March 8-11

The Resort at the Mountain
Welches, Oregon
Fred Gramann, Conductor

What is Distinctly Bronze?

The massed ringing event for advanced handbell musicians which 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 for a small admission charge.

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

There is so much talent in that room, it’s incredible. Sometimes during rehearsal I look around and stand in awe at what is transpiring around me. I consider it such an honor to be a part of it.

Thomas Warren

Distinctly Bronze Alumni

Ringing challenging music, working with an excellent conductor in a “master class” situation, networking with handbell friends and colleagues. Talking about handbells, conducting, directing, recruiting, repertoire, ringing, etc., moves us forward as musicians.

Beth Ann Edwards

Distinctly Bronze Alumni

Event Registration

Registration will open Tuesday, October 17 at 12:00 PM EDT.

The registration fee for this year’s event is $360.00.  All registrants must have their own membership in Handbell Musicians of America or be the primary contact on a group membership.

To register, login to your member account and choose the registration link on the welcome screen that appears after you login.  The registration link will be available starting at 12:00 PM EDT on Tuesday, October 17.

In addition to working with conductor Fred Gramann, 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 questions in the registration process about your assignment preferences.  The requirement to complete additional forms for ringing preferences has been discontinued.  All information required will be gathered during the initial registration process.

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. See details about the evaluation process here.


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 the event chair at [email protected]

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. The registration fee must be paid in full at the time of registration. 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 – If your alumni status has expired, also complete the Alumni Re-Apply Form (link provided on registration confirmation page.)

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 must pay the full registration fee at the time of registration.  This fee will be refunded in full if you are not accepted to the event.

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

3 – Contact two references that have observed you ringing within the past year and ask them to complete the on-line First-time Attendee Recommendation. 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.

Please make note of the following important dates and deadlines:

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

First-time attendees and Alumni Re-Apply applicants, 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.

Returning Alumni (who received an A or B rating), your registration confirmation email is the only confirmation you will receive.

December 1 – Ringing assignments will be sent to all accepted attendees.



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.

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.

Proclamation, Michael Joy
Choristers Guild CBG655

Passacaille, G.F. Handel, arr. Fred Gramann
Login to account used for event registration and follow this link to download

Prelude from Holberg’s Time, Edvard Grieg, transcribed by Douglas Benton
From the Top Publishing #20453

Invocation, Michael Joy
GIA G-9291

Prelude and Hymn, Hart Morris
Beckenhorst Press HB593

Oblivion, Astor Piazzolla, arr. Douglas Anderson
From the Top Publishing #20426

Prelude on Herzliebster Jesu, arr. Fred Gramann

Coronation and Triumphant Exultation, Larry Sue

Love Will Keep Us Together, Sedaka/Greenfield, arr. Charles E. Peery
From the Top Publishing #20481

Expedition (Vagabond), Matthew Compton
Sonology Music


Event Schedule
Thursday, March 8  
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 9  
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 10  
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)
Sunday, March 11  
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.

This 420 square foot Resort room boasts beds featuring Simmons Beautyrest Black Beverly Hills Plush memory foam bedding wrapped in luxury linens. A patio or deck offers forested courtyard or outdoor pool views. Guests may also enjoy 42″ wall-mounted HDTV, tub/shower combination, wet bar, high-speed wired and wireless Internet access, laptop computer safe, coffee maker, ironing board and iron, hairdryer, two plush terry bath robes, Green Natura bath amenities.

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
  • Golf Villas – $449

*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 7.8%.

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
  • 20% off group golf Sunday through Wednesday – Anyone want to plan an outing?

To make your reservation, call (503) 622-3101 and request the handbell rate.

Please make your reservation before February 6, 2018, to guarantee the group rate.

Cancellation Policy

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 Distinctly Bronze West 2018 recording at no charge if you cancel.

Payment in full is required to enter your registration and 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 2/5/18.

Fee refunds minus a $100 cancellation penalty will be made for written or email cancellations received by 12/31/2017. Cancellations received by 2/5/2018 will be refunded 50% of registration fee less cancellation penatly; after 2/5/2018 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.

Event Scholarships

William H. Griffin Scholarship Fund offers one scholarship to the 2018 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 November 21, 2017. Both alumni and first timers may apply. First time attendees must be accepted through the procedure here before being eligible for the scholarship.

Evaluation Process

Distinctly Bronze 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.

For a complete description of the evaluation process and criteria that must be met for each ringer category, follow this link.