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E-Notes May 2015


This Month

Pinnacle 2015 Offers Options for ALL Handbell Musicians

Help Us Get Handbells out of the Closet

17th International Handbell Symposium Registration Coming Soon

Register for the May MemberChat

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

Download your FREE Handbell & Handchime Notation Guide. Must be logged into member account to download.


The Care and Feeding of Youth Handbell Choirs

How do we communicate? How do we attract new ringers? How do we generate interest? Learn all about communicating in Michael Glasgow and Kathryn Aspenwall’s “The Structure of the Communication Process in Faith-Based Settings,” free to all Guild members. 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



Pinnacle 2015 Offers Options for ALL Handbell Musicians

You don’t have be part of a community or professional ensemble to benefit from Pinnacle 2015. The event offers classes, concerts, networking and more for all handbell musicians.

CLASS TOPICS include handbell techniques, musicality, score study, conducting, ringing tracks, solo ringing, small ensemble ringing, music theory, composition, Finale, marketing, and more.

CONCERTS feature full-choir community ensembles, handbell soloists, small ensembles, youth choirs, church choirs, and a pop music handbell ensemble.


This is the ultimate event for
anyone passionate about handbells.

Early-bird Registration Deadline is
Tomorrow! (May 15)


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Help Us Get Handbells out of the Closet

This coming September, Handbell Musicians of America will launch a new campaign to get unused sets out of the closet and get dormant programs Back to Bells.  Throughout the Guild we will offer free, 4-hour workshops designed to help churches reintroduce or start a handbell program in their congregation.

The workshop will provide training in basic handbell techniques, use of bells in worship, ringing with less than a full choir, handbell maintenance, rehearsal techniques, and more.

Do you know a church in your community that would benefit from this program?  Send us the church name and address via email to [email protected] and we’ll make sure they know about workshops offered near them.

Would you like to host a workshop at your church?  We’ll provide all the materials needed including class outlines, notes, event registration, and name badges. Contact us with an email to [email protected] to learn more and schedule your Back to Bells event.

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17th International Handbell Symposium
Registration Coming Soon

The Handbell Guilds of Canada will host the next International Handbell Symposium in Vancouver, Canada, July 26-30, 2016.  Registration for the event will open this month.  See all the event details at

Handbell Musicians of America members who wish to attend will need to pre-register first. Once registration is open, we will send you the information you need to complete your online registration directly through the IHS 2016 website.

To get more information about registration fees, deadlines and to pre-register, follow this link below


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Register for the May MemberChat

Have your Malmark handbells and chimes been extra busy this past year? Are they in need of a little TLC to keep them looking and sounding their best? Join Malmark representative Cara Davis for a discussion of maintenance techniques for Malmark bells and chimes during the May 29 Member-Chat at 3 pm EDT. Schulmerich ringers, don’t worry! We’ll be offering a chat with a Schulmerich representative soon.


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Music Notes from John Behnke

See Our New 2015 Bumper Crop

Believe it or not, we refer to our music as “crops.”  There is a Fall Crop which has Fall and Christmas music, and then there is a Spring Crop which has Lent and Easter music.

Our mission statement for AGEHR Publishing, which guides all our decisions, says we will produce a wide variety of high quality music to meet the needs of the diverse membership of the Handbell Musicians of America. Level 1 to 6; bells and chimes;  church and school; original and hymn based; all ranges 2-3 octaves through 5-7 octaves; Christmas, Easter, and beyond. As I’ve said on our promotional CD many times, I believe we have “something for everyone.”

In a few weeks, our 2015 new music promotional booklet and CD will be coming to your mailbox. Even though you get a number of these to review, I hope you will take some extra time to examine our BUMPER CROP in detail. We feel it is well-written, tuneful, beautiful to look at, and always in good taste.

This year we produced 21 pieces; including 2 new reproducible books; 10 in the Fall crop and 11 in the Spring crop; trying to find a balance that fits our mission for variety and diversity, and also works financially.

Level 1 and 1+ pieces  – 14%
AG35338 – Were You There?  Jill Fedon  3-5 octaves
AG23047 – Chime In: Gospel Favorites, John A. Behnke  2-3 octaves
AG013 – Read ‘n Ring, Michael Burkhardt, 2 and 3 octave choirs
(a reproducible methods book)

Level 2 pieces – 28%
AG014 – Classic Tunes That Teach, Martha Lynn Thompson, 2 and 3 octave choirs (a reproducible book)
AG23048 – Grandeur, Karen Thompson, 2-3 octaves  Area 2 Composition Winner
AG35336 – Celebration for a New Day, Susan Wise Carl, 3-5 octaves
AG35337 – Leaning on the Everlasting Arms, Brian Childers, 3-5 octaves
AG35339 – Peace, Joshua Kramer, 3-5 octaves
AG35332 – Praise to the Lord, John A. Behnke, 3-5 octaves, plus percussion

Level 2+ Pieces – 14%
AG23046 – Acclamation in G Minor, Karen Thompson, 2-3 octaves
AG46030 – Acclamation in G Minor – compatible version in 4-6 octaves
AG36054 – Rhythmic Praise, Jason W. Krug, 3-6 octaves, plus percussion

Level 3 Pieces – 28%
AG35333 – Children of the Heavenly Father, Hart Morris, 3-5 octaves, plus flute
AG35340 – Crown Him With Many Crowns, Matthew Compton, 3-5 octaves
AG35342 – O Come, All Ye Faithful, John A. Behnke, 3-5 octaves
AG35341 – Sleigh Ride, Mozart/arr. Joy Toll-Chandler, 3-5 octaves, sleigh bells
AG35344 – Zambra, Gloria Axelson, 3-5 octaves
AG35334 – Somos Del Senor, Andrew Duncan, 3-5 octaves

Level 4 and 5 Pieces – 14%
AG35335 – Con Spirito, Michael Mazzatenta, 3-5 octaves
AG46031 – Fanfare in D, John A Behnke, 4-6 octaves
AG57022 – Cascades, David Tiedman, 5-7 octaves, flute, triangle, finger cymbals

Plus in this crop we have added the following new composers to our AGEHR catalog: Michael Burkhardt, Joy Toll-Chandler, Brian Childers, Gloria Axelson, Susan Wise Carl, and David Tiedman.

You can also be a member of our Priority Music Club where we send one full sized copy of all our music (sorry no reproducible books) for just $20. This is an $87.65 retail value for just $20. Click here to order.


We know you have many choices when you choose music for your handbell and handchime choirs, but we hope you will always look closely at the quality music that AGEHR Publishing provides.   We choose, edit, and publish with you in mind

Until next month,
John Behnke, Music Editor

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