This Month

General Registration Now Open for National Seminar

Distinctly Bronze West Registration Opens April 1

National Seminar & Distinctly Teen Scholarships Deadline April 16

Video of the Month

Brian’s Music Notes


Like many non-profits, the COVID-19 pandemic has placed Handbell Musicians of America in the middle of difficulties, but therein lies an opportunity to

Renew Our Vision
Refresh Our Mission
Refocus Our Future Together

Handbell Musicians of America remains committed to uniting people into a diverse musical community that advances the art of handbell/handchime ringing through education, community, and communication.

Visit Campaign Page

National Events

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


Become a Sustaining Partner

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

hf-logo-260px 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

General Registration Now Open for National Seminar

Registration is now open for National Seminar, Master Classes in Conducting and Composition, and Distinctly Teen in Glendale Arizona.

At National Seminar, you will have the chance to participate in educational and engaging classes; enjoy performances by some of our best choirs, ensembles, and soloists; browse and shop through exhibit booths from handbell publishers, retailers, manufacturers, and more.

In the Master Class in Conducting, 13 individual conducting students will work one-on-one with master conductor, Dr. William Payn. Each will be assigned one piece to learn and conduct under Dr. Payn’s tutelage. Participating conducting students will form the choir that each will lead. The event concludes with a final showcase concert where students will conduct their pieces for an audience.

The Master Class in Composition will offer up to six composers the opportunity to work one-on-one with Sondra Tucker to hone their skills in composing and arranging. Students will have access to keyboards and ample time to work on compositions. There will also be opportunities for group discussion and collaboration.

Distinctly Teen is designed for individual young ringers (8th–12th grade) who wish to stretch their ringing skills and challenge their musicianship.
Participants will spend 2 ½ days working on intermediate to advanced repertoire and developing skills in handbell technique and general musicianship under the leadership of Barb Walsh. The event schedule will combine dedicated rehearsal and class time for Distinctly Teen with the opportunity to attend classes offered as part of the Handbell Musicians of America National Seminar.


National Seminar Website         Registration Info

What can You Expect at Master Class in Composition?

by Sondra Tucker, MC in Composition Instructor

Where can you go to learn and hone your skillset in composing?
To dream and jot and squiggle and to spend time in supposing?
To get inspired to be your best, to learn from others’ work also,
The Master Series in Composing gets you where you want to go!
It’s friendly and non-threatening, with lots of one-on-one for you,
The teacher’s nice, she’s helpful, and gives feedback valuable to you,
Come to the desert in July, ignore the heat infernal
The Master Series in Composing is a treat eternal!


We look forward to seeing you this summer in
The Valley of the Sun!

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Distinctly Bronze West Registration Opens April 1 at Noon Eastern

Plans are underway for a fabulous return to DB West this fall, October 7-10, 2021.  With COVID numbers decreasing and vaccinations increasing, we are more confident that we’ll back in Portland, ringing together again under the baton of Beth Judd. Registration will open April 1 at 12 Noon Eastern. All the event details, including repertoire, lodging, and registration details are available at the link below.

We look forward to the day when we are all together making beautiful music as one once again. Plan now to join us for DB West and be sure to reserve your spot on April 1.

Get Details   

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National Seminar and Distinctly Teen Scholarships Deadline is April 16

Thanks to the generosity of contributors who fund our various scholarships, we are pleased once again to offer a number of them for National Seminar, some of which cover all or part of registration, lodging, and travel expenses. 

Scholarship Details

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Video of the Month

Singapore’s Ministry of Bellz uses lighting, projection, and choreography to enhance this performance of Despacito, by R.Ayala, E.Enders & Luis Fonsi, handbells version transcribed & arranged by Damien Lim. This is from their January 30, 2021 concert at the Drama Center Singapore. Learn more about Ministry of Bellz on their website at



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Brian’s Music Notes

with Brian Childers

Celtic Farewell

by Linda Lamb

Bell Solo with Kybrd AGSE15
3-5 Octaves; Level 3-; AG35210
Optional Flute Part Included

This wonderful Susan Geshke arrangement is one you don’t want to miss. This setting opens with a fanfare of eight measures, moving straightaway into a bold statement of the tune in 4/4. Following a quick transition into 6/8, the second verse (and third if taking the indicated repeat) uses a running eighth note pattern to highlight the lilting melody with echoes and marts in the accompaniment.  The final verse returns to 4/4 and moves to a close with another fanfare. This great setting is fun to ring and a great addition to both worship and concert settings.

Open the video below to hear the background from the composer and to hear and see a scrolling recording.

This hauntingly beautiful selection is based on Philippians 1:3 and is appropriate for both worship services and concerts. Delicate and reflective, this expressive melody is sure to touch the hearts of all who hear. The flute part (or optional C instrument) is included in the handbell score. Included in the e-notes video are both the bell solo with piano accompaniment and full handbell choir with flute version. 

You can review, hear and  order full choir version of CELTIC FAREWELL HERE

You can review, hear and order the solo version of Celtic Farewell Here

More info about Linda Lamb

When asked about how she was introduced to bells, Linda said, “ I had only heard handbells a few times when our church was given a two-octave set in honor of our organist. We gathered two or three teenagers who’d played handbells at music camp and they said, “you start them like this and you stop them like this” and off we went. We’re still trying to figure out how they work. Linda’s first published piece was an a cappella choral piece called Higher Ground, published in a periodical by the Southern Baptists.

About composing, Linda stated, “I always knew I wanted to write music; I just didn’t know what kind until I tried handbell music. I had always thought I’d be a choral composer, because I’d sung in choral groups all through middle/high school and college, but that field is very hard to break in to, if you aren’t already somebody. On the other hand, the handbell world is very welcoming to newcomers.

In the Composing for Handbells class taught by Arnold Sherman at Concordia University Wisconsin, Arnold required an outline before we began composing. I work in the opposite way, just starting and seeing where the music leads, so my outline was: 

I. Start somehow  II.  Do something in the middle  III. End somehow
(Arnold didn’t penalize me for that, I’m happy to say.)

Fun fact about Linda:  “I was a flight attendant back when airplanes had propellers. Propellers are the best!”

Preview and Order the Music



Until next month,

Brian Childers
Music Adviser

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