This Month

Distinctly Bronze West Comes to Portland

Pinnacle Returns in 2015

Give Back through Volunteering

Connect to Your Member Account through Facebook or Twitter

Music Notes from John Behnke

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National Events

Registration for the 16th International Handbell Symposium in Jeju, Korea is now open. Please GO HERE for details.

Help build a pension for the Guild, by contributing to the HERITAGE FUND


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.

Member Rewards

You must log in to your member account before ordering to receive the discount.

Single Copy License – $1.00 –

Group License (up to 10 copies) – $5.00 –


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. Visit Handbell Musician Resources>>


Distinctly Bronze West Comes to Portland

Distinctly Bronze West moves to Portland, Oregon, February 27-March 2, 2014.

Jason Wells returns to the podium for the event which will take place in the DoubleTree by Hilton located in Portland’s Downtown Eastside.  This location provides easy access to Portland’s Tri-Met  MAX light rail system  and the many activities and attractions the city has to offer.

GO HERE for all the details and to register today.

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Pinnacle Returns in 2015

Start planning now to attend Pinnacle 2015 in Dallas, Texas.

This event focuses on reaching the pinnacle of performance excellence at all levels and for all areas of handbell performance, no matter the venue or setting.

The beautiful Hilton Anatole will be our host venue July 16 – 19, 2015. More details will be available in the coming months.

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Give Back through Volunteering

There are many ways you can support Handbell Musicians of America beyond your membership dues. The most obvious is through tax-deductible contributions to the Heritage Fund or one of our many scholarship funds. But you can also support our mission by volunteering on a national or local level.

Nationally, we are seeking volunteers to help us with member recruitment and retention and to assist in our Heritage Fund Endowment Campaign. Regionally and locally, Area boards are always looking for volunteers to serve on board committees, event planning teams, as mentors, and so much more.

If you would like to give back through volunteering, complete THIS SHORT SURVEY to tell us your skills and interests.

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Connect to Your Member Account through Facebook or Twitter

Through just a few easy steps, you can now connect to your member account using your Facebook or Twitter login.  Here’s how to do it:

  1. Follow THIS LINK to login to your member account
  2. Click on the social networking login you prefer – either Facebook or Twitter
  3. The system will reach out to the appropriate source and create a NEW individual account for you using your sign-in credential for Facebook or Twitter.  This new account is not currently connected to your membership.  Please note the account number of this new account.  You will find it in the upper left corner of the page.
  4. Contact the national office by emailing [email protected]  and tell them you want to merge your new Facebook or Twitter connected account with your member account and provide the new account number and your member account number.
  5. Staff will merge your account and contact you when the process is complete.   This may take a few days depending when you start the process.  The staff person responsible for this task is in the office Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday.
  6. Now – just click the sign in for the appropriate option, Facebook or Twitter, and you will automatically be connected to your member account.  You may only connect to one member account.

Questions?  Contact the national office for assistance.

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Music Notes from John Behnke

Alleluia, We Found Another Handbell Composer!

One of the great joys of my job as music editor is to discover the music of a new composer and then to make it available through AGEHR Publishing for many to play. Often, people have been composing music for years but have never submitted any of it to be considered for publishing. So when we find a new composer, we say, “Alleluia!”

For Brian, we did literally say, “Alleluia!” Brian Tervo is a talented handbell musician, director, and composer. Brian currently directs the handbell program at Faith Lutheran Church in Redmond, Washington, and is the musical director for the Emerald City Ringers. He says, “At Faith Lutheran, I lead five handbell groups ranging from children in Kindergarten up through adults. The Emerald City Ringers is a community group in the Seattle area. We ring on 7 1/2 octaves of bells and sometimes incorporate a second 5-octave set of bells, so that we can accommodate up to 25 ringers. I have arranged a number of handbell pieces for this group to take full advantage of all the musical resources we have available.”

Brian sent a large musical work, a suite, for us to consider publishing. I asked him, what inspired this composition? He said, “While leading a Bells of Praise rehearsal at his church a couple years ago, a youth ringer took a bass bell, rang it, and then held the casting near their face while opening and closing their mouth. This resulted in a very unique vibrato effect that I had not seen or heard before. The group named the technique the ‘Benson,’ after the ringer who discovered it, and I promised the group that I would write a piece of music that would use the technique.”

He went on to say, “The work incorporating the ‘Benson’ technique was inspired by the events of the Passion, and the result was a piece of music that was very dark and intense. I felt that the only service appropriate for this piece was Good Friday. Since I wanted my youth choir to have something that wasn’t specific to Good Friday, I chose to write a suite, with a movement for Palm Sunday, Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and Easter Sunday. The Alleluia, that is published, is the second half of the Easter Sunday movement.”

AGEHR Publishing rarely publishes a large musical work, but each year we do publish 20 individual pieces of music and we thought Brian’s “Alleluia” was marvelous and could stand alone as a stunning prelude. Luckily Brian consented to this, and his work “Alleluia” is now available for all of us to play.

I asked Brian what his hobbies are. He said, “For hobbies, handbells is pretty much it. I’ve always had a fascination for bells, dating back to my childhood. I still remember how, as a child, I found a bell in my grandmother’s collection, marched through her house ringing it loudly (probably annoying everyone in sight), and then asked my grandfather what kind of bell it was. Sometimes it was a dinner bell, other times it was a cow bell, and when my grandfather had no clue, he told me it was a pickled pigs feet bell. In my youth, I even recalled once using the piano to identify the pitch of the bells in my grandmother’s collection, in an effort to put them in keyboard order. I was immediately fascinated with the idea of having a perfectly tuned set of bells and have been hooked ever since.”

Brian currently is the chair of Area 10 and is busily planning their 2014 Festival Conference. In recent years, he has also been involved with getting equipment to Distinctly Bronze West and with organizing youth handbell events in the Seattle area.

We hope you will take a listen to Brian Tervo’s newly published piece, “Alleluia,” AG35318. CLICK HERE to hear the piece for yourself.

Until next month,
John Behnke, Music Editor

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