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E-Notes March 2015


This Month

Earn Valuable Handbell Bucks with Our New Member Referral Program

Pinnacle 2015 Daily Registration Options Now Open

Distinctly Bronze East 2015 Registration Opens March 30

Music Notes from John Behnke


National Events

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

Member Rewards

Members, be sure to log in BEFORE making the purchase and the discount will automatically be applied.


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 coming soon will be Retention of Ringers. Visit 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.


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 145400
Mail Location 521
Cincinnati, OH 45250

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



Earn Valuable Handbell Bucks with Our New Member Referral Program

Would you like to earn discounts toward attending events or your membership dues? Just by referring and signing up new members you will be awarded with Handbell Bucks, which can be used toward national event registration or dues.


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Pinnacle 2015 Daily Registration Options Now Open

Daily registration options are now available for Pinnacle 2015.

Join us in Dallas, Texas, this July and experience the pinnacle of handbell performance and musicianship.  Enjoy unmatched opportunities to see outstanding concerts, learn from experienced faculty, shop in Handbell Industry exhibits, and network with handbell musicians from around the world.  Plus, new this year, immerse yourself in the operation and activities of some of the very best and most successful handbell ensembles performing today by participating in any of our Professional Intensives.  See all the details at

Pinnacle Features

  • CLASSES focused on improving your skills as a handbell musician and as a performer for any venue – concert hall, school auditorium, or church sanctuary.
  • Nightly FEATURE performances demonstrating the diverse performance styles and genres possible with the handbell art form
  • Daily SHOWCASE concerts providing more performance opportunities for choirs, ensembles, and soloists in a variety to genres from all over the world.


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Distinctly Bronze East with Beth Judd
Registration opens
Monday, March 30

Conductor Beth Judd will take the podium for Distinctly Bronze East at the New Bern Riverfront Convention Center, New Bern, North Carolina, October 8-11, 2015. Joining her in the new Associate Conductor program will be Al Reese.

Distinctly Bronze is an event which is thrilling and challenging, fun and intense, exhausting and invigorating. This massed ringing event for advanced handbell musicians offers the unique opportunity to perform on the largest sets of handbells available under the direction of master handbell conductors. Rehearsals Thursday, October 8, through Sunday, October 11, lead up to the Sunday afternoon concert, which is open to the public.


Be sure to watch our website for registration details and register early as the even usually fills quickly.

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Music Notes from John Behnke

Delivering Dramatic Results

The spiritual “Didn’t My Lord Deliver Daniel?” AG37010, arranged by Matthew Compton is our featured piece for March. Matt’s arrangement is for 3 to 7 octaves of handbells and optional 3 to 7 octaves of handchimes. It’s a Level 3+ difficulty piece.

I asked Matt what inspired him to write this piece and he says, “This spiritual has always been one of my favorites and I’ve always thought that this tune would work well for handbells. It was a rather lengthy arranging process as each section was to be unique so the piece took about a year to finish.”

The arrangement is in ABA style; the A sections being “forte” and the middle B section being quieter and reflective. The piece uses many techniques. In fact, Matt said, “I had been challenged by a friend of mine to arrange a piece using almost every technique possible for handbells a few years back. This spiritual uses many of the possible techniques: mallets, shakes, LV, echoes, martellato, mart lifts, ring touch, even gyros, which aren’t used all that much.”

Matt says, “one favorite part would have to be measures 29 through 38. The chord changes in the bass clef really are meant to stand out, and changing to a slightly more major sound really brings out the harmonies, especially in measures 31 and 35. Another would be the contrary motion of measure 61 and 62, building back into the faster tempo. But my absolute favorite part would be measure 81 to the end. I love the sudden slowing of the tempo at the very end of the piece and then the “pop” of the mart lifts in measure 83 and the powerful and full ending which really makes for a very effective ending.”

If you don’t know Matthew Compton, you should. Matt is a sophomore at Concordia University Wisconsin where he is majoring in Music and playing in The Alleluia Ringers. He has a number of published pieces already to his credit. His last published piece with AGEHR, AG35313, “I Will Arise and Go To Jesus” was a best seller, and this new arrangement of “Didn’t My Lord Deliver Daniel?” is sure to be a big hit as well. Matt says, “when I’m back at home in Colorado Springs, CO, I live with my mom and dad and my seven dogs (two pomeranians, one shiba inu, one German shepherd/boxer mix, one pit/husky mix, one pit bull, and one American bull mix). I love to hike and be outdoors at much as I can.”

“Didn’t My Lord Deliver Daniel?” delivers dramatic results, and I invite you to look and listen to this new arrangement.


Until next month,
John Behnke, Music Editor

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