Classes at National Seminar cover all aspects of handbell musicianship:

Techniques for treble to bass, solo to ensemble; beginning to advanced conducting; handbells in worship and education; musicality, percussion, and rhythm; managing and building a handbell program; and so much more. Review all the options below and make your selection before you begin the registration process.

A New Class Opportunity for 2020 – Sampler Sessions

New this year, we will give participants the opportunity to sample some of our class topics before committing to a full-session of the class. Session 4 in the schedule will be your opportunity to sample up to three class topics for 20 minutes each. Then, in Session 9, choose which of those you would like to experience in a full-session format.  Not interested in sampling? We will offer a few other options in each session. Topics that will be sampled include:

  • Bell Trees with Barbara Brocker
  • Bell Dances with Marie Loeffler
  • Cutting Through Copyright Confusion with Joel Raney
  • English Change Ringing with Sandra Winter
  • Ear Training for Ringers with Sandy Mullaney
  • Ensemble Ringing for Beginners with Hyosang Park
  • Our Church Handbell Choir Has an Outside Gig! with Beth Ann Edwards
  • Successful Sightreading with Stevie Berryman
  • Treble Techniques with Michele Sharik
  • Handbell Musician Certification Overview with Laura Blauch

You will choose which topics to sample at the event – no preregistration is needed.

Achieving Artistic Arpeggios

Instructor: Michael Joy
Sessions Required: 1       Sessions Offered: Session 1, Session 8

In the wonderful world of handbell repertoire, many pieces use arpeggios (broken chords). While most groups strive to play them accurately, many groups do not play them very musically. This hands-on class will break down the skills needed to play more artistic arpeggios.

Adaptive Notation is Easy for Directors Too

Instructor: Carmen M. Jiméniz Medina
Sessions Required: 1       Sessions Offered: Session 6, Session 7

Let’s make the music adaptation easier not only for the ringer, but for the teacher. Bringing the adaptive notation to the digital era with just a computer, a well-known presentation software program, and a place to view images.

After the Prelude: Handells in Worship

Instructor: Bill Mathis
Sessions Required: 1       Sessions Offered: Session 10, Session 12

The prelude is over, the offertory music is 50 minutes away. How can we use handbells and handchimes to enhance the worship experience in other ways? After we discuss origins of and planning for worship services in a variety of traditions, we will look at and play through examples of ways to let the sound and sight of bells/chimes add depth and sparkle to the service, sometimes with voices or other instruments, sometimes alone – sometimes as liturgical aids, sometimes taking a leadership role. Finally, we will each compose something that could be used in our own worship settings! (Please bring your mallets.)

Ap-PEAL-ing Pentatonics

Instructor: Blanche Marie Lewis
Sessions Required: 1       Sessions Offered: Session 10, Session 14

Use one of music’s most ancient and naturally occurring phenomenon to bring a fresh and new sound to your handbell choir. Pentatonic music will take you and your fellow ringers out from behind the table and into the hearts of your audience.

Audition Skills for Ringers

Instructor: Sharon Schmidt
Sessions Required: 1       Sessions Offered: Session 8, Session 10

Are you eager to join a community or college group? Auditions can be new and scary territory for ringers. We’ll step through the entire process from signing up to dealing with the results.

Back to Basics

Instructor: Marie Loeffler
Sessions Required: 1       Sessions Offered: Session 2, Session 5

We are always looking for new ways to ring but sometimes we need to review the basics and reinforce the foundation of our ringing. The Handbell and Handchime Notation Guide is the encyclopedia for technique notations.  We will review the meaning and how to execute the majority of dots and squiggles in our handbell literature and share teaching experiences, tips, and tricks.

BASS-ics: Weight, Balance, Gravity, & Physics

Instructor: Monica McGowan
Sessions Required: 1       Sessions Offered: Session 11, Session 13, Session 14

This is not a class in aerodynamics but an instructional introduction to the realm of bass bells.  This class of bass bell fundamentals presents the techniques and tips necessary for successful longevity in healthy bass bell ringing.  It is structured for the novice or new ringer to the bass section and those seeking or needing a refresher course.

Beginning Conducting

Instructor: Monica McGowan
Sessions Required: 1       Sessions Offered: Session 1, Session 7

Handbell directors often find themselves in front of a handbell choir because of their choice, a “calling,” a need or perhaps sheer desperation.  Whatever brought you to this endeavor, this class on Beginning Conducting will identify the elements of conducting, develop your skills, provide practical tips and tools to aid in your journey as a conductor to help you effectively and efficiently communicate with your ringers and transform the ink on the page to music in the  ears, eyes and hearts of your listeners.

Bell Dances

Instructor: Marie Loeffler
Sessions Required: 1       Sessions Offered: Session 8, Sampler Option

Combining bells with other art forms creates new possibilities for bells to be seen and heard.  In these two sessions, you will learn a simple Bell Dance incorporating ringing and movement. There are opportunities for both experienced and novice dancers as well as those comfortable with standard ringing (2 bells) and 4-in-hand technique. Dress comfortably and be ready to think outside the box.

Bell Trees – Beginning

Instructor: Barbara Brocker
Sessions Required: 1       Sessions Offered: Session 5, Sampler option

Would you like to try bell trees but you don’t know where to start?  In this hands’ on class, you’ll learn the basics of bell tree ringing – what bells, stands, mallets and clips to use and how to string and mallet them.  You’ll build your own bell tree in a small group, do some exercises to become familiar with the malleting, and play some songs that you can try when you return home.

Bell Trees – Let’s Move Beyond the Basics

Instructor: Barbara Brocker
Sessions Required: 1       Sessions Offered: Session 7, Session 11

Are you a bell tree ringer who is ready for the “next step?”  In this hands’ on class, you’ll learn how to make your playing more graceful, smoother, and faster.  We’ll include mallet damps and other fun topics like how to avoid mallet-stuck-inside-the-bell.  You’ll be shocked at the presentation demo and get tips about memorization.  Come learn the tools to move your bell tree ringing to a new level!

Bell Trees – Malleting with Four Mallets

Instructor: Barbara Brocker
Sessions Required: 1       Sessions Offered: Session 8, Session 12

Audiences are intrigued when watching a bell tree ringer play with four mallets.  In this hands’ on class, you’ll learn the basics, practice some exercises, and play part of a song using four mallets that you can learn and perhaps perform when you return home.

Bell Trees – The Bell Tree Keyboard

Instructor: Barbara Brocker
Sessions Required: 1       Sessions Offered: Session 6, Session 10

The bell tree keyboard is a logical way to set up the bells to achieve so much.  It increases your ability to play more involved music because you don’t have to learn a new setup every time you play.  In this class, you’ll build a basic bell tree keyboard and play some music which you can try when you return home.

Beyond BASS-ics

Instructor: Monica McGowan
Sessions Required: 1       Sessions Offered: Session 12, Session 15

Conquer the conundrums associated with bass bell ringing challenges.  Scenarios and drills are presented in this class to introduce concepts and solutions for those bass ringing puzzles.  Be prepared to experience assignments and concepts outside the box.  Learn to share those “experiences” with your bass bell partners.

Concept to Completion – Composing in Real Time

Instructor: Jason W. Krug
Sessions Required: 1       Sessions Offered: Session 12, Session 14

When seeing a printed piece of music, it’s hard to understand all the thoughts and considerations that went into creating it. In this class, watch as a piece of music gets written — start to finish — before your very eyes! Bring your musical ideas and questions to help with the creation of the final product.

Creative Teaching Tactics, Part A

Instructor: Bob Avant
Sessions Required: 1       Sessions Offered: Session 1

This is the first of two stand-alone sessions with unique content in both offerings. (See Creative Teaching Tactics, Part B).

Gathered from decades of handbell teaching experience, the presenter brings new life and concepts of teaching skills and musicality to ringers at every level. These unique approaches have shown immediate and long term results. Topics in this hands-on session include Vertical Alignment (playing together), Dynamic Control, Understanding and Refining the Singing Bell Technique, Developing Balance, Selected Visual Aspects and Q/A as time permits. Participants will see these concepts presented and experience them first-hand as a ringer in order to create a full understanding of the teaching process and performance results. The focus of this session is in teaching how to teach these aspects.

Creative Teaching Tactics, Part B

Instructor: Bob Avant
Sessions Required: 1       Sessions Offered: Sessoin 5

This is the second of two stand-alone sessions with unique content in both offerings. (See Creative Teaching Tactics, Part A).

Gathered from decades of handbell teaching experience, the presenter brings new life and concepts of teaching skills and musicality to ringers at every level. These unique approaches have shown immediate and long term results. Topics in this hands-on session include Developing Multiple Bell Techniques, Unifying the SK and Other Techniques, Increasing Reading Speed, Performing Fast Repeated Notes, Using Rhythm Counting, Improving 16th Note Performance Skills, Accents in Handbells, and Q/A as time permits. Participants will see these concepts presented and experience them first-hand as a ringer in order to create a full understanding of the teaching process and performance results. The focus of this session is in teaching how to teach these aspects.

Cutting through Copyright Confusion

Instructor: Joel Raney
Sessions Required: 1       Sessions Offered: Session 10

A discussion of current copyright law, and it’s impact on performers and purchasers of handbell music.

Do You Come Here Often?

Instructor: Stevie Berryman, Michael J. Glasgow
Sessions Required: 1       Sessions Offered: Session 3, Session 8

The very best part of national seminar are the connections we make with other ringers, directors, and composers. But it’s a busy event, and you’ve got stuff to do, so why not get all your networking done at once? Michael (extrovert expert) and Stevie (introvert intern) will guide mini-discussions between attendees. Bring business cards to share.

Ear Training for Everyone – A Handbell Game Show

Instructor: Sandy Mullaney
Sessions Required: 1       Sessions Offered: Session 8, Session 15, Sampler option

Come play the newest Handbell Game Show: “Ear Training for Everyone”! Join the fun as we train our musical ears to become skilled in picking out musical errors: wrong notes, omitted notes, improper techniques and more. Using “An Ear Training Course for Handbell Directors & Ringers” (Fred A. Merrett; AGEHR 2000) class members can take turns ringing in our class “laboratory choir”, then step up as contestants to spot the errors being rung. Get support through your “lifelines” (phone a friend or ask the audience) in this game show-style class which is appropriate for both ringers and directors. Come and play!

English Change Ringing

Instructor: Sandra Winter
Sessions Required: 1       Sessions Offered: Session 11, Session 15, Sampler option

This class is a practical introduction to English Change Ringing as you would hear from church tower bells around the country. Method ringing and call changes will be explained so you can ring straightforward changes on handbells with just three to four ringers and six to eight bells – as a call to worship, for a wedding, during a service or in a concert!

Ensemble Ringing

Instructor: Hyosang Park
Sessions Required: 1       Sessions Offered: Session 7, Session 8

Ringing in an ensemble group requires different techniques from a full choir where a ringer is only reponsible for two diatonic pitches. An ensemble ringer needs to understand how to weave multiple bells in a row, handle traveling four-in-hand and mark the score with abbreviations and symbols in shorthand. Participants will be engaged in ringing a quintet piece “Ding, Dong, Merrily on High” CP9012. Participants should bring the score to the class.

Ensemble Ringing for Beginners

Instructor: Hyosang Park
Sessions Required: 1       Sessions Offered: Session 10, Session 11, Sampler option

This class is designed to help you start your own small ensemble group.  We will cover assigning bells to  playing multiple bells. To those who are not afraid of a little challenge, come join us.

Expand Your Repertoire with 12-bell Music

Instructor: Blanche Marie Lewis
Sessions Required: 1       Sessions Offered: Session 3, Session 13

Would you like to enhance your group’s performances with a simple, yet effective and beautiful addition to your regular repertoire?  Does your rehearsal attendance fluctuate at different times of the year? I have the answer for you – 12 bell music! Learn about the growing movement of 12 bell music that allows you to play the same music with a trio, quartet, quintet, or sextet. (We will also cover what to do with the extra person that showed up only for the last rehearsal but is determined to ring with the group!)

Fifty Shades of Damping

Instructor: Michèle Sharik
Sessions Required: 1       Sessions Offered: Session 5, Session 10

One of the first things we learn as a handbell musician is to damp the bell. But, there is so much more to damping than just “on” or “off” — and you already know how to do it! You’ll have the opportunity to try out selective damping, soft damping, pre-damping, half-damping (and more!) on both bells and chimes, as well as discover how this can help you shape your music and take your performance to new heights.

Finale

Instructor: Jason W. Krug
Sessions Required: There are 4 separate sessions but not all are required       
Sessions Offered: Session 3, Session 6, Session 7, Session 8

The Finale music notation software is incredibly flexible and powerful … and fiendishly difficult to master. Whether complete novice or seasoned veteran, there’s something for every user of Finale in this four-class track. Class 1 focuses on entering notes, expressions, and articulations. Class 2 focuses on using Finale specifically to write for handbells. Class 3 deals with page layout and making the final product look its best. Class 4 will be a workshop for attendees to get help with their own Finale conundrums. Participants are encouraged to bring their computers with any version of Finale to follow along.

Finding the Music on the Page

Instructor: Bill Mathis
Sessions Required: 1       Sessions Offered: Session 1, Session 5

The ink on the page isn’t music, but a road map to making music. Here are some ways for directors and ringers to see the bigger picture before getting to the specifics, then figuring out the best way to approach helping the ensemble learn it.

Grant Writing for Handbell Ensembles

Instructor: Derek Nance
Sessions Required: 1       Sessions Offered: Session 1, Session 5

Foundations and corporate giving programs have at their disposal large sums of money to fund non-profit organizations. Learn how to find grants and prepare grant paperwork to supplement your organization’s budget and take your fundraising strategy to a new level.

Growing & Sustaining Your Church Program – Through All of the Ups and Downs

Instructor: Sandy Mullaney
Sessions Required: 1       Sessions Offered: Session 2, Session 3

Are you looking for ways to expand your church handbell program beyond one choir? Have you experienced strong seasons, followed by some very lean, low-attendance times? Would you like a broad range of strategies for recruiting, retention and growth? As we address these topics, our focus will be on creating personalized plans for our own churches that are practical, flexible and realistic. Join us to find out what REALLY works to develop and sustain a healthy multi-age church handbell program, despite the inevitable ups and downs.

Handbell 101: Ringing Articulations

Instructor: Hyosang Park
Sessions Required: 1       Sessions Offered: Session 1, Session 3

There are so many handbell techniques. Some are stopped tones and some are resonating tones.  These techniques are very basic yet very important and crucial to building a solid foundation.

Handbell Escape Room

Instructor: Stevie Berryman
Sessions Required: 1       Sessions Offered: Session 13, Session 14, Session 15

Handbell musicians are problem solvers. Put those skills to the test by solving a series of classic escape-room puzzles to complete your task before the time runs out!

Handbell Jeopardy!

Instructor: Mitchell Eithun
Sessions Required: 1       Sessions Offered: Session 5, Session 12

This… Is… Jeopardy! How well do you know handbell music, techniques and puns? Test your handbell knowledge by trying out for Handbell Jeopardy, a game show experience complete with buzzers, prizes and a bubbly host! Four contestants will be chosen by a short written test during the session. Wager wisely!

Have You Read that Meter Lately?

Instructor: Michael Joy, Sandra Eithun
Sessions Required: 1       Sessions Offered: Session 2, Session 11

Take the time to learn about meter. No meter is too scary for Mike and Sandy. They will help to alleviate the mystery and the fear and develop a new sense of confidence when facing a piece of music that uses simple, compound, mixed or irregular (the scary ones!) meter. Breaking any subject down to its basics and rebuilding it slowly with practice will give you a sound foundation. We will dissect, feel, practice, and perform various examples from handbell repertoire that use these unusual meters.  Don’t you think it’s time to remove your fear about meter? Only time will tell…

Investing in Children’s and Youth Handbell Choirs

Instructor: Beth Ann Edwards
Sessions Required: 1       Sessions Offered: Session 10, Session 11

Why does that other church (or school) have a successful youth handbell choir, and I can’t get any traction? Is there a magic formula? Learn how to start and sustain a youth handbell program. Discuss how to overcome challenges and work within your organization’s current structure to create a program that fits your population.

How am I Supposed to Ring THAT?

Instructor: Michael J. Glasgow
Sessions Required: 1       Sessions Offered: Session 10, Session 14

This class addresses creative “outside the box” solutions to common ringing challenges in beginning-level to mid-level choirs (mostly chromatics, but also some discussion on multiple mallets, etc.) using “standard” Allured-method assignments. Weaving, Four-In-Hand Ringing, Bell Displacement, Bell Reassignments, Duplicate Bells, and “Neighbor Favors” are all discussed.

How Firm a Foundation

Instructor: Michael Joy
Sessions Required: 1       Sessions Offered: Session 13, Session 15

Many directors are “thrown into” a handbell job without understanding the basic foundational skills needed to build a successful program. This hands-on class will go into detail about the various skills needed to start a program or fill in the gaps of an existing program. Come and find new ways to help your ringers be successful.

Latin Percussion and Rhythms

Instructor: Lois Reese
Sessions Required: 1       Sessions Offered: Session 5, Session 7

Learn to play Latin percussion instruments and percussion ensembles that go with Latin 2 beat (fast) and 4 beat (slow) songs. Create your own Latin ensemble to go with handbell pieces. Personal instruments are welcome, but not necessary.

Love it or Weave It

Instructor: Lois Reese
Sessions Required: 1       Sessions Offered: Session 8, Session 12, Session 14

Your director will love you if you can make those handbell changes smoothly with weaving.  It is most useful for battery ringers and for small ensemble and solo ringing.

Making the Most of Every Gesture

Instructor: Jon Snyder
Sessions Required: 1       Sessions Offered: Session 2, Session 11

What if you could take the best of instrumental and choral conducting and combine them effectively for your ensemble? In this class, we will explore a variety of gestures, with a baton and without, which will allow directors to convey more information in the gesture and less in words. We will find positive aspects in your current conducting and see how we can maximize every second of rehearsal to get an excellent final product. Conductors of children through adults can apply these ideas to gestures and wait for ringers to see the difference!

Mallet Technique

Instructor: Marie Clyatt-Larson
Sessions Required: 1       Sessions Offered: Session 7, Session 12

Handbells are percussive instruments, so we should think like percussionists and use proper mallet technique that is ergonomic and produces the best, most musical tone. We start by building good habits with fundamentals of technique: proper grip, creating an effective fulcrum, using gravity as leverage, proper preparatory and rebound gestures, and more. Mallet technique is a fundamental skill that is often lacking, even in intermediate/advanced groups. Every ringer will learn something new in this class.

Malmark Maintenance

Instructor: Joanne Malta
Sessions Required: 1       Sessions Offered: Session 4, Session 8

We will discuss and demonstrate key maintenance procedures for Malmark instruments. Attendees are encouraged to bring a flat-head screwdriver and gloves for hands-on participation, should they choose to do so.

Mark Your Score!

Instructor: Beth Ann Edwards
Sessions Required: 1       Sessions Offered: Session 13, Session 14

You marked your score last week in rehearsal. It made sense then, and now it doesn’t. Maybe you switched assignments and cannot interpret the markings in your new score. Maybe you assume you will remember what the director is asking for and not mark your score at all. A well-marked score assists your music-making. This class walks you through setting up a systematic, consistent score-marking system for handbell music. Learn about basic needs for score-marking, and customize them for your choir. Then practice marking a score with your fellow classmates.

Our Church Handbell Choir Has an Outside Gig!

Instructor: Beth Ann Edwards
Sessions Required: 1       Sessions Offered: Session 12, Sampler Option

Your church handbell choir just received an invitation to perform a concert. Are you concert-ready? This round-table discussion explores how to transition from a Sunday worship service to a concert setting. Participants are invited to submit questions before or during the Seminar, and discussion will include music selection, objective analysis of your choir’s abilities and interest, and methods for preparing a church handbell choir to perform in a concert setting. Oh – and what should we wear?

Past the Parentheses and Beyond the Brackets

Instructor: Michael J. Glasgow
Sessions Required: 1       Sessions Offered: Session 6, Session 7

A lecture-style class designed to show the music theory behind why different octave complements must omit (or should not omit!) certain notes.  Topics will include bass line continuity and inversion, alternate melodies, engraving challenges in publishing, options for doublings, and why certain keys seem to “work” better for the instrument.  A terrific start to understanding the construction of a piece as a whole, and the logic behind [all] (of that) {<stuff>} we sometimes omit!

Planning Music for the Liturgical Calendar

Instructor: Brian Childers
Sessions Required: 1     Sessions Offered: Session 3

Guidelines and suggestions for selecting music for your church handbell choir that follows the liturgical calendar and read through possible repertoire for the different church seasons.

Repeatable Changes

Instructor: Sharon Schmidt
Sessions Required: 1       Sessions Offered: Session 6, Session 12

How do you play that tricky passage the same way every time?  Once you have the basic skills (weaving, table damping, changes to chimes or mallets), the next step is to figure out when to do what, and how to mark your score so that you can repeat the change.  In this hands-on class, we’ll solve multiple problems and explore marking techniques.

Ring, Knock, Swoop, Pivot – Treble Techniques for 2 bells/1 hand

Instructor: Danny Lyons
Sessions Required: 1       Sessions Offered: Session 2, Session 7

“A participation class on the practical ringing of two bells in one hand for the group ringer in one position.” This is a “nuts & bolts” class about the predominant two ways of doubling up – Shelley and ring/knock 4-in-hand. We’ll discuss the fundamentals of assembling pairs of bells, damping, and when to use which technique, as well as use exercises to improve facility. As time allows, we’ll discuss making maps and notes, gloves/bandaging/clanging charges, and getting multiple bells to the table and back. Participants will have complete class notes and exercises to take home.

Schulmerich Maintenance

Instructor: Bethan Neely
Sessions Required: 1       Sessions Offered: Session 9, Session 13

This hands-on class will give you the skills and resources to disassemble, reassemble, and adjust your Schulmerich bells with confidence! We will review basic repair and maintenance, as well as providing resources for troubleshooting more stubborn problems.

Short Age, Short Time, Short Bells, Let’s Make Music and Have Fun

Instructor: Carmen M. Jiméniz Medina
Sessions Required: 1       Sessions Offered: Session 2, Session 3

Three-level method to making music in 30 minutes a week with children from age four, starting with colored bells, black and white bells, and getting prepared for handchimes.

Sibelius For Handbells

Instructor: Mitchell Eithun
Sessions Required: 1       Sessions Offered: Session 10, Session 11

Have a musical idea to write down? Want to get started in composition? Need a quick hymn accompaniment? Come learn the basics of Sibelius, a popular music notation program.  Together we will create a basic score for handbells, place notes on the score and add technique symbols. A special emphasis will be given to exploring handbell-specific tools. This class is an ideal introduction for composers, educators and musicians who want to learn music engraving software.

Successful Sight-Reading

Instructor: Stevie Berryman
Sessions Required: 1       Sessions Offered: Session 6, Sampler option

Different pieces present different challenges. Introducing them in different ways can benefit your ringers. Learn 6 different strategies for music introduction that will increase your musicians’ chances of being immediately successful when reading a new pieces of music. Sight-reading can be fun, and can even set the tone for your whole season!

Take It To The Streets! 4-in-hand ensembles on the move

Instructor: Christine Anderson
Sessions Required: 1       Sessions Offered: Session 2, Session 5

With 4 or 5 bells in hand, no tables, this ensemble ringing is perfectly portable and easy to go anywhere. Learn techniques and repertoire along with ideas for ringing anywhere at any time, including on the streets in Mexico!

The Business Behind the Music

Instructor: Sharon Schmidt
Sessions Required: 1       Sessions Offered: Session 7, Session 11

Connect with others involved with the day-to-day operations of community handbell ensembles. Bring your concerns and successes to share in this round table.

The Human Experience (The Rainbow Connection)

Instructor: Matthew Compton
Sessions Required: 2       Sessions Offered: Session 5, Session 6

What does it mean to connect to the music? To our congregations and audiences? The people ringing with us? Explore many ways to enhance your musical performance and playing through an in depth look at musical nuance, memorization, and the responsibility we have as musicians to create a musical and emotional connection with everyone we encounter and how to achieve that. Be prepared to explore and discuss the ins and outs of the emotional and mental human experience within handbells and how to create that “rainbow connection” with everyone we play with and for.

The Next Level (Beyond Black and White)

Instructor: Matthew Compton
Sessions Required: 1       Sessions Offered: Session 1, Session 3

We commonly find ourselves settling into the same old habits with our ensembles and it seems like we become stagnant and we stop improving. It’s more than just the notes we play, the techniques we use, and the people in our ensembles. In this class, see what it means to push yourself or your ensemble to the next level of ringing and going beyond the black and white in the music.

The Rubik’s Cube for the Handbell Musician

Instructor: Jason W. Krug
Sessions Required: 1       Sessions Offered: Session 13, Session 15

Everyone knows the popular 80’s toy, the Rubik’s Cube, yet for most folks, how to take it from scrambled mess into solved beauty is a total mystery.  For most of the population, though, the same can be said of how we turn the clanging of single handbells into a beautiful, melodious tapestry.  Come gain some deeper insights into the true wonder of the nature of handbell ringing, learn how the Rubik’s Cube teaches us lessons applicable to our ensembles, and learn how to finally solve the thing, to boot!  Please bring $5.00 to purchase your very own cube.

The Virginia Reel – With Handbells!

Instructor: Danny Lyons
Sessions Required: 1       Sessions Offered: Session 12, Session 13

The Virginia Reel is a folk dance which was very popular between 1860 and 1890 (it was the dance in “Gone With the Wind” where Rhett asks Scarlet to dance while she’s in mourning), and the people who danced it then had no idea that one day it would include handbells – in fact, they couldn’t have known what handbells are – but here it is in our own 21st century version.  Learn this folk dance in ten minutes, and then have fun dancing and ringing it the rest of the class period. Be prepared for an active, rewarding class. No partner required. Observers welcome.

There’s More Than One Way to Eat a Banana

Instructor: Michèle Sharik
Sessions Required: 1       Sessions Offered: Session 13, Session 15

This is a hands-on overview of a variety of assignment strategies. From Allured to Hilty to Ivey to KatSigning and beyond, come try out a bunch of different ways to assign the bells to ringers.

Tips for Rehearsal Leadership

Instructor: Bill Mathis
Sessions Required: 1       Sessions Offered: Session 2, Session 4

What goes into making the best use of the precious minutes of rehearsal time we have? We can help people be the best ringers possible and build the team into something unforgettable. Here are suggestions for new and experienced directors.

Unpublished Music Reading Session

Instructor: Bill Mathis
Sessions Required: 1       Sessions Offered: Session 11, Session 15

UMRS is a terrific opportunity for any composer or arranger to hear his or her unpublished creation(s) sightread by a group of people who are kind, constructive, and enthusiastic about handbells! PLEASE NOTE: Both sessions required for composers who submit

West African Drumming and Dance

Instructor: Lois Reese
Sessions Required: 1       Sessions Offered: Session 6, Session 11, Session 15

Join the circle as we play, dance, and sing to West African rhythms. What are the authentic African instruments that are suggested for accompaniment in handbell pieces and how can we create ensembles to go with them. Personal instruments are welcome, but not necessary.

Whitechapel Maintenance

Instructor: Kathryn Hughes
Sessions Required: 1       Sessions Offered: Session 6, Session 11

Come and learn how to care for your bells in the best way.

Tracks

These options involve cumulative learning over multiple class sessions. Participants should plan to attend all sessions included in the track. When registering, please make sure you select the track option you choose in each session it is offered. You are not required to take a track, but if you do, you must attend all sessions of that track.

All Star Choir

Joel Raney, Sondra Tucker
Sessions Required: 7      
Sessions Offered: Session 3, Session 4, Session 7, Session 8, Session 11, Session 12, Session 13

This auditioned ensemble will spend six class sessions plus a dress rehearsal preparing advanced music with the goal of presenting a professional-level concert on Monday. Auditions are required and you will be contacted regarding your audition slot. Those selected for the All Star Choir will be required to purchase the music the ensemble will perform. It will be available from the handbell retaliers present in the Handbell Industry Council Exhibits.

Track Repertoire:

Jitters, Sondra Tucker, Casa HB032, Level 4
Spiritfire, Benjamin Tucker, From the Top #20344, Level 4
Shenandoah, Sondra Tucker, Unpublished
Tapestry, Rob Riker
Sing, Sing, Sing, Joel Raney, Unpublished
Angel Gabriel from Heaven Came, Joel Raney, HP2575, Level 3+
Prelude #3, arr. Joel Raney (Will be supplied by Raney)
Soon and Very Soon, Hart Morris, HP2274, Level 3

Advanced Ringing Track

Beth Judd
Sessions Required: 6      
Sessions Offered: Session 1, Session 2, Session 5, Session 6, Session 9, Session 14

The Advanced Ringing Track is an excellent opportunity for ringers and directors to increase and refine their ringing skills utilizing levels 4, 5, and 6 repertoire. Creative problem solving, developing technical expertise, and musicality will be the focus of the class sessions.  The final class period will provide time for the Advance and Intermediate Tracks to perform for one another.

Track Repertoire:

Nocturnal Fantasy, Emily Li, CGB731, Level 4
Built on the Rock, Alex Guebert, JHS9593, Level 3
Spiritoso, David Kent, FM20402, Level 4
Antiphonal Alleluias, Hart Morris, AG57006, Level 6
Till There Was You, Sandra Eithun, CGB1060, Level 4

Intermediate Ringing Track

Cathy Moklebust
Sessions Required: 5      
Sessions Offered: Session 3, Session 4, Session 7, Session 8, Session 10, Session 14

Stretch your skills in this energetic and rewarding track. A challenging, diverse, and engaging selection of music up to level 4 will be rehearsed. Multiple treble bell techniques, weaving, bass bell techniques, malleting, chime techniques, assignment strategies, stage presence, and other skills will be implemented. Attendance at all sessions is required.

Track Repertoire:

Grazioso, Arnold Sherman, RRGHB0042, Level 2
Hallelujah, Joel Raney, HP2674, Level 3
How Can I Keep From Singing, Cathy Moklebust, HP2693, Level 3
Children Go Where I Send Thee, Ben Tucker, AP46235, Leve 3+
Revelations, Cathy Moklebust, CGB1113, Level 4

Certification Classes

The Handbell Musicians of America Certification program is a comprehensive curriculum designed to provide training and experience at all levels to handbell musicians. These are the Certification classes being offered at this year’s National Seminar. As these courses fill, priority will be given to those enrolled in the program. If you are not already enrolled and would like to be, go here. Please note: Many of the Certification Courses require advance purchase of music and materials and/or a video submission before acceptance to the class. Please visit the specific course pages (links provided below within each class description) for complete details about these requirements.

Certification Level 1: Music Theory Test Only

Instructor: Michael J. Glasgow
Sessions Required: 1       Sessions Offered: Pre-Session 1 (Jully 16)

Take the test for Certification Level 1 – Music Theory. The course for this topic is available through the Virtual Bell Academy Archive in the online store of Handbellmusicians.org.  A syllabus and course requirments are available at certification.handbellmusicians.org. There is a $15 fee for this pre-event option.

Certificaiton Level 2: Conducting

Instructor: Lee Afdahl
Sessions Required: 4       Sessions Offered: Session 2, Session 3, Session 4, Session 5

For successful completion for Conducting 2, candidates must demonstrate and conduct a variety of compound meters and simple mixed meters; indicate and conduct various changes in tempo, incorporate and convey the intentional use of the non-conducting hand to indicate various musical elements of the selected composition, demonstrate various subdivision of the beat as well as the ability to change conducting style to indicate the differences of legato to staccato and vice versa, discuss the form of the composition and possess an understanding of its structure.  Candidates should be prepared to conduct one complete score from memory. This course is a track as each class is sequential and cumulative.  Final conducting assessment will be videotaped..  Baton required.  Prerequisite: Conducting 1.

Certification Level 1: Handbell Techniques Test Only

Instructor: Michèle Sharik
Sessions Required: 1       Sessions Offered: Pre-Session 1 (Jully 16)

Take the test for Certification Level 1 – Handbell Techniques. The course for this topic is available through the Virtual Bell Academy Archive in the online store of Handbellmusicians.org. A syllabus and course requirements are available at certification.handbellmusicians.org. There is a $15 fee for this pre-event option.

Certification Level 2: Handbell Techniques Test Only

Instructor: Michèle Sharik
Sessions Required: 1       Sessions Offered: Pre-Session 2 (July 16)

Take the test for Certification Level 2 – Handbell Techniques. The course for this topic will be offered in the spring 2020 Virtual Bell Academy.  A syllabus and course requirements are available at certification.handbellmusicians.org. There is a $15 fee for this pre-event option.

Certification Level 2: Music Theory Test only

Instructor: Michael J. Glasgow
Sessions Required: 1       Sessions Offered: Pre-Session 2 (July 16)

Take the test for Certification Level 2 – Music Theory. A syllabus and course requirments are available at certification.handbellmusicians.org. There is a $15 fee for this pre-event option.

Certification Level 3: Conducting

Instructor: Lee Afdahl
Sessions Required: 4       Sessions Offered: Session 10, Session 11, Session 12, Session 14

Focus on the Individual – examines the advanced components of conducting, execution of metrical patterns, and the means by which to communicate all the musical indicators contained in the score in a clear, concise, and understandable manner. Repertoire range: Level 5 to 6.

Certification Level 3: Handbell Techniques

Instructor: Michèle Sharik
Sessions Required: 4       Sessions Offered: Session 1, Session 3 Session 6, Session 8

Multiple bell techniques examines multiple-instrument in-hand handbell ringing and damping techniques (commonly known as “four-in-hand” and “six-in-hand”).  Special attention will be given to principles of ergonomics and sound production, identifying notational conventions for these techniques, and considerations for adapting these techniques for use with handchimes. Prerequisite: Handbell Techniques 2

Certification Level 3: Music Theory

Instructor: Michael J. Glasgow
Sessions Required: 4       Sessions Offered: Session 2, Session 4, Session 5, Session 9

Plumbing the depths will ensure a professional-level working knowledge of music theory, both generally and as it pertains to handbells and handchimes. Prerequisites: Music Theory 2 & Arranging & Composing I

Certification: Handbells in Education

Instructor: Margi Zearley
Sessions Required: 2       Sessions Offered: Session 1, Session 2

This track of two classes will survey the uses for K-12 using bells/chimes in an educational setting. Participants will create a lesson for each general level of educational settings (K–3/4-6, 6-8, 9-12) after experiencing what a lesson could look like. Knowledge of general music theory, Kodaly, Orff Schulwerk is helpful but not necessary.

Handbell Industry Council Showcase Sessions

The Handbell Industry Council (HIC) coordinates vendor exhibits and HIC SHOWCASES that are available during the National Seminar. Enjoy frequent visits to the exhibit area and the opportunity to browse and purchase products and services offered by HIC vendors. We encourage you to attend the HIC SHOWCASES – presentations and reading sessions by HIC members featuring their publications, products, and services.

Handbell Industry Council Showcases

 

New Releases form Alfred Handbell!

Company: Alfred Handbell/Jubilate Music Group Presenters: Sondra Tucker          
Session Offered: Session  6

Join Editor Sondra Tucker for a fun, fast-paced exploration of new and best-selling titles from Alfred.

Beckenhorst Reading Session

Company: Beckenhorst Press Presenters: William H. Griffin, Lee Afdahl, Brenda Austin, Karen Buckwalter, Brian Childers, Matthew Compton, Patricia Hurlbutt, Jason Krug           
Session Offered: Session 4

Please join Lee Afdahl, Brenda Austin, Karen Buckwalter, Brian Childers, Matthew Compton, Bill Griffin, Patricia Hurlbutt, and Jason Krug as they conduct some of their newest handbell releases from Beckenhorst Press.

New Choristers Guild Music for Church, School, and Community

Company: Choristers Guild Presenters: Karen Buckwalter, Mitchell Eithun, Sandra Eithun, Michael Helman, Jason Krug, Kevin McChesney, Cathy Moklebust        
Session Offered: Session 1

Please join us for a reading session of new Choristers Guild music for church, school, and community. Enjoy a variety of handbells and handchime music showcasing the diversity of the Choristers Guld catalog. Be inspired as you ring under the direction of outstanding composers. Come, join in the fun! Perhaps you’ll be the lucky winner of one of our fabulous prize drawings!

New Music Releases from From the Top

Company: From the Top Publications Presenters: Jason Krug, Linda Maloney       
Session Offered: Session 9

A Showcase featuring the new catalog releases from From the Top Music! Come ring the new music or sit and follow the socre. Secular. Sacred. All levels. Music with other instruments. Door prizes! The reading packet is yours to take home for further perusal.

Read. Ring, and Rejoice: Handbell Music for Everyone

Company: GIA Publications, Inc. Presenters:        
Session Offered: Session 3

Ring through recent releases for worship, special occasions, concerts, and school presentations.

Bellcast, Live! Featuring Sneak Peak of Global Bronze Select

Company: Global Bronze Productions Presenters: Lindsay Cabaniss, Kevin McChesney; Neesa Hart             
Session Offered: Session 15

New Music in Bell Tree, Solo, and Small Ensembles

Company: Heitz Handbells and Music Presenters: PL Grove, Cathy Moklebust, Dave Moklebust, Barbara Brocker, Michele Sharik, Megan Reishus, Laura Blauch, Crisanne Triplett, Joan Fossum, Nikki Evans, Kim Whitehead             
Session Offered: Session 2

Interested in what’s happening in the Bell Tree, Solo and Small Ensemble world? Want to ask a question about a piece, but never have a chance to talk to a soloist or small ensemble member? Love collecting new music? Need some chocolate? Come to the Heitz Handbells and Music Showcase! Chocolate, drawings for free music, a group of bell tree experts and soloists and small ensemble members are available.

There’s Always Hope

Company: Hope Publishing Company Presenters: Sandra Eithun, Kevin McChesney, Joe Galyon, Joel Raney, Jason Krug               
Session Offered: Session 5

Come join us to read through and experience new publications in a variety of levels and seasons by many of today’s best and brightest handbell arrangers and composers. Take home 3 of your favorite selections and get to know our composers as they conduct their work.

New Releases from Jeffers Publishing

Company: Jeffers Handbell Supply Presenters: Bill Ingrim/Kevin McChesney         
Session Offered: Session 12

Join editors Kevin McChesney and Bill Ingram as we ring through the lateest music from the Jeffers Handbell Supply family of catalogs. If you’ve attended in the past, you know that this is a session filled with great music, guest conductors, and lots of fun. Join us!

Exploring ChimeWorks – An Online Resource Community

Company: Malmark, Inc. Presenters: Kathy Ebling Shaw
Session Offered: Session 10

Come and learn more about ChimeWorks – an online resource community for teachers and directors who use handchimes in the classroom and rehearsal. We’ll navigate through the site where you will find valuable resources and information about handchimes.

ringTrue Music- Innovative Music for Successful Ringing

Company: ringTrue Handbell Music Presenters: Kathleen Wissinger          
Session Offered: Session 11

ringTrue offers a wide assortment of clever, creative, and well-crafted handbell music for: beginning thorugh advanced groups: solos, duets, and ensembles: classroom/festiva/concert/worship; Bell Trees: singing and accompaniment; compatible double(and even triple!) choir pieces; versatile scores in different keys and bell ranges for ever-changing needs; and small collections. Come ring a bit of the new and the old from ringTrue’s 80+ piece catalog!!! You’ll surely find something that rings true for you!

Which Mallets Should I Use?

Company: Schulmerich Bells, LLC Presenters: Greig Ashurst, Marie Page, Bethan Neely    
Session Offered: Session 8

This Showcase explores appropriate mallet selection for a variety of musical styles and articulation choices.

The Great Christmas Ring – A Mass Ring without the Fuss

Company: The Great Christmas Ring Presenters: Kevin McChesney           
Session Offered: Session 7

The Great Christmas Ring is a collection of 15 handbell arrangements of holiday classics and carols that can be performed without tables, pads, mallets, page turns, or even accidentals. It gets your bells out of the cases and into the community without lugging all that stuff. Network with other ringers in your area. Raise a little money for your handbell program. The possibilities are endless when you don’t need a large “spread” to hold a fun and festive concert in public spaces. So grab your bells and get out there!

Bell trees with Bell Choir Music

Company: Tree-O Publishing Presenters: Barbara Brocker, Kathleen Wissinger, Connie Nicholson, Marie Loeffler, Lynne Marks, Blanche Marie Lewis, Shelley Giaier          
Session Offered: Session 13

Ever thought of using bell trees with your bell choir but don’t know where to start? Here you can hear music to figure out what would work best with your choir. No need to have an extra set of bells – or if you do, ideas to find it. Plus tips. Performers from all over the US will demonstrate bell trees with bell hoir music from various purblisher from Level 1 to Level 4.

Ringing in Poland: 2021 International Handbell Festival

Company: Witte Travel & Tours Presenters: Keith Cole    
Session Offered: Session 14

Join us for the introduction of the 2021 International Handbell Festival Tour. The tour will include concerts in Poland, Czech Republic, and Slovakia.

Roundtable Sessions

Share ideas and solutions with fellow event attendees on the topic listed in these informal discussion sessions.

Area Leader Discussion Group

Sessions Offered: Session 13

An opportunity for those serving on Area boards to meet and share ideas, best practices, and solutions to common problems.

Bell Tree Discussion Group

Sessions Offered: Session 14

Share your Bell Tree experience and get ideas for adding them to your handbell performances.

Best Practices for Community Groups

Moderator: Wendy Ransom
Sessions Offered:
Session 14

How do you handle audtions? Should you incorporate? How do you book concerts? Do you tour? How is your group governed? What about costumes? Share your answers and ideas with fellow community ringers.

Composers Discussion Group

Sessions Offered: Session 13

Join other composers, publishers, and editors to discuss the composing process and tips for getting published.

Creative Concert Concepts

Moderator: KC Congdon
Sessions Required: 1       Sessions Offered: Session 13, Session 15

Why was KC Congdon asked to host this show? Because the common response from her church congregation is “We can NOT wait until the bells perform next as we want to see what other crazy things you will be doing in the service.” (They are not “crazy”, they are “creative”!) Come share what you’ve done or just to listen to what others have done that has worked not.

Handbells in the Church

Sessions Offered: Session 15

Discuss the challenges facing handbells in a church setting including recruiting, managing multiple ringing abilities within a group, being part of the Worship team, and more.

Sparkle or Splat?

Moderator: Christine Anderson
Sessions Required: 1       Sessions Offered: Session 3, Session 7

What makes or breaks a solo performance? How can you be assured of a flawless, musical presentation? What does success look like? Round-table discussion.

What’s Next? Implementing What You’ve Learned this Week

Sessions Offered: Session 15

You have all this new knowledge, ideas, and information after four days of classes and networking. Now what do you do with it? Discuss tips for implementing what you’ve learned once you’re back home.

 

News & Announcements

Event Schedules

General Event Schedule
Thursday Class Schedule
Friday Class Schedule

Saturday Class Schedule
Sunday Class Schedule
Monday Class Schedule

Pre-registration is required for all Seminar classes. To help you plan which classes you wish to take before completing the online registration process, you may download and fill out the following Personal Event Schedule Planner.

DOWNLOAD PERSONAL EVENT PLANNER

DOWNLOAD PERSONAL DISTINCTLY TEEN PLANNER


RESERVE HOTEL ROOMS


Use of Tablets to Hold Music

Handbell Musicians of America is committed to upholding the copyright laws of the United States and protecting the rights of our publishers, arrangers and composers.  If you wish to use a tablet computer to hold your music in place of standard paper copies on a music stand, you must contact the publisher of each piece of music to first obtain permission to convert a purchased piece of music to the format required for the tablet you are using.  Copies of the written permission received from publishers must be presented on request from the event organizer, event chair, or Handbell Musicians of America staff. Permission from a publisher for one piece does not imply permission for other songs from the same publisher.  The title of each song used in this format must be included in the written permission received. Attendee should also have legally purchased copies of all music with them for verification.

Achieving Artistic Arpeggios

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