This Month

HMA in Time of Pandemic

Introducing: Virtual Master Series in Solo Ringing & Composition

Video of the Month

Brian’s Music Notes

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Announcements

HANDBELL MUSICIANS OF AMERICA MAILING ADDRESSES

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

Handbell Musicians of America in Time of Pandemic

How do we measure the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic? In lives lost, there is no measure for the grief and sadness. In once-thriving businesses now with shuttered doors, there is no acceptable way to define the impact for owners, boards, employees, suppliers, transportation firms, marketers, investors, purchasers, and so on. In non-profit arts and cultural organizations, the impact is also beyond the scope of understanding. It is suggested that in April 2020 alone, the first month of the pandemic in the United States, arts and cultural organizations lost income of $4.5 billion. 

The Handbell Musicians of America is not alone in facing extreme challenges during these times. We want you to be aware of the economic impact that COVID-19 has placed on our organization, and we want you to know that the HMA is implementing multiple measures to ensure the financial stability of the organization. 

The decline in membership, the cancellation of events, and the near cessation of music sales are the three largest sources of negative impact, resulting in an approximate loss of income between $80,000 and $100,000. This, along with a current debt, will place the organization in a cash flow deficit projected to reach approximately $140,000. While a Payroll Protection Program stimulus grant was received, those monies have already been utilized.

Since revenue to the HMA has been impacted in a dramatic manner, we find that we must make some difficult decisions to ensure the solvency of the guild in the future. The following items will occur to reduce our debt:

  1. Spending: Wherever possible, I will implement a directive to freeze any spending other than monthly expenditures required for business.
  2. Staff furloughs: During the months of October and November of 2020, all staff, including me, will be furloughed for a period of two weeks (10 working days). A temporary furlough is essentially an unpaid leave of absence. Each employee will take one week (five days) of furlough in October and one week (five days) of furlough in November. To ensure as little disruption in daily business as possible, furloughs were scheduled in such a way that staff members not on furlough will be available to respond to phone calls, emergencies, and ongoing business.
  3. Transition and Event Coordinator: Jenny Cauhorn, former Executive Director, has been acting as a salaried Transition and Event Coordinator since April and this was to continue until October 15. In September, with Jenny’s agreement and understanding, we transitioned her from a salaried position into an hourly consultant rate that had been agreed upon with the National Board when she resigned.
  4. Postpone audit: A fundraising audit will be postponed until 2021 when our cash flow returns to a more positive position. 

While minimal in nature, these are only the first steps being taken to change the impact of economic challenges. Additionally, the HMA staff is working to develop or re-develop programs that will contribute to the income of our organization. Some of these include: the development of a fall and mid-winter virtual conferences (Virtual Master Series will take place this November), adding to and rethinking the Virtual Bell Academy, redesigning Certification for more virtual learning options, development of a lapsed membership renewal campaign, the creation of a new on-line subscription based membership, and the implementation of an extensive fall development campaign, just to name a few.

While we are doing the work necessary to continue to move this organization forward during these challenging days, we also realize that this is a call for action from our entire membership. You can help us move forward and implement the necessary changes for our future. Your support can and will make a difference for handbells around our country. Ready to make a difference? I include below a few ideas for you to consider as we work together to refocus our future:

  • If you haven’t renewed your membership, please consider doing so. 
  • If you are so inclined, consider moving your membership to that of a Sustaining Partner. 
  • Consider making an additional donation before the end of the year to help HMA through this tough time. Our fall fundraising campaign will officially begin in mid-November and any contribution you make will help us as we move forward in the future. This year, for every gift donated, we will contribute 10% to help students become more involved in our organization. The campaign will roll out soon, so be watching for more information. 
  • Giving Tuesday, December 1, will feature many fun and creative ways to contribute to the HMA, including a Ring-a-thon. There will be guest performances, interviews, swag, and plenty of good times. Details for this event will be coming soon. We think you’ll want to join in on the fun!
  • Or try this: give up one Starbucks coffee a week and you could easily donate $20 a month to give to HMA. 

Together, we can refocus our future. Together, we will begin to re-energize and renew the Handbell Musicians of America. There is no doubt that these are trying times, but there is no doubt in our resolve to make the changes necessary for our organization to thrive in the future, with or without a pandemic.

Thank you.
Edward S. Rollins
Interim Executive Director

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Attention Solo Ringers and Composers

Here is your chance to work with Master Solo Handbell Musician Linda Krantz or Master Composer Jason Krug right in your own home virtually. Observer options are also available.

Solo Ringing with Linda Krantz
November 14 and 22, 2020

Composition with Jason Krug
November 13-15, 2020

Solo Ringing

Attend as a solo participant or an observer. Each solo participant will be coached on one piece under Linda Krantz’s tutelage. Participating solo students and observers will have roundtable discussions throughout the two days reflecting on the coaching sessions as well as important topics related uniquely to solo ringing.

Not quite ready to step to the solo table? Then participate as an observer. You will get to observe Linda’s coaching first-hand, and contribute to the roundtable discussions.

Composition

Up to six composers will have the opportunity to work one-on-one with Jason Krug to hone their skills in composing and arranging. This master class is primarily for directors and musicians who may not be experienced composers/arrangers, but now find themselves in a situation where they need to arrange music for their ensemble that will allow for compliance with safety restrictions in place due to COVID.

Observer options will also be available for the Composition Master Class.

Observers

Various options are available for observers. There are opportunities to attend either class or both. You will benefit from being able to observe all teaching sessions. Additionally you will be able to contribute to the roundtable discussions.

This is a fantastic opportunity to work with or watch two of our master clinicians without the time and expense of traveling.

Learn More

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Video of the Month

Our selection this month is “Autumn Leaves,” performed by Hong Kong Elite Youth Ringers – The Bleu RIngers and Conducted by Kevin M Ko

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Brian’s Music Notes

with Brian Childers

Enduring Gladness

Ron Mallory
2-3 Octaves Bells; Level 2
AG23053
Originally Released Spring 2017
Liturgical Season: Easter; Ordinary Time

Usage

The piece is a perfect choice for groups graduating from Level 1 to Level 2 music, or for a more advanced group looking for something they can put together quickly.  You can hear a recording, preview the music and order it for your bell choir from Lorenz: Order “Enduring Gladness”

Overview

Set in ABA form, this wonderful gem moves from C Major to a minor, returning to C Major with the reemergence of the A theme. Ron does this with minimal bell changes. With several techniques added for interest, this bright original is a great step up for beginning groups or a quick learn for more experienced ringers.

From Ron:

The title, “Enduring Gladness,” was inspired by the language of the Psalms. The Psalms are a rich source of both musical and spiritual history, and have provided inspiration for a large number of my musical compositions. Directors can make sure the ensemble rings with nice big circular motions on the repeated half notes. Be sure to use dynamics to always bring out the melody, whether it is in the treble or bass clef.

Additional Notes from Ron

“Enduring Gladness” is a fairly straightforward piece. I wrote it several years ago during a time when I was music director for Resurrection Lutheran Church in Des Moines, WA, as well as teaching handbells at Forest Ridge School in Bellevue, WA (which I continue to this day). Since I had a bit of a commute between the two jobs, I would often think through ideas for pieces while I was driving. “Enduring Gladness” was written as a simple yet musical piece I could use with either my 3-octave beginning school group or my 2-octave church ensemble. I enjoy chromaticism, so it’s sometimes a challenge for me to restrain myself when writing something in the Level 1 or 2 range!—but I was fairly happy with the way this piece came out.

Things you will want to know about Ron…

I first started playing handbells in the mid-1990’s while working as music assistant at the church where I’d grown up, Grace Lutheran in Huntington Beach, CA. Since I wanted to get a broad range of experiences within the church music context, I made time to help out with everything from handbells to vocal choir to praise band, as well as technical ministries like sound and video. Within a few years I’d started composing for handbells—a shout out to Hart Morris for giving me some encouraging words at a workshop during that time—and found it to be an excellent fit for my compositional style. My first few pieces were published in the early 2000’s, and as of 2020 I’m closing in on 200 handbell titles in print.

Outside of music, my main area of interest is astronomy. I have built two homemade telescopes, and regularly volunteer as a presenter at the University of Washington planetarium. Outside of my faith in God, the vast beauty of His created universe is probably the greatest inspiration for the music I write.

 Handbells are extra-special to us as a family since my wife, Emily, and I first met at National Seminar in Tucson, AZ back in 2009. We married two years later, and now have three wonderful children: Vivian, Miles, and Rigel. As I like to say: proof positive that handbells can change your life!

 You can find out more about what Ron’s up to including his latest compositions at www.ronmallorymusic.com

See & Hear the Music

Until next month,

Brian Childers
Music Adviser

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