Kesküla, GIA, MGIG9213, L3
  • A Flight of Angels, Dale Jergenson, AGEHR, MAG35070, L6
  • Blanco y Azul, José I. Quintón, arr. Carlos J. Ávila, From the Top L4
  • Invictus, Matthew Compton, Hope Publishing, MHP2944, L4
  • Flower Duet, Leo Delibes, arr. Sandra Eithun, Beckenhorst, MBEHB596, L4
  • Contrasts, Eileen Laurence, AGEHR, MAG36012, L4
  • Ícaro, Félix S. Martínez, From the Top, L4+
  • O God, Beneath your Guiding Hand, William A. Payn, National Handbell Music, MNMP118, L3
  • Finale from Serenade for Strings, Pyotr Illyich Tchaivovsky, arr. Carlos J. Ávila, Jeffers, L5-6

About the Conductor

Carlos is an accomplished multifaceted musician, working professionally as a percussionist, orchestral conductor, music educator, and handbell specialist. He was appointed assistant principal percussionist of the Puerto Rico Symphony Orchestra in 2011 and has also performed with the Illinois Symphony Orchestra and the Peoria Symphony Orchestra. Since 2013 he has served as music director of the Puerto Rico Youth Symphony Orchestra.

Recognized internationally as a leader in the art of handbell ringing, Carlos has been a guest conductor or clinician in events such as the International Handbell Symposium, HMA’s Directors Seminar, Area Festivals and Handbell Exploration. In the 1990s, he and his friend Carlos E. Rivera were instrumental in the training, mentoring, and the subsequent formation of the first handbell ensembles in Venezuela. From 1993 to 2012, he was a founder and music director of Vivace, an advanced handbell ensemble that continually strived to push the boundaries of what bells were expected to achieve.

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Video of the Month

Be sure to watch your inbox and your mailbox this week for both the print version and online version of the Summer 2022 edition of Overtones, which features an article about renowned handbell composer Cynthia Dobrinski, who passed away last fall. Our Video of the Month selection this month is Baylor University’s Baylor Bronze performing Cynthia’s “Rondo Passacaglia” at their winter concert in December, 2009.

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Brian’s Music Notes

with Brian Childers
Cantus Invenilis

by Valerie Stephenson
2-3 or 4-5  Octaves, Level 3+

This fun, lighthearted Valerie Stephenson original really fits its name! Winner of the Area II composition contest for the Young Ringers Festival in 1999, it exudes happiness and youthful joy. Following a big opening, the simple theme is stated in alternating chimes, then bells, then back to chimes. The B section utilizes thumb damps and marts prior to the return of the A theme. Don’t let the “+” frighten you away from this gem. It is quickly learned and easily ringable! In today’s music, it’s really closer to a 2+! Cantus Invenilis would be a great title to kick off a Youth Festival or brighten any concert!

Click here to order from JW Pepper or Jeffers Handbells

Notable Youtube Videos

Kościół Ewangelicko-Reformowany w Bełchatowie  23-09-2012

Until next month,

Brian Childers
Music Adviser

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