This Month

Early-Bird Deadline for National Seminar is Today!

DNew Virtual Bell Academy Classes Underway

Now Accepting Nominations for National Board

Video of the Month

John Behnke’s Music Notes


National Events

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Upgrade your membership to SUSTAINING PARTNER and play an important role in ensuring the future of Handbell Musicians of America. As a SUSTAINING PARTNER

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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

Early-Bird Deadline for National Seminar is TODAY!

Register now and save $55 off the full registration fee

Don’t miss this chance to participate in educational and engaging classes; enjoy performances by some of our best choirs and ensembles; browse and shop through exhibit booths from handbell publishers, retailers, manufacturers and more; meet and network with fellow handbell musicians and develop life-long friendships with those that share your enthusiasm and passion for our art.

Seminar Website

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2019 Virtual Bell Academy Classes Underway

Classes are underway for the 2019 Virtual Bell Academy. If you missed the first two, you can still purchase the archived video. Our next class, “Creative Rehearsal Techniques,” is the second installment of the 3-part series “Maintining A Successful Church-Based Handbell Program” this Thursday, May 16, at 7:00 p.m.

Classes for Spring 2019 include The Fundamentals of Music with Kathy Kellum, Maintaining a Successful Church-Based Handbell Program (multi-class series) with Brian Childers, and Grant Writing for Handbell Ensembles with Derek Nance.  All classes are one-hour, live webinars. You have the option of registering for the live webinar or purchasing the video of the session from the VBA Archive in our online store.  All who register for a class will also receive a link to the video recording.

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Have Your Say in the Leadership of HMA

Now Accepting Nominations for National Board

Who should serve on the next national board of directors of the Handbell Musicians of America? Whoever it is, YOU will play a vital and essential role.

The board of directors consists of a president, president-elect, and five at-large directors as the voting members. Each member serves a six-year term. The executive director is a non-voting participant. Additionally, a board-appointed secretary serves without voice or vote. The term of the current board expires September 30, 2020. At that time, P.L Grove (president), Derek Nance, and Jennifer Vangolen (at-large directors) will be replaced by a new president-elect and two new at-large directors. Those new members will join Bill Mathis, Linda Minnotte, and Kyle Webber. Jill Fedon will be our new president. Board members serve without compensation but are reimbursed for expenses directly related to their board responsibilities.


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Video of the Month

May 17, 2015 at the “Spring Blooms with Bells & Voices” concert at the San Francisco LDS Stake Center in San Bruno, California, in conjunction with the Temple Hills Choir. Music by Leonard Cohen; arranged by Joel Raney.

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Music Notes from John Behnke

Glad Hearts, Rejoice!

As some of you know I am retiring as music editor of AGEHR Publishing at the end of July. Over my 16 year tenure as music editor I’ve worked with Michael “Mazz” Mazzatenta on sixteen of his AGEHR published pieces.   His first piece(s) was in 2004 with the two versions of “Fanfare Celebration” (AG23021 and AG35225) and now today with his new original piece, “Glad Hearts, Rejoice!” AG35379 for 3-5 octaves of handbells in 2019.   In an earlier E Notes column, I’ve called him the “winningest handbell composer” because of all the composition contests he has won.

Mike says, “When I compose for handbells, I have found that I am naturally inclined to write bright, rhythmic, upbeat-type pieces. So, I started on this piece by picking what I feel is a bright key (F) and then began improvising melodies and chord progressions at the piano. Once I found a motive that I liked for the first two bars, I expanded and developed the rest of the piece from that motive. I chose not to include any kind of intro at all; I decided to start right out with the main theme. Even the contrasting middle section for chimes (in the relative minor) is a varied form of the beginning motive. I thought that the title, ‘Glad Hearts, Rejoice!,’ was a perfect description for the joyful mood of the piece (without actually using the word ‘joy’ in the title!)  My two favorite parts of the piece are: 1) the transition passage that builds up to the last A-section (b. 49-56) and, 2) the final Coda section (b. 79-86) which introduces the bVI and bVII chords for a fanfare-type ending.”

Michael Mazzatenta at the console of the Fritts organ at Arizona State University.

If for some reason you don’t know Michael Mazzatenta, he says, “I am the Organist at First United Methodist Church and Adjunct Music Faculty at Texas A & M University, both in Corpus Christi, Texas, which keeps me busy most of the time. In my free time, I enjoy taking Pilates classes and walking on the beach with my wife on Padre Island where we live. I also enjoy reading the numerous music trade journals that seem to be forever stacked up on my nightstand. And, of course, I’m always listening to my favorite jazz and rock music all day, every day (and usually night) – so I don’t really get that much sleep.”

I hope you will take a look and a listen to Michael’s new piece.   “Glad Hearts, Rejoice!” AG35379 not only is upbeat, but it has a definite ear worm melody.

See & Hear the Music

Until next month,
Happy Ringing!

John Behnke, Music Editor

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