Distinctly Teen is designed for individual young ringers (8th–12th grade) who wish to stretch their ringing skills and challenge their musicianship.
Participants will spend 2½ days working on intermediate to advanced repertoire and developing skills in handbell technique and general musicianship under the leadership of Emily Li. The event schedule will combine dedicated rehearsal time for Distinctly Teen with the opportunity to attend classes offered as part of the Handbell Musicians of America National Seminar. Plus, attendees who register by March 15 will get to help choose a pop tune that will be specially arranged for the Distinctly Teen ensemble by arranger Nick Hanson.
The event culminates with a final public performance with the National Seminar All-Star Ensemble on Saturday, July 21.
About Emily Li
Emily Li holds a Master Degree in music, major in composition. She started ringing in 1986 and has since developed an obsession with this instrument. She received her handbell training with renowned experts on performance, conducting and composition in the United States for many years, and she completed the graduate handbell program at Concordia University, Wisconsin.
Having the mission to promote handbell ringing in Hong Kong, Emily founded the HK Handbell Academy in 2004 with aims to provide handbell resources and proper training for the young generations. She founded the Handbell Association of HK and organized the annual HK Handbell Festival since 2006. At present, she is the Artistic Director of the Academy, Chairperson of Handbell Association of HK, director of the HK Youth Handbell Ensemble and the principal guest conductor for Ministry of Bellz in Singapore. Emily loves nurturing youngsters holistically through ringing. Her youth ensemble has performed around the world. She served as the clinician and massed ring conductor at the 15th, 16th & 17 th International Handbell Symposium in Liverpool, Korea and Vancouver.
Emily is a published composer and handbell soloist. She performed as a handbell soloist at the National Seminar concert (Cincinnati, 2012), director of the HK Youth Handbell Ensemble at the Final Concert (Portland, 2013) and director of the All Stars Choir (Atlanta, 2014).
Each registrant is responsible for purchasing the following music:
- Procession in Bronze – Sherman / Red River RRG0011 / L.4
- Cantabile – Li / AGEHR AG35244 / L.3
- Gaudete – Glasgow / Choristers Guild CGB907 / L.4-
Register by March 15, and vote for your choice from the options below to be arranged for Distinctly Teen by Nick Hanson:
- “Perfect” – Ed Sheeran
- “Meant to Be” – Bebe Rexha & Florida Georgia Line
- “Something Just Like This” – Chainsmokers & Coldplay
- “Treat You Better” – Shawn Mendes
National Seminar Classes
Your registration includes the opportunity to attend classes offered at National Seminar. During the registration process, you will be asked to pre-register for the classes you want to take. You will be able to attend five class sessions — 7, 8, 11, 12, and 16.
For a complete list of class descriptions, visit this page.
You must pre-register for any class sessions. To help you plan your personal Distinctly Teen experience and to aid in the registration process, download the Distinctly Teen Personal Event Planner.
Please see the General Event Schedule for the complete lineup of activities
Registration fee is $125 and includes:
- All scheduled event activities
- Event T-Shirt
- Hymn Festival
- Campanas Cristalis Concert
- Milwaukee Handbell Ensemble Concert
- Dinner on Thursday and Friday
How to Register
- Login to your Handbell Musicians of America account. If you need login assistance, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
- After logging in, follow the registration link on your login welcome page for Distinctly Teen.
- Follow the prompts to complete and pay for your registration.
All event activities will take place at DeVos Place Convention Center and the Amway Grand Plaza Hotel in Grand Rapids, Michigan. The two venues are connected via a skywalk.
The Amway Grand Plaza, considered the finest hotel in West Michigan, sits snuggled in downtown Grand Rapids — surrounded by art museums, stunning architecture, a lively music, sports, and theater scene and arguably some of the best restaurants and the very best breweries in the entire country. Not to mention the incredible scene surrounding you before you even walk out of our doors.
Special Rates and Registration Information
Go to the Lodging and Transportation page for rates and reservation information.
To ensure that we are able to meet the room block required by the Hyatt Regency Orange County, registrants who opt for alternate lodging are required to pay an additional surcharge of $150.00. This surcharge does not apply to registrants with a home address within a 60-mile driving radius of the event site. Lodging requirements will be confirmed using a rooming list of reservations provided by the Amway Grand Plaza.