This Month

Still Time to Register for College Ring-In

Chat with the National Board

Preview AGEHR Music on Our Website

Cyber Monday Deals November 26

Save the Date for Giving Tuesday, November 27

John Behnke’s Music Notes


National Events

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

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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


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

College Ring-In 2019 – Still Time to Register

You can still register for College Ring-In, January 6-8, 2019, in Bloomington, Minnesota (near Minneapolis). College Ring-In is an event for college students and recent alumni and features three days of ringing under the direction of Carolynne Mathis and culminating in a public concert on the final evening.  Participants will be given their own individual ringing assignment to prepare in advance and the join other attendees to rehearse and polish the music for the final concert.

The event also includes a reading session of unpublished compositions and arrangements submitted by participants.  We’ll have publishers and editors from the handbell industry on hand to provide advice and guidance regarding copyright permissions and the publication process.

Registration Information

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Chat with the National Board

Beginning in 2019, we are offering quarterly webinars giving members the opportunity to connect directly with national board members. Ask questions, discuss goals, and offer your ideas and suggestions related to the direction and future of Handbell Musicians of America.

2019 Chat Dates

Click on a date to register

Saturday, January 12
12:00 PM Eastern
Hosted Webinar

Saturday, March 23
12:00 PM Eastern
Live from National Board Meeting

Saturday, July 20
12:30 PM Eastern
Live from National Seminar

Saturday, October 26
11:00 AM Eastern
Live from National Board Meeting

Can’t attend but have a question? All sessions will be recorded and available to members through our online Member Center at Send your question or comment in advance to [email protected] and it will be addressed during the next chat.

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Preview AGEHR Publishing Music on Our Website

From your laptop, your tablet, or even your phone, NOW you can look at, listen to, and purchase great AGEHR MUSIC selections for the coming Spring.

With your convenience in mind, we’ve assembled a collection of brand new and “tried and true” pieces for your consideration. Take a moment and enjoy some wonderful handbell and handchime music for Springtime. It’s all just a click away.

Happy Listening! Happy Shopping!

Go To Promo

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Looking for the Right Gift for your Ringers or Director?

Check Out Our Cyber Monday Offers Beginning Monday, Nov. 26

Watch your email and our Facebook page Monday, Nov. 26 for our Cyber Monday deals, including discounts on sub-memberships, E-Press music titles, Handbell Bucks and more.

Also this year, we will feature deals from some of our
Handbell Industry Council members.

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Save the Date: November 27

We Are Preparing for Giving Tuesday

Handbells are a special part of the holidays. People around the world look forward to hearing bells ring in celebration of this season of giving. We know many of you will be giving the gift of music by performing in concerts, church services, and holiday celebrations throughout the month of December. On Tuesday, November 27, you will have the opportunity to give financially to Handbell Musicians of America by participating in the nation-wide Giving Tuesday Movement.

Think for a moment of all the ways Handbell Musicians of America and you help the art to grow. Following are just some of the programs your gifts will fund

  • Events like College Ring-In and Back to Bells
  • Live-streaming of Concerts from National Seminar for those who cannot attend
  • Events to accredit new faculty for Handbell Musician Certification
  • Member-Chats and Member-Notes at other online resources

You can join the Giving Tuesday movement and support our mission with your charitable gift to Handbell Musicians of America. Your gift today will help us continue to provide the services and resources that support YOU as we work together to advance the musical art of handbell and handchime ringing through education, community and communication.

Watch your E-mail and our Facebook Page for
For Details on Joining the Giving Tuesday movement November 27

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Music Notes from John Behnke

Some November “Rhythmic” Fun

Our featured piece this month is a fun new original piece entitled “Ritmico,” AG25005, by Ron Mallory. It’s a Level 3- piece for 2-5 octaves of handbells. It has a subtitle of Rhythmic Rejoicing. “Ritmico” was written as an entry for an Area 3 composition contest, which called for pieces for 2-5 octaves of bells with the option of adding additional instruments.

In “Ritmico” much of the piece is malleted. One thing I like about using mallets is that it allows me to be highly chromatic without creating a piece that’s too insanely difficult to play because of all the bell changes. As long as the players were going to have mallets in hand anyway, I decided to add in some other percussive effects by having them click mallet handles together and strike music notebooks or whatever else they want. This gives any group that performs it some flexibility to be creative, so that no two performances will be the same. (I was inspired in this somewhat by John Behnke’s piece “Rhythmic Rip,” which does something similar.)

In “Ritmico,” the first 16 measures present the main theme which are chords played with mallets along with other fun percussive sounds. Measures 18-32 present the second theme, this one melodic and rung normally. Measures 34-41 bring back the first theme, followed by a Percussion Interlude which uses mallets on notebooks, stands, or other hard surfaces, tambourine or other percussion instruments, mallet clicks, and foot stomps or mallets on the padded table. In other words, just plain crazy fun. This Interlude is only 4 measures in length but is meant to be played at least 4 times and allows opportunities to improvise. Following this fun, measures. 47-62 bring back the first theme and then measures 63 to the end use bell peal scales played without damping for a thrilling ending. Ron says, “whenever I’m writing a new piece I always try to play through all the parts myself so that I get a practical sense of what it will be like for the performers.” And for this piece, he must have had great fun playing through each part. Honestly you have to see and hear this fun and exciting piece.. Here’s a link to do just that.

If you don’t know Ron Mallory, he says, “I’m originally from California, but have lived for a number of years in Maple Valley, WA, which is about an hour south of Seattle. I direct two handbell choirs at Forest Ridge School of the Sacred Heart, and one at Resurrection Lutheran Church. I also serve in an informal “composer-in-residence” capacity with Rainier Ringers, a community group I directed some years back.”

“One of my many interests outside of music is visual art. I’ve been doing photography since I was a teenager, and even had my own home darkroom setup back in the pre-digital days. In my 20’s I started dabbling in oil and acrylic painting, learning most of what I know from watching Bob Ross and Jerry Yarnell on TV. Visual art has turned out to be something my entire family can enjoy together. My wife Emily has gotten into watercolors the past few years, and has created some very fine pieces. My 4-year-old daughter Vivian and 2-year-old son Miles have also begun devloping artistic interests. One of Vivian’s drawings recently won a NASA art contest, and was sent along with 11 other kids’ artworks to the International Space Station. As Vivian’s dad, of course I’m very proud of her—and, as a big fan of the space program, seeing her artwork in a video the astronauts posted on YouTube was a vicarious thrill for me!”

I also wish to call your attention to our new Spring Music 2019 Promotion which was sent as an email to many and which is online right here. The aim is to make browsing and shopping for you easy and convenient. This Spring Promotion is a combination of brand new pieces and some “tried and true” favorites for Lent and Easter and festival. We hope you will enjoy sitting with your laptop or tablet, or your smart phone wherever you are to look and listen to some great AGEHR Spring music selections. We hope you will enjoy this new method of browsing and discovering new handbell and handchime music.

See & Hear the Music

Until next month,
Happy Ringing!

John Behnke, Music Editor

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