This Month

Call for Webinar Submissions

Updated Certification Site

David R. Davidson Composition Contest

Upcoming Handbell Notation Conference

Music Notes from John Behnke



National Events

to find out more about
all our national events.

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



Organizing a Handbell Program-Recruitment and Assimilation

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 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



Call for Webinar Submissions

We have seen a great response to our first round of education webinars from our new Virtual Bell Academy – our first session is tonight!  To build on this success, we are seeking submissions for instructors and topics for future webinars and online courses.   Classes should cover a wide range of topics relevant and interesting to handbell musicians of all skill levels and categories including ringers, directors, composers/arrangers, educators, worship leaders and planners, community groups, and more.  Topics may be presented as live webinars or multi-week, self-guided courses.

Click below for complete details, criteria and the submission form 


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Updated Certification Website

A major goal for Handbell Musicians of America in 2016 is a complete new look for our website.  We are starting with an updated version of the pages dedicated to Handbell Musician Certification.

Visit today to see updated information on the program as well as opportunities coming up in the next 8 weeks to complete certification courses.  Plus – get a glimpse of the new design elements that will be applied to all pages of our website in the months to come.


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David R. Davidson Composition Contest

Details for the fourth David R. Davidson Composition Contest are now available at our website.  Davidson Composition Fund was created in 2008 to encourage the composition of original works for advanced ensembles.

The selected composition will be published by AGEHR Music Publishing and premiered at Distinctly Bronze West in 2017, under the direction of Kathleen Ebling Shaw.


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Upcoming Handbell Notation Conference

A reminder for composers, engravers, editors, and all…
please plan to attend the 2016 HANDBELL NOTATION CONFERENCE

Sunday, July 17th following National Seminar in Rochester, New York.  9:00 AM to 5:00 PM handbell choir notation, and 6:30 PM – 9:00 PM for solo and ensemble notation.  
Send your proposals for notation changes by June 1. 

To submit a change/update proposal for consideration, please provide a succinct, written document describing your proposal to John Behnke via email at [email protected]. Notation changes will be adopted by consensus of those who attend the conference. You do not need to attend the conference to submit a proposal, but your attendance would be greatly appreciated.


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Music Notes from John Behnke

In the Merry, Merry Month of May

Of the 12 columns I write each month, the May column is always the one I am most excited about.  Why?   Because it announces all our new AGEHR music for another year, 2016, with new creativity, new composers, and new sounds. Yes, the merry, merry month of May is filled with excitement.

If you will follow me, I’d like to give you a little tour of our new 2016 music – the music you will hear and see in the 2016 AGEHR New Music CD Promotional that will arrive at your doorstep very soon.

Our mission for AGEHR Music is “to 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.”   

For Level 1 music, the popular Chime In series adds a new collection authored by Jason W. Krug.   Chime In: Lent and Easter 2 has two very useful preludes:  “When I Survey the Wondrous Cross” (Hamburg) and “Christ is Alive” (Truro)

For Level 2 music, there are a number of new issues:

  1. O Worship the King, Michael Mazzatenta AG35346
  2. Jubilate, Jana Larson AG35345
  3. Ostinato in A Minor, Daniel and Jason Krug AG35347
  4. Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence, John Behnke AG23052
  5. Coventry Carol, Julie Stitt, AG35349 (opt. C instrument)
  6. Prayer (Be Still My Soul) Erik Whitehill AG35348
  7. Dance in the Five, Derek Hakes 2-3 oct AG23049 and 4-5 oct. AG45055
  8. Gaudio Exultsans, Valerie Stephenson AG35208


For Level 3 music:

  1. Alleluia, Sinclair/Lamb AG35177
  2. Seasons of the Heart, Karen Lakey Buckwalter AG35197
  3. He is Born, John Behnke AG35351
  4. Joy!  Elizabeth Peters AG35350
  5. American Patrol, Meachem/Martha Lynn Thompson AG46032
  6. Prayer for Peace, Michael Helman AG36023   (15th commemoration of 9/11/01)

For Level 3+ music:

Hallelujah Chorus, Handel/Behnke AG36055 – an updated, yet complete setting just for bells.  

For Level 4 music :

Angels We Have Heard on High, Kyler Brengle AG36056 – for your 2016 Christmas concert or service

For Level 4+ music

Down the River, Jason Krug AG35343 – used at DB West

As you look at this list, you will see 9 hymn preludes for Advent, Christmas, Lent, Easter and more, plus 9 original pieces, with 4 pieces by “new names” in our AGEHR catalog. 
Welcome Jana Larson, Elizabeth Peters, Kyler Brengle, and Daniel Krug J !   

You can get a real hard copy of each one of these pieces, retail price $85.50 for just $20 which includes shipping by purchasing our Priority Music Club.   Click here to purchase.

Enjoy all this new creativity!  Enjoy our new 2016 music!  And look forward to our 2016 AGEHR New Music 2016 CD promotional arriving at your doorstep!

I hope you enjoyed the tour.  

Until next month,
John Behnke, Music Editor

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