Virtual Winter Workshop

February 26-27, 2021

Tonight 2/25/2021 at 8:00 pm EST Join us for a Welcome Session to learn how the Virtual Workshop will work and get tips to use it to the full potential!

Welcome Session

Virtual Winter Workshop

Friday, February 26, 2021 – Saturday, February 27, 2021

Join us for Handbell Musicians of America’s first Virtual Winter Workshop. This is an opportunity to work with a wide range of expert instructors on an assortment of handbell related topics. During this stressful time of the pandemic, when we can’t gather in person, take advantage of this chance to learn, grow and share your enthusiasm from the comfort of your own home. The only equipment required is your computer and a solid internet connection. Having bells at home may enhance the experience of some of the courses but are not required. Instructors include Paul and Stevie Berryman, Marie Clyatt-Larson, Mitchell Eithun, Linda Krantz, Venita MacGorman, Kristen MacGorman Maupin, Derek Nance, Michele Sharik, and Kath Wissinger.  The two-day virtual workshop will include twelve sessions with nine different track options. The tracks range from just a single session to four sessions long. Registrants will be able to attend 12 sessions live and then have access to watch the recordings of all sessions for a week following the event.

Single Session Tracks:

Handbell Escape Zoom

Tools & Tricks for the Technologically Tragic

Creative Bells in Worship

Two Session Tracks:

A Purpose Driven Ensemble

Stick control and Malleting

Three Session Tracks:

Child’s Play

Open the Magic Door! Teaching Beginners Note Reading and Ringing

Handbell Techniques

The World of Virtual Events

Four Session Tracks:

For the Soloist!

Event Registration

Event Registration includes the ability to watch 12 sessions live February 26-27, and then access to all 24 recorded sessions for a week following the event.

Members (active individual or affiliated group account) – $99

Non-Members (price includes 1 year membership with HMA) – $194

Complete the online registration form by following the link below.  Members, be sure to log in to your member account before registering to get the member price.


Event Schedule (all times are Eastern Standard Time)

Friday, February 26, 2021

Session 1 9:00 AM – 10:00 AM

Child’s Play: Handchime Petting Zoo
(Session 1 of 3)

Venita MacGorman

Tech Tools & Tips for the Technologically Tragic

Paul Berryman

Session 2 10:15 AM – 11:15 AM

Child’s Play: Cracking the Code

(Session 2 of 3)

Venita MacGorman

Creative Bells in Worship

Mitchell Eithun

Session 3 11:30 AM – 12:30 PM Virtual Events: Analysis of 2020 Virtual Events
(Session 1 of 3)Derek Nance
A Purpose Driven Ensemble
(Session 1 of 2)Stevie Berryman
Session 4 1:15 PM – 2:15 PM Stick Control and Malleting
(Session 1 of 2)Marie Clyatt-Larson
For the Soloist!
(session 1 of 4)Linda Krantz
Session 5 2:30 PM – 3:30 PM

Handbell Escape Zoom

Paul and Stevie Berryman

Techniques: Coordination Conundrums
(Session 1 of 3)Michèle Sharik
Session 6 3:45 PM – 4:45 PM For the Soloist!
(session 2 of 4)Linda Krantz
Techniques: Use It or Lose It
(Session 2 of 3)Michèle Sharik

Saturday, February 27, 2021

Session 7 9:00 AM – 10:00 AM

Stick Control and Malleting
(Session 2 of 2)Marie Clyatt-Larson

Child’s Play: All the Children Play
(Session 3 of 3)

Kristen MacGorman Maupin & Venita MacGorman

Session 8 10:15 AM – 11:15 AM Virtual Events: Platforms and Tools for Virtual Programming
(Session 2 of 3)Derek Nance
A Purpose Driven Ensemble
(Session 2 of 2)Stevie Berryman
Session 9 11:30 AM – 12:30 PM Virtual Events: Event Planning and the Future of Hybrid Events
(Session 3 of 3)Derek Nance
Open the Magic Door! Teaching Beginners
(Session 1 of 3)Kathleen Wissinger
Session 10 1:15 PM – 2:15 PM For the Soloist!
(session 3 of 4)Linda Krantz

Open the Magic Door! Teaching Beginners

(Session 2 of 3)

Kathleen Wissinger

Session 11 2:30 PM – 3:30 PM Techniques: Trick of the Treble Trade
(Session 3 of 3)Michèle Sharik
Open the Magic Door! Teaching Beginners
(Session 3 of 3)Kathleen Wissinger
Session 12 3:45 PM – 4:45 PM For the Soloist!
(session 4 of 4)Linda Krantz

Handbell Escape Zoom

Paul and Stevie Berryman

Faculty Information

Paul Berryman – Paul Berryman has a passion for security, education, and bad puns, bringing them together whenever possible. After 2 decades of protecting people from the usual suspects of hackers, criminals, and bored teenagers, he is now the IT Security Education and Awareness Program Manager at New Relic, Inc. He is also a board member for the Houston Chamber Ringers where he takes care of technical support, finances, and schlepping. Because work doesn’t always appreciate bad puns and jokes, he, along with his wife, Stevie, own Truly Horrible Things, a game company specializing in sarcasm and good humor. He’s a big fan of colleges, having attended 7 different ones. He most recently earned a doctorate in education and is a part-time professor molding graduate students into security managers. Prior to working in security, Paul had 6 years of swashbuckling adventures with the US Navy. He’s figured out that strong security starts with teaching how to behave online. It isn’t rocket science, but just in case he has a degree in that, too.

Stevie Berryman – Stevie Berryman is astonishingly good at the game Boggle. She can fold a fitted sheet so it looks like it came right out of the package. Likewise, her skills as music director and teacher have also been acquired through long hours of arduous and dedicated practice. For much of her career Stevie has directed seven or more ensembles each week, meaning she has 98 years of experience (in dog years). Her effusive energy and wild creativity found a perfect setting in 2013 when she became the Artistic Director of the Houston Chamber Ringers, which has let her smash together her love for music, laughter, and tacos in a truly remarkable way. She has a particular passion for teaching children how to ring, and her innovative methods have made her a sought-after educator at area and national handbell festivals. Stevie loves helping other choirs as a private clinician, or planning epic concerts for them as a creative consultant. Her next step in global domination is to take over the card game world with the company she owns and founded with her husband Paul, Truly Horrible Things. In real life she is the handbell director at First Congregational Church in Houston, Texas. 

Marie Clyatt-Larson – Marie Clyatt-Larson is currently a full-time staff member with Handbell Musicians of America as the National Events Manager and Director of Educational Outreach. She has been ringing bells since 1987 and just can’t get enough! Marie attended all four years of high school as a Percussion major at Interlochen Arts Academy, then earned her undergraduate with a minor in Percussion Performance from the University of Kansas. Since 2000 Marie has directed various different handbell and vocal choirs with ages ranging from 4 – 90, and had a small studio of private percussion students. While a Science teacher in Texas, Marie founded “The Beats” an afterschool trash percussion ensemble for 3rd-5th graders and directed a high school drumline. From 2008 – 2018 Marie was the “Bell Wrangler” (equipment manager) for the Mo Ranch – PAM Music and Worship Conference, and was the beginning and children’s bell clinician in 2014. She currently lives in Cincinnati and is active in her church music programs and rings bass bells for Queen City Bronze.

Mitchell Eithun – Mitchell Eithun is a church musician with a passion for hymns, justice, and community. Aside from arranging and composing handbell music (he has about 20 pieces published), Mitchell is interested in developing innovative rehearsal techniques and writing about the history of church music. Mitchell serves as handbell director at the First Presbyterian Church in Holt, Michigan, and children’s choir director at University Lutheran Church in East Lansing, and works to bring multi-denominational liturgical practices to Michigan State University. Mitchell holds a B.A. in Mathematics and Computer Science and a minor in Music from Ripon College (Ripon, Wisconsin) and an M.S. in Computational Mathematics, Science, and Engineering from Michigan State University in East Lansing. You can read his blog at 

Linda Krantz – Linda Krantz is an accomplished and widely recognized solo handbell artist, has an active performing career and regularly teaches at the local, regional, and national level. Linda’s greatest love is to perform solo concerts, where she most enjoys playing classical music. She has performed as far away as Paris, and most recently with David Lockington, cellist and maestro of The Pasadena Symphony. Linda was a student of Nancy Hascall, learning all she could about traveling 4iH and the nuances of artistic solo ringing. Linda is a founding member and president of L.A. Bronze, a past president and current Advisory Board member of the Pasadena Symphony, and a founding artist and past board member of Timbré. She has served as secretary of the Area 12 board of Handbell Musicians of America, and currently serves on the National Development committee for Handbell Musicians of America.

Venita MacGorman – Throughout a forty-year career as a music educator and church musician, Venita MacGorman has been taught by thousands of children. With their help, she has learned to explore and to create, to structure meaningful rehearsals and to lead groups in such a way that “Good job!” is heard more often than “Don’t!” Venita has taught classes or directed ensembles of every age, from pre-Kindergarten through senior adults. With her daughter Erin, she wrote the Choristers Guild publication “Basic Training for Bells” and with both of her daughters the sequel “Basic Training 2: Rhythm Training for Ringers”. Venita has led seminars and workshops for Handbell Musicians of America and Choristers Guild at the local, state and national levels. She has been the clinician for a number of Young Ringers Handbell Festivals. She recently retired from her position as a church music director and currently directs the Oklahoma City Handbell Ensemble, a community group. Venita is a past Chair of Area 9 of HMA and currently serves as the Educational Activities Chair. She is an active member of the Oklahoma Native American Flute Circle and plays flute and pennywhistle at local Celtic sessions.

Kristen MacGorman Maupin – Kristen Maupin is a pediatric Occupational Therapist currently working in Colorado Springs. She works with children from all backgrounds, including children with autism, adhd, and developmental delays. She also has a background in music, with a Masters Degree in Flute Performance from Northern Arizona University as well as a Masters in Occupational Therapy from the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center. She has rung in church handbell choirs for 10+ years, and co-authored the handbell method book Basic Training 2: Rhythm Training for Ringers with her mother and sister, Venita MacGorman and Erin MacGorman Moore.

Derek Nance – Derek Nance began bell ringing in high school when his band director Marshal Townsend decided to start to start a group.  Between school and a church group directed by Lois Castle, Derek spent his later teen years becoming obsessed with bells.  Upon moving to college in Reno, Nevada, he was immediately recruited by Tintabulations Handbell Ensemble under the direction of Barb Walsh.  Tintab at the time was still a small school group, but the group grew into a nationally recognized community ensemble after performing the opening concert at the Handbell Musicians National Seminar in 2013.  With the bay area only a short drive from Reno, Derek has also performed with the Sonos Handbell Ensemble since 2010, touring with them across the US and Japan.  In 2014 Derek was elected as a Member At Large to the Handbell Musicians of American Board of Directors. Starting in 2016, Bob Avant and him have been live streaming performances at the Handbell Musicians of America National Seminar. 

 Michele Sharik – Michèle Sharik rings professionally with Sonos Handbell Ensemble, is the founding Artistic Director of Timbré, and is an internationally-renowned handbell soloist, conductor, and teacher. She completed a Bachelor of Arts in Visual and Performing Arts in 2012 from Cal State San Marcos and a Graduate Certificate in Performing Arts Medicine in 2017 from Shenandoah University, and updated her certification in 2019 from the Performing Arts Medicine Association. Michèle is Master Teacher of Handbell Techniques for the Certification program of the Handbell Musicians of America, and is a former Chair of Area 12.

Kathleen Wissinger – Kath has introduced scores of brand-new ringers to note reading and ringing – teaching 4 th -8 th graders at Redeemer Classical School for 17 years and directing youth handbell choirs at her church for almost 30 years. During this time, out of necessity she developed a pedagogical curriculum resulting in the publication of Square One a few years ago. Kath also composes a wide range of handbell music from L1 to L5, directs and teaches at events across the country, and directs Mosaic Handbell Ensemble (an advanced community group) and an adult church group, Gloria Dei. She also teaches piano lessons (now on Zoom).

Class Descriptions

Child’s Play – Venita MacGorman (3 classes, Sessions 1, 2, and 7)

Children do not learn in the same way as adults do!  This three-class track will present learning sequences to introduce handchimes, music reading and ensemble playing.  Participants will learn how to structure sessions that move as fast as the children!

          Class 1: Handchime Petting Zoo:  Pre-reading experiences to familiarize the children with the handchime instrument, the joy of playing in a group and the concept of the steady beat.

          Class 2: Cracking the Code:  Games and exercises for experiencing rhythms and then reading rhythm notation, for finding notes on the staff and then finding each ringer’s “own” notes and for playing as an ensemble.

           Class 3: All the Children Play: Children with behavior and sensory issues and those on the Autism spectrum can benefit from participation in a handchime choir!  This session is a dialogue presentation between a music educator and a pediatric occupational therapist who offer strategies for rehearsal modification and behavior management.  There will be time for questions and discussion!


Creative Bells in Worship – Mitchell Eithun  (1 class, Session 2)

Come into God’s presence with ringing! Playing handbells poses far less of a risk than singing during the pandemic. How can we make good use of handbells for in-person and virtual worship services now and in the future? We’ll take a tour through creative ideas for incorporating handbells into worship service that go beyond playing a prelude. Whether enhancing congregational singing, accompanying scripture readings or offering a surprise, handbells can be used throughout corporate worship. This class includes a litany of music and book suggestions and a few free resources.


For the Soloist! – Linda Krantz (4 classes, Sessions 4, 6, 10, and 12)

Solo ringers, now is your opportunity to work with Master Class soloist Linda Krantz and take your solo ringing to the next level! This four-class track starts off with the basics of traveling 4-in-hand. From there, participants will put that knowledge to work choreographing (blocking) their T4H in their solo pieces. Finally, we will work on other important solo skills such as musicianship, performance, and incorporating other instruments. See more specifics below.

Recommended Equipment for all 4 sessions: A table with C6 to C7 is advised, (no accidentals needed), but not absolutely necessary.

            Solo Class 1: Beginning Traveling Four-in-Hand – This class will focus on learning the foundational concepts of traveling 4-in-hand (T4H), based on famed Nancy Hascall’s method. The perfect melding of weaving and 4iH, this class will teach you the ins and outs of this important technique for solo musicians. You will learn the basics of the technique and practical applications, giving you greater fluency and less motion in your future solo ringing.

This Course Has Prerequisites: A working knowledge of the ring/knock (push) style of 4iH; a working knowledge of weaving technique.

           Solo Class 2: Rehearsal Techniques for the Solo Ringer – This class will focus on rehearsal techniques such as mindful practice, memorization and drills. These techniques will help solo ringers to not only maximize their rehearsal time but also to master the handbell instrument.

          Solo Class 3: Blocking Traveling Four-in-Hand – This class will focus on blocking or “choreography for traveling four-in-hand. This is the “how” of utilizing T4H to solve the puzzle of “how can I ring this piece of music?” If you have a tricky section of a solo you are working on, feel free to bring it to the class.

This Course Has Prerequisites: a basic understanding of T4H and is meant to be taken in conjunction with Solo Class 1.

          Solo Class 4: Performance Tips for the Solo Ringer – This class will focus on the preparation, challenges, failures and recovery of performance. We will focus on discovering who you are as an artist, how to nurture your musicianship, and how to expect the unexpected.


Handbell Escape Zoom – Paul and Stevie Berryman (1 class, Sessions 5 and 12)

You are the handbell choir director at St. Dunstan’s Luthedist Church, and after being shut down for months, it’s time to return to in-person rehearsals. Yay! But the bell room has been locked by a new security system…boo! Luckily, knowing a little bit about handbells is going to help you figure out the passwords you need to get your instruments back in the hands of your ringers.


Handbell Techniques – Michele Sharik (3 classes, Sessions 5, 6, and 11)

Join Handbell techniques specialist Michele Sharik for three classes of healthy ergonomically based ringing techniques.

             Session 1: Coordination Conundrums
Looking for that next-level challenge? Good coordination is essential to making music safely with handbells and chimes. Come break, er, BUILD your brain as we tackle the exercises in Valerie Stephenson’s “Coordination Conundrums”!
Recommended Equipment: at least four small- to medium-sized bells or chimes (or similar, substitute, objects)
Recommended Text: “Coordination Conundrums” by Valerie Stephenson (But don’t worry if you can’t get it in time; I will explain as we go!)

               Session 2: Use It or Lose It (Introduction to Four-in-Hand)
In this class, we’ll learn the four most commonly-used methods of ringing two bells in each hand, to assemble and disassemble each method, how to ring each bell separately or together, and learn some simple practice drills to polish our technique!
Recommended Equipment: at least four small-sized bells, or two bells and two chimes (or similar, substitute, objects)
              Session 3: Tricks of the Treble Trade
With small bells comes great responsibility — treble ringers are often responsible for many bells at a time! Learn how each of the eleven different methods of four-in-hand can be used musically and safely to best help you wend your way through the tumult of tiny bells. You’ll be in “bell hog heaven”!
Recommended Equipment: at least four small-sized bells, or two bells and two chimes (or similar, substitute, objects)


The New Growing World of Virtual Events – Derek Nance (3 classes, Sessions 3, 8, and 9)

In addition to being a year of unprecedented loss, 2020 ended up being an incredible year for innovation and experimentation in the realm of virtual programming. This series will take a deep dive into virtual programming, what was attempted last year and where virtual programming is going in the future. In the first class we will do an analysis of virtual events and concerts that happened in 2020, breaking down the pros and cons of each attempt. The second part will be a discussion and demonstration of various platforms and software available for virtual programming. We’ll finish in the third class with tips and tricks for planning virtual programming and forecasting the future of virtual programming alongside in-person events and concerts. By the end of the class, participants will have all the information they need to plan and implement virtual programming with their own groups.

             Class 1: Analysis of 2020 Virtual Events

Class 2: Platforms and Tools for Virtual Programming

             Class 3: Virtual Event Planning and the Future of Hybrid Events


Open the Magic Door! Teaching Beginners Note Reading and Ringing – Kath Wissinger (3 classes, sessions 9, 10, 11)

In this 3-class track, we will explore a systematic, logical and very effective way to introduce brand new musicians to the joys of ringing – whether in person or virtually!! Topics will include chord playing, basic L1 rhythms, space and line note designation, use of unison exercises, learning to read notes on a staff and playing notes on a grand staff. Spiraling and scaffolding concepts are used throughout to assure readiness for each step and mastery of skills. You will participate as if you are a new ringer – and time for questions will be included during each step of the process. Two resources primarily used will be: Square One (Kathleen Wissinger, RE3013R) and Beginning Busy Ringers (Kirtsy Mitchell, AG010). Tunes That Teach (M.L. Thompson, AG009) will also be used. You DO NOT need to own these materials; examples will be projected during the classes. While geared for the classroom, these teaching methods apply in sacred and community settings as well. My goal in teaching is to produce well-informed,  confident, capable, independent musicians.

Equipment needed – 3 bells/chimes – two adjacent natural notes (the lower one a space note and the upper a line note) – like DE5 or GA6, plus one sharp (any Black note) – OR – 3 similar-sized objects to stand in as bells like wooden spoons, Silicone pastry brushes, hair brushes, salad dressing bottles


A Purpose-Driven Ensemble – Stevie Berryman (2 classes, sessions 3 and 8)

One pandemic sliver-lining has been to allow some of us to slow down. Even if you are still ringing, you are probably ringing significantly less. Right now there is time to examine the forest, instead of just the tree immediately in front of us. Time spent now identifying your ensemble’s purpose, your guiding beliefs, and your goals will help your group be more focused and engaged in the future. This 2-part track will provide tools that can help your group hone in on your purpose and connect with each other in a unified mission, to schedule your rehearsals to meet your goals, and to engage in painless long-range planning.


Stick Control and Malleting – Marie Clyatt-Larson  (2 classes, Sessions 4 and 7)

This two-part course will Help get ringers to think like percussionists. I will teach exercises to increase coordination in malleting and explain sticking patterns. I will help you achieve smooth mallet rolls, even 8th and 16th notes, and effective accents. This course will go over mallet techniques for using both two and four mallets, and examples of when each technique would be appropriate.  If you don’t have mallets with you at home you can still participate and learn from this course.

Recommended Equipment: A few bells, 2-4 mallets (or suitable substitute like wooden spoons, dowels, etc), and a practice pad (or substitute chair back, rubber sole, foam etc)


Tech Tools & Tips for the Technologically Tragic – Paul Berryman (1 class, Session 1)

You might feel helpless when it comes to simple tech hacks, but you aren’t hopeless. Dr. B will walk you through simple and free tools from Google to Zoom that will improve your communication with your group, make you more productive, and protect your private data. You’ll learn easy steps to put you in charge of your online life.