Distinctly Bronze West 2016


March 3-6, 2016

Public Concert, Sunday, March 6, 4:00 PM – $5 Admission at the Door

The Resort at the Mountain, Welches, Oregon

Toshikazu Yoshida, Conductor





What is Distinctly Bronze?

Distinctly Bronze is an event which is thrilling and challenging, fun and intense, exhausting and invigorating. This massed ringing event for advanced handbell musicians offers the unique opportunity to perform on the largest sets of handbells available under the direction of Toshikazu Yoshida. Rehearsals lead up to the Sunday afternoon concert, which is open to the public ($5.00 admission at the door.)

Participants are expected to rehearse and learn the music before arriving at the event – our time together is for making music, not learning notes!

Where do we meet?

This year’s west coast event is at The Resort at the Mountain in Welches, Oregon. Nestled in the western highlands of Mt. Hood less than an hour above Portland, The Resort at The Mountain is the only premier Oregon full service mountain resort offering golf, ski and meeting services. Whether you’re a couple, family, outdoor enthusiast or a meeting or event participant, this is the place to lose yourself in the wonders of Mt. Hood.

Get fully engaged! Work out in our fitness center. Unwind in The Spa. Enjoy a round of the best golf among all Mt. Hood resorts. Forage for mushrooms with our Nature Concierge. Hike the nearby Pacific Crest Trail. Bicycle the many trails at the nearby Sandy Ridge Trail mountain bike park. Or simply roam the astonishingly beautiful Resort grounds. And end your day basking in the warmth of the year ’round heated pool and glow of one of the many Resort fireplaces.

Who should attend?

Successful Distinctly Bronze (DB) participants have the following traits:

  • Committed to learning all of the music on their own. Learning means going beyond the notes – you know where the musical line is and can see/hear the overall picture.
  • Learns quickly
  • Understands that the overall musical result is more important than the individual
  • Has experience with music approaching the difficulty of the DB repertoire (difficulty of at least AGEHR level 4)
  • Is willing to adapt to a different philosophy of handbell assignments and sharing
  • Can play a variety of positions, and is flexible about position assignment
  • Has the stamina, energy and attention for lengthy rehearsals during the 4 1/2 days of the event
  • Has good rehearsal etiquette – is prompt & cheerful, and attends ALL rehearsals
  • Has self-awareness to realize when he/she “is the problem” (as in playing wrong rhythm, wrong bell, wrong dynamic, not following the director), and, without prompting or comment from anyone, either remedies the problem or sits out that passage
  • Understands that ringing is a collaborative effort. All the notes must be rung musically. This may require sharing handbells with neighbors or giving one or more handbells to a different musician for an entire piece.
  • Is open to constructive comments
  • Doesn’t crumble under performance pressure

How do I attend?

All first time registrants must be accepted to attend. The acceptance process includes submission of an attendee information sheet, as well as two recommendations from ringing or directing colleagues. Distinctly Bronze is an event for experienced, capable handbell musicians who can prepare on their own, are seeking to increase their musicianship, perhaps ring repertoire that is not an option at home, and will give full attention and effort to the closing concert.

There are a limited number of positions available at Distinctly Bronze and they fill quickly, so register early!

For complete details on the registration process for first-time and returning attendees, see the section on Registration.


NOTE: Registration opens Tuesday, October 13, 2015, at 11:00 AM EDT. 

The registration fee for this year’s event is $330.00.  All registrants must have their own membership in Handbell Musicians of America or be the primary contact on a group membership.

In addition to working with conductor Toshikazu Yoshida, your registration fee includes two meals (dinner Thursday and lunch Sunday), a Distinctly Bronze polo shirt, and a CD recording of the final concert. You also have the opportunity to ring with talented colleagues and network with other friendly Handbell Musicians of America members. Additional meals, polo shirts or CDs can be ordered by completing the appropriate line on the Registration Form.

Registrants are required to have their own active Handbell Musicians of America membership—either personally or as the primary contact for a church or organization.  To join Handbell Musicians of America, follow this link or contact the national office for assistance.

Ringing assignments are based on your response to the Assignment Preferences online survey. Ringing assignments will NOT be confirmed until ALL required forms and full payment have been received. Priority in ringing assignment preference will be partly based on the date/time when all forms required for your registration have been received. Links to all required forms will be available after you complete the initial registration.

Please follow these links to find the details you need for registration:

NOTE:  Links to all additional required forms and surveys will be available on the confirmation page AFTER you complete the primary event registration.


Alumni Registration First-time Attendee Registration Required Forms Time-Line/Deadlines Cancellation Policy


What is your DB Alumni status?

Your status and the expiration date of that status were indicated in the communication (letter or e-mail) you received after the last Distinctly Bronze event you completed. There are three categories.  Visit the section on Evaluation for a complete description of each category and the process used.


Yes, can attend one DB event within the next 24 months (4 events total) – no reapplication required.  If don’t attend within that period, will be required to reapply. Follow the registration steps below.


Yes, can attend one DB event within the next 24 months (4 events total) – no reapplication required.  If don’t attend within that period, will be required to reapply.  Expected to show improvement at next event.  Follow the registration steps below.


No, must reapply and may be asked to provide a video and/or evidence of significant skills building experiences such as lessons, workshops.  Specific areas in which improvement is needed will be cited. Contact event chair for instructions – [email protected]

If you don’t know your status, contact event chair, P.L. Grove.

Complete the following items as soon as possible:

1 – Log in to your member account and complete the online event registration by following the registration link on the login welcome page. You have the option of paying either a $100 deposit or the full registration fee. If you do not have your own Handbell Musicians of America membership, join here or call the national office (937-438-0085) for assistance.

2 – Submit your ringing preferences (link provided on registration confirmation page) via one of the following on-line options: Sub Bass Positions (below C4) AND/OR Positions 1 through 11 (C4-C8).

3 – If your alumni status has expired, also complete the Alumni Re-Apply Form (link provided on registration confirmation page.)

First-time Attendees

If you would like to apply to attend Distinctly Bronze, please follow these steps as soon as possible:

1 – Log in to your Guild member account and register for the event on-line.  You will see the link to registration on your login welcome screen.  If you do not have your own membership in Handbell Musicians of America, you may join here or call the national office (937-438-0085) for assistance.  You can opt to pay just a $100 deposit or the full registration. Your deposit/registration fee will be returned if you are not accepted.

2 – Complete and submit the on-line First-time Attendee Application from the link provided on your registration confirmation page.

3 – Use the appropriate link from the registration confirmation page submit your Ringing Assignment Preferences or use of these options: Sub Bass Positions (below C4) AND/OR Positions 1 through 11 (C4-C8.)

4 – Contact two references that have observed you ringing within the past year and ask them to complete the on-line First-time Attendee Recommendation (link provided on registration confirmation page). YOU ARE THE ONLY PERSON RESPONSIBLE FOR ENSURING THAT YOUR TWO RECOMMENDATIONS ARE RECEIVED. You will not be contacted if your recommendations are not received in a timely manner.

Please note that no applications will be considered until ALL OF THE ABOVE FORMS & RECOMMENDATIONS are received by the national office.

Required Registration Forms

Each registrant is required to complete ALL the forms listed under their registration status.  No registration will be considered and no assignments will be given until all required forms are received.

NOTE: Ringing Preference forms, First-time Attendee Application, Recommendation forms, and Alumni Re-Apply forms will all be available from links provided on the confirmation page AFTER you complete your online event registration.

 Status/Form  Alumni in Good Standing  First-Time Attendee  Alumni Re-Apply*
Registration Form (log in first – on welcome screen) X X X
Ringing Preference (Sub-Bass or PN 1-11) X X X
First-time Attendee Application X
First-time Attendee Recommendation (2 required) X
Alumni Re-Apply Form X

*Almuni Re-Apply status applies to those who were placed in Category C after the last event they attended or who have not attended a Distinctly Bronze event in the past 24 months.

Time-Line & Deadlines

Please make note of the following important dates and deadlines:

Two weeks following receipt of all required forms, including recommendations – first-time applicants will be notified of acceptance to the event

Three weeks following receipt of all required forms – alumni will be notified of acceptance to the event

Your payment will be processed at the time you submit your on-line registration for the event.

You will receive a follow-up e-mail from the event chair once ALL APPLICATION MATERIALS have been received and your application has been reviewed and accepted. THIS IS YOUR CONFIRMATION. If you DO NOT receive this confirmation, it is your responsibility to follow up with the National Office to make sure your application has been received.

December 15, 2015 – Final payment is due to the national office.

January 16, 2016– Ringing assignments will be sent to all accepted registrants that have paid in full.

All items can be completed on-line by following the above links. Hard copy printed versions of all forms will be available through the national office by contacting Vickie Iverson, Event Registrar.



This policy applies to refunds for ANY reason, including medical, family and business. This policy applies even if we fill your slot with another ringer. If you desire, you can receive a copy of the DBW2016 recording at no charge if you cancel.

A $100 deposit is required to enter your registration. That deposit is refundable only when:

•   A first-time applicant is not accepted

•   An individual on the wait list is not offered a slot, or declines a slot offered after 2/1/2016.

Fee refunds minus the $100 deposit will be made for written or email cancellations received by 1/10/2016. Cancellations received by 2/1/2016 will be refunded 50% of registration fee less deposit; after 2/1/2016 registration is not refundable.  The date of cancellation will be the date the cancellation is RECEIVED in the national office by the event registrar, Vickie Iverson.


William H. Griffin Scholarship Fund offers one scholarship to the 2016 West event. The scholarship provides full registration and up to $700 for travel & lodging expenses. The application is available here and must be submitted by December 1, 2015. Both alumni and first timers may apply. First time attendees must be accepted through the procedure here before being eligible for the scholarship.


You are responsible for purchasing and rehearsing the music. Repertoire notes regarding problem solving, corrections and other items may be sent at various times before the event.  Music may be purchased directly from publishers of from any music retailer.  Our HIC retailers include: Bell Buggy Express, Handbell Services, Heitz Handbells & Music, Jeffers Handbell Supply, J.W. Pepper, and West Coast Handbell Supply.

Music Packets from Retailers:

Heitz Handbells & Music – order online at this link.  Just enter Distinctly in the Title field to pull up a complete list of the DB West repertoire.  Those purchasing from this page will receive a 15% discount which will be automatically applied at checkout.

Jeffers Handbell SupplyPurchase full packet here or select individual titles here. Jeffers is offering discounts on both options.

Title Composer/Arranger Publisher/Code Notes
And All That Jazz John Kander & Fred Ebb
arr. Nicholas Hanson
From the Top Music
The Bells Heard ‘Round the World Valerie Stephenson Choristers Guild
Four Resonances William Payn AGEHR
Gaudeamus Arnold Sherman Agape/Hope Publishing
I See the Light Alan Menken
arr. Kazuko Okamoto
Available from Jeffers or Heitz Handbells
Lauda Spiritoso Matthew Compton Beckenhorst Press
Melody in F Cynthia Dobrinski Agape/Hope Publishing
Nocturne in A Minor Karen Buckwalter Shawnee Press
Pizzicato Polka Johann & Josef Strauss
arr. Toshikazu Yoshida
Unpublished Available for purchase from this link only
Pomp and Circumstance Edward Elgar
arr. Toshikazu Yoshida
Prime MusicPrime 2041 Available from Jeffers or Heitz Handbells
The Prayer Carole Bayer Sager & David Foster
arr. Joel Raney
Agape/Hope Publishing
Scherzo Michael Helman AGEHR
Two Guitars Russian Folk Song
arr. L. Campell Bunting
Shawnee Press
Valse des Fleurs P.I. Tchaikovsky
arr. Toshikazu Yoshida



Wednesday, March 2

If you arrive at The Resort early and are available to assist with set-up, please come by the event ballroom.

Thursday, March 3  
9:00 AM – 12:00 PM Finish load-in and set-up
10:00 AM – 2:00 PM Distinctly Bronze Registration (lunch on your own)
2:00 PM – 2:30 PM Welcome Announcements for ALL RINGERS
2:30 PM – 5:00 PM Rehearsal (break 3:45-3:55pm)
5:00 PM – 6:00 PM Dinner provided
6:00 PM – 8:00 PM Rehearsal
Friday, March 4  
8:30 AM – 9:45 AM Rehearsal
9:45 AM – 2:00 PM Treble (D5-C9) Free (lunch on your own)
10:00 AM – 12:00 PM Bass (C2-C5) Sectional
12:00 PM – 4:20 PM Bass Free (lunch on your own)
2:00 PM – 4:00 PM Treble Sectional
4:20 PM -7:00 PM Rehearsal (break 5:50-6:00pm)
7:00 PM Dinner (on your own)
Saturday, March 5  
9:00 AM – 12:00 PM Rehearsal (break 10:30-10:40am)
12:00 PM -1:30 PM Lunch (on your own)
1:30 PM – 6:00 PM Rehearsal (breaks 3:00-3:15pm & 4:45-5:00pm)
6:00 PM Dinner (on your own)
8:00 PM Mini-concert by Kinjo Gakuin University Handbell Choir
9:00 PM Reception (Beer, Wine, and Appetizers provided courtesy of The Resort)
Sunday, March 6  
9:00 AM -11:30 AM Rehearsal (break 10:15-10:25am)
11:30 AM – 12:00 PM Hotel Checkout
12:00 PM – 1:00 PM Provided Lunch & Closing Announcements
1:00 PM – 3:00 PM Final Rehearsal
3:00 PM – 4:00 PM Final Concert Preparation (dress & free time)
4:00 PM Concert
approx. 5:30 pm All Hands Teardown (pack and load handbells and other equipment)



We have secured a special group rate at The Resort at the Mountain for event attendees.  In addition, we’ve negotiated some additional accommodations for our group.

Since its total renovation and expansion in 2009, The Resort at The Mountain has enjoyed the company of happy guests numbering in the tens of thousands.

What they like best are…

  • Fresh, clean mountain air
  • Amazingly comfortable beds
  • Private patios and balconies
  • The Spa
  • Hiking and biking
  • Year ’round heated pool and whirlpool spa

The Resort offers some of Mt. Hood Territory’s most unique and charming accommodations. 157 guest rooms and suites are situated within easy walking distance of all Resort facilities on 300 acres of evergreen forest and lush mountain flora in the highlands. They afford guests a private retreat where they may relax and unwind.

Each 360 square foot Resort guest room features Simmons® Beautyrest Black™ Beverly Hills™ Plush memory foam bedding wrapped in luxury linens, private patio or deck with views of forest, fairways, mountains and/or pool, alarm clock with connection for Apple mobile devices and MP3 player, rainhead shower, Green Natüra bath amenities, spa robes, hairdryer, coffee maker, mini-refrigerator, ironing board and iron, 42″ wall-mounted HDTV, functional work space with ergonomic desk chair, laptop computer safe, dual-line speaker telephones with voicemail, high-speed wired and wireless Internet access and USA Today.

You have the option to upgrade to a fireside studio which includes a corner stone fireplace, or to suite or Golf villa.  Our group prices are below:

  • Resort Room – $109
  • Fireside Studio – $119
  • 1 Bedroom Suite – $129
  • 2-Bedroom Golf Villa – $389
  • 3-Bedroom Golf Villa – $489

*All rates are based on single or double occupancy.  Additional guests will incur an additional charge of $20 per night.  All rates quoted are exclusive of local and state tax which is currently 7%.

In addition to the above rates, The Resort is providing the following additional accommodations:

  • Waiver of the resort fee.
  • No-fee access to year-round heated pool, complimentary in-room WIFI, coffee and hot beverages in resort lobby, sporting equipment such as bikes, tennis rackets and balls, croquet and lawn bowling equipment, badminton equipment and a variety of board games.
  • There are a limited number of pet-friendly rooms available.  A $50 per stay cleaning fee will be charged.  These rooms are limited to reserve as soon as possible.
  • Preferred rate of $79 for any 50-minute individual spa treatment at The Resort
  • 25% off group golf Sunday through Wednesday – Anyone want to plan an outing?

To make reservations, call 503.622.3101 and request the Handbell Musicians of America rate.

Please make your reservation before January 29, 2016, to guarantee the group rate.

Evaluation Process

DB (both West and East) is unique in the skill and commitment of our handbell musicians. Every year, attendee event comments urge us to preserve and improve the level of ringing at the event. To this end, all DB attendees are evaluated each year and placed in one of three categories.   Here is a description of the process followed and the categories in which handbell musicians will be placed:

Each handbell musician who attends a DB event and performs in the final concert is evaluated and placed into one of the three categories below.  This evaluation takes place every event the musician completes.

Category Title Characteristics Rough % of attendees*
A Handbell musician in good standing – no concerns
  • well prepared
  • creates sense of ensemble with those around them through musical interaction
  • high level of performance energy and interaction (with those around them and the director) with a visually appealing performance style
  • watches the conductor and is sensitive to the musical direction provided
  • sufficient stamina to make it through many hours of rehearsal and still be focused for the concert
  • can play a variety of positions and is flexible about assignment
  • adapts well to changes and different setting of the event
  • self-aware of mistakes and works quickly to correct them
  • almost always technically and rhythmically precise and accurate
  • memorizes key passages


B Handbell musician is in good standing – some concerns
  • not as well prepared but shows visible improvement during event
  • generally watches the conductor, but is not always sensitive to their musical direction
  • acceptable performance level – musical product and/or visual appeal – but could provide more energy and interaction
  • will play only a limited number of positions
  • tends to remain isolated during performance – fewer performance interactions with those around them
  • adapts to some of the differences of the event
  • mostly correct technique or rhythm execution, but some concerns with consistent precision and accuracy
  • adequate stamina, but may be waning  some by concert time
  • not always aware of own mistakes or doesn’t always act quickly to correct them
C Handbell musician  must reapply – significant concerns
  • unable to withstand the rigors of the event physically or mentally
  • consistent incorrectness of notes and/or technique
  • consistently unable to recognize when incorrect
  • exhibits poor ringing technique
  • does not show significant improvement over the course of the event
  • plays tentatively
  • little or no interaction with the conductor or those around them during performance

The evaluation is based on direct observation of all handbell musicians at the event by one or more staff.  On occasion, there are persons present who are not ringing who will be asked for input.  We begin the process with the first rehearsal to try to assess preparation.  We watch throughout the event to see what improvement (for example, how much they are watching the director and the ability to correct mistakes) we see.

On occasion, handbell musicians may be asked to provide input on others.  Also, other musicians occasionally provide unsolicited input on their neighbors, and that input is tested with the observations.

Please note that there is NOT a forced distribution of the handbell musicians into these categories – the percentages are only intended to give a general idea.

The privileges associated with these categories are outlined below:

Category Can attend future events?
A Yes, can attend one DB event within the next 24 months (4 events total) – no reapplication required.  If don’t attend within that period, will be required to reapply.
B Yes, can attend one DB event within the next 24 months (4 events total) – no reapplication required.  If don’t attend within that period, will be required to reapply.  Expected to show improvement in specific areas at next event. Specific areas in which development and/or instruction are needed will be cited.
C No, must reapply and may be asked to provide a video and/or evidence of significant skills building experiences such as lessons, workshops.  Specific areas in which development and/or instruction are needed will be cited.



Ringing Positions and Floor Layout

Ringing positions and floor layout will be distributed via the Distinctly Bronze West 2016 Google Group.  All accepted attendees will receive an invitation to join this e-mail group at the EMAIL ADDRESS LISTED ON YOUR REGISTRATION.

Notes & Problem Solvers for Ringers

Various notes and problem solvers for the ringers will be distributed to the Distinctly Bronze West Google Group as they are available.

Silent Auction

Due to the success of the silent auction for the past several years, we will again hold a silent auction during Distinctly Bronze. Attendees who purchase item from the silent auction will have the option to choose where their contributions are targeted.  Think about a unique item that you might like to have yourself – bell-related or not – and bring it along to contribute to the auction. Bidding will be held between Thursday evening and Saturday evening. Those who are the successful high bidders on any item can pay for the items by check, cash, Visa or MasterCard. This is always a fun activity with occasionally some spirited bidding wars – so get involved.

Door Prizes

We will also have drawings again before rehearsals for a limited number of door prizes so if you have any trinkets, CD’s, bags of candy, etc. (again, something you would like to have yourself, but of lesser value than the silent auction items) to donate to the door prizes, please bring them along. All items can be brought in on Thursday morning when you check in at the Grand Ballroom in the hotel.

What to Bring

  • Original copies of all the repertoire
  • Black, split-back notebook for the music – please PRE-PUNCH your music
  • Mallets appropriate for your assigned position
  • Gloves for rehearsing and BLACK GLOVES for the concert on Sunday
  • Black skirt or slacks for the concert – your DB West 2016 Polo Shirt will complete your concert dress
  • Polishing cloth to keep your bells clean
  • Music stand or riser if you prefer to use one – floor stands will be provided for the low bass tables (below C4)
  • Band-Aids or moleskin if you will need that with multiple hours and days of ringing
  • Items for the Silent Auction and door prizes
  • Return address labels for various auction forms
  • Checkbook, credit card or cash to pay for any Silent Auction items you win!
  • C#7′s if you were asked to bring duplicates
  • Floor stands if you offered to bring them


The dress code for rehearsals is casual and comfortable. Several layers are always a good idea so you have some options. Comfortable shoes are essential for long rehearsals. Rain is always a possibility!

If you have attended DB in the past, please wear the polo shirt from the first DB you attended on Saturday, 3/5. If you are a first time attendee at this event, please wear your favorite handbell shirt on Saturday.

If you’re arriving on Wednesday before 5:00 PM, we can use your assistance with the event set-up. Please stop by the main ballroom at The Resort to help. Think of it as a warm-up for all the rehearsals to come!

Onsite registration will begin on Thursday, March 3, at 10:00 AM in the ballroom and will continue until 2:00 PM. Donations for the Silent Auction and door prizes may be brought to the ballroom at this time.

Welcome and opening announcements will begin at 2:00 pm on Thursday. You should be in your seat at your ringing position then. The first rehearsal will begin as soon as announcements and welcomes are complete.

If you are arriving on Thursday close to the event starting time, please come directly to the ballroom with your luggage. You will have an opportunity to check into the hotel at 5:00 pm. Please do not delay coming to the opening in order to check into your room.


Will I need a car? Probably not.  We will offer a shared ride shuttle to The Resort from the Portland airport.  In addition, there are pay shuttle options from the hotel to area dining and shopping.  We will send more information about airport transportation options to all registered attendees closer to the event.


Your registration includes Thursday dinner and Sunday lunch.  The hotel has two restaurants onsite and we are working with the catering staff to provide additional options during our event.