This Month

Accepting Nominations for Honorary Life Membership and National Board

National Seminar Call for Faculty and Performers

Spots Still Open for Reaching for Bronze 2023

Waiting List Available for Distinctly Bronze East 2023

Video of the Month

Brian’s Music Notes


National Events

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

October 6-9, 2022
Portland, Oregon

February 23-26, 2023
New Bern, North Carolina

February 24-26, 2023
New Bern, North Carolina

Keep Your Member Information Updated

It is important that you keep your membership information current so that we may be sure we are getting you the information you need such as renewal notices, information pertinent to your Area, Overtones, etc. Please take a moment periodically to check that your member profile is up to date. Just CLICK HERE to log in, then choose “Update My Profile” in the “What Would You Like to Do” drop-down menu at the right of the welcome screen.



Please note that any PAYMENTS sent to HMA 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 be sent to:

Handbell Musicians of America
201 E. Fifth Street Suite 1900-1025
Cincinnati, OH 45202

Now Accepting Nominations for Honorary Life Membership Award and National Board

The HMA national board is now accepting nominations for people to receive our highest honor, the Honorary Life Membership Award.

They are also seeking candidates to run for the board to fill spots that will become vacant next year.

Please follow the links below for more detailed information and to download nomination forms.

Honorary Life Award

National Board

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National Seminar 2023 Call for Faculty, Conductors, and Performers

We will be accepting applications for faculty, performers, and conductors for National Seminar 2023, in Irving, TX, beginning this Friday, September 23, 2022, and continuing through Friday, October 14, 2022.  


There are some exciting changes happening this year. One focus for National Seminar 2023 will be education. Each day, we will offer at least one education-focused class per session in addition to other topics. We would like a range of classes in three categories:*  

Expanded Education 

Teaching handbell/hand chimes: 

  • To children ages 5 – 10 in school or church settings. 
  • To children ages 11 – 13 in school or church settings. 
  • To teenagers ages 14 – 18 in school or church settings. 
  • To young adults ages 19 – 35 in university/college, community, or church settings. 
  • To adults ages 36 and up in community or church settings. 
  • To children and adults with physical, sensory, or mental disabilities in school, community, or church settings 
Core Classes 
  • Treble, battery, and bass techniques 
  • Hand chime techniques 
  • Solo, small ensemble, and bell tree classes 
  • Conducting techniques 
  • Music theory, score study, and marking music 
  • Roundtable discussions for community groups, church groups, youth groups, marketing, etc. 
Creative Classes 
  • Relays, games, fun movements 
  • Other instruments: flute choir, drum circle, Orff, etc. 
  • Other creative endeavors 

*This is not an all-inclusive list, but possible suggestions. 


Also new for 2023, conductors for the Advanced Ringing Track, Intermediate Ringing Track, and All-Star Choir will be selected through an application process. Have you wanted to expand your conducting experience to the National level? This is an opportunity for you to conduct at our flagship HMA event.  


There are several opportunities available for performers at Seminar 2023. Each day there is a lunch concert (30-40 min) and an evening concert (1 hour). We are looking to feature a variety of ages and abilities from community groups, school ensembles, soloists, church groups, etc. – representing the diverse membership of HMA.  

Applications will be available beginning Friday, September 23. Visit to access the applications.  

Applications available on the National Seminar Website
beginning Friday, September 23

National Seminar Website

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Spots Still Open for Reaching for Bronze

Feb. 24-26, 2023

Reaching for Bronze (RFB) is for intermediate to advanced ringers looking to enhance their skills and work towards participating in a future Distinctly Bronze (DB) event. Reaching for Bronze provides small ensemble training (26 ringers maximum) with master teachers and conductors Fred Gramann and Brenda Austin. Instruction will include skill building in treble, bass, and battery techniques, as well as improving all aspects of musicianship. The RFB ensemble will prepare two pieces to be performed at the DB concert, “The Waiting” (Sandra Eithun) and “When the Poor Ones” (Kyle Webber). Additionally, they will learn three of the DB works to perform with the larger ensemble, “Reconciliation” (Brenda Austin), “Champaca” (Elizabeth Peters), and “Fantasy on Liverpool” (arr. Fred Gramann).


Brenda E. Austin is a dynamic and energetic conductor, clinician, and composer, connecting musicians through handbells. She has served as the artistic director of the Detroit Handbell Ensemble (DHE) since 2016. Under her baton, DHE was honored to open the Handbell Musicians of America (HMA) National Seminar in 2018 and to be the featured concert for HMA’s Area 2 2019 Festival in Lancaster, PA. In 2019, Brenda also joined the team at Hope Publishing Company in Carol Stream, IL as the editor in charge of the handbell catalog. 

Learn more about Brenda and Reaching for Bronze on our website.

RFB Details & Registration

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Waiting List Available for Distinctly Bronze East 2023

Feb. 23-26, 2023

The massed ringing event for advanced handbell musicians provides the opportunity to perform on the largest handbell sets available under the direction of Fred Gramann. Four days of rehearsal lead up to a Sunday afternoon concert which is open to the public.


Fred Gramann earned organ performance degrees from Syracuse University and the University of Michigan, moving to Paris, France in 1972 for organ study with Marie-Claire Alain and Maurice Duruflé. He served as Director of Music at the American Church in Paris from 1976 to 2022. Fred is the permanent conductor for the Bay View Week of Handbells (Bay View, Michigan), UK Bronze (Sutton Surrey, England), BronzeFest (held alternately in Michigan and Ohio), and has previously served as conductor for both DB East and DB West. 

Learn more about Fred and Distinctly Bronze on our website.

DB East Details & Registration

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Video of the Month

Mark Lamback directs the Dunwoody (Georgia) United Methodist Church Handbell Ringers in “Beach Spring Stomp,” arranged by Jeffrey Honoré.

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Brian’s Music Notes

The Ash Grove

By Robin Benton
3-5 Octaves, Level 3-

For directors and ringers in search of an accessible, fun to ring setting of “The Ash Grove,” look no further! Robin Benton’s arrangement of this wonderful tune will be a nice addition to your worship service or concert. Set primarily in D Major (with a short excursion into F Major), your ringers will appreciate Robin’s solid writing. As the arrangement nears its close, there are several simple time signature changes, all easily managed. This tune is often paired with the Thanksgiving text by Katherine Daniels “Let All Things Now Living.” Take a listen to this beautiful setting and let us know what you think!

“The Ash Grove” may be purchased from Handbell World and JW Pepper (Click the links to take you directly to this title on their websites)

Following is a scrolling score synced with a recording of this title. Find this and other titles on our YouTube Channel

Until next month,

Brian Childers
Music Adviser

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