by J.R. Smith

The past nearly two years has certainly changed the world—in many ways negatively, but positively in others. HMA and the handbell community have certainly seen a good deal of change. Some things will likely return to what we are used to, but many changes, I think, we will find are permanent.

J.R. Smith
Publications Director

Always Looking for New Content

Instructional Articles

  • Rehearsal & Teaching Techniques
  • Programming
  • Building and Organizing a  Program
  • Marketing & Communication
  • Building/Using Equipment

Music

  • Processionals & Fanfares
  • Hymn Accompaniments
  • Arrangements for Less than a Full Choir
  • Learning Pieces

Educational Materials

  • Music Lesson Plans
  • Rehearsal Exercises

Features

  • Human interest stories about the people who make handbells special
  • Articles about especially unique handbell events or programs from which someone else could gain ideas

The Changing Face of Events

If we’ve learned anything about events in the last couple of years, it’s 1) people still love and look forward to in-person events and 2) that there exists a largely untapped and eager audience for virtual events.

In 2020 we found ourselves having to redesign our flagship event, National Seminar, for a totally virtual audience—something we had never done before, not even for a small or partially virtual audience. We were thrilled that after months of quarantine and lock downs, people were starving for any type of event, just to be doing something with bells and other people. We also found that a number of people attended who otherwise would never have been able to attend an in-person event, either financially or because of time constraints.

Later in the year, we created a Virtual Master Series with master classes in solo ringing and composition, both of which lent themselves well to a virtual environment. Then we held our Virtual Mid-Winter Workshop, a smaller version of the previous online National Seminar.

All of these were well received, and we found that there definitely are people who would like to see such events continue, even after things have returned to as near normal as possible.

Naturally, there were concerns that such virtual events would compete with in-person events for attendance. But we were happy to find that those who attended our first in-person National Seminar in Phoenix this summer couldn’t have been more thrilled to be there. And being a hybrid event with a virtual component, many people attended that way as well—again, a number of people who could not otherwise have attended in person.

Of course, time will tell just how events will evolve from here on out. Registration will open soon for the in-person International Handbell Symposium in Nashville, Tennessee, (www.InternationalHandbells.org), and we’ve already held our first post-quarantine Distinctly Bronze West event. Currently, we are nearing capacity for our next Distinctly Bronze East event in February. In addition to these, we are in the planning stages for our next Virtual Mid-Winter Workshop in early 2022.

Slowly but surely, we are returning to ringing in both traditional and diverse ways.

New Online Resources

In addition to online events, you will see in the coming months many new online resources added to a forthcoming revamped website. These will include access to Virtual Bell Academy videos, searchable and interactive business member profile pages, and live-stream events.

Welcome New Overtones Column Coordinators

Overtones would be nothing if not for the hard work of our dedicated volunteer column coordinators who seek out new, interesting, and helpful content for each issue.

In addition to our continuing column coordinators: Kathleen Wissinger, “Handbells in Education;” and Stephanie Wiltse, “Handbell Musicians Roundtable;” we welcome Beth Ann Edwards as the new “Handbells in Worship” coordinator and “Lauran Delancey” as the Community Connections coordinator. And beginning with the Winter 2022 issue, Linda Krantz will begin a new column dedicated to soloists, small ensembles, and bell-tree musicians.

While our column coordinators do a great job at soliciting content, we certainly do welcome unsolicited submissions as well. Please visit https://handbellmusicians.org/ot-submissions/ for subission guidelines and contact information.

The Changing Face of Events

If we’ve learned anything about events in the last couple of years, it’s 1) people still love and look forward to in-person events and 2) that there exists a largely untapped and eager audience for virtual events.

In 2020 we found ourselves having to redesign our flagship event, National Seminar, for a totally virtual audience—something we had never done before, not even for a small or partially virtual audience. We were thrilled that after months of quarantine and lock downs, people were starving for any type of event, just to be doing something with bells and other people. We also found that a number of people attended who otherwise would never have been able to attend an in-person event, either financially or because of time constraints.

Later in the year, we created a Virtual Master Series with master classes in solo ringing and composition, both of which lent themselves well to a virtual environment. Then we held our Virtual Mid-Winter Workshop, a smaller version of the previous online National Seminar.

All of these were well received, and we found that there definitely are people who would like to see such events continue, even after things have returned to as near normal as possible.

Naturally, there were concerns that such virtual events would compete with in-person events for attendance. But we were happy to find that those who attended our first in-person National Seminar in Phoenix this summer couldn’t have been more thrilled to be there. And being a hybrid event with a virtual component, many people attended that way as well—again, a number of people who could not otherwise have attended in person.

Of course, time will tell just how events will evolve from here on out. Registration will open soon for the in-person International Handbell Symposium in Nashville, Tennessee, (www.InternationalHandbells.org), and we’ve already held our first post-quarantine Distinctly Bronze West event. Currently, we are nearing capacity for our next Distinctly Bronze East event in February. In addition to these, we are in the planning stages for our next Virtual Mid-Winter Workshop in early 2022.

Slowly but surely, we are returning to ringing in both traditional and diverse ways.

New Online Resources

In addition to online events, you will see in the coming months many new online resources added to a forthcoming revamped website. These will include access to Virtual Bell Academy videos, searchable and interactive business member profile pages, and live-stream events.

Welcome New Overtones Column Coordinators

Overtones would be nothing if not for the hard work of our dedicated volunteer column coordinators who seek out new, interesting, and helpful content for each issue.

In addition to our continuing column coordinators: Kathleen Wissinger, “Handbells in Education;” and Stephanie Wiltse, “Handbell Musicians Roundtable;” we welcome Beth Ann Edwards as the new “Handbells in Worship” coordinator and “Lauran Delancey” as the Community Connections coordinator. And beginning with the Winter 2022 issue, Linda Krantz will begin a new column dedicated to soloists, small ensembles, and bell-tree musicians.

While our column coordinators do a great job at soliciting content, we certainly do welcome unsolicited submissions as well. Please visit https://handbellmusicians.org/ot-submissions/ for subission guidelines and contact information.

J.R. Smith
Publications Director

Always Looking for New Content

Instructional Articles

  • Rehearsal & Teaching Techniques
  • Programming
  • Building and Organizing a  Program
  • Marketing & Communication
  • Building/Using Equipment

Music

  • Processionals & Fanfares
  • Hymn Accompaniments
  • Arrangements for Less than a Full Choir
  • Learning Pieces

Educational Materials

  • Music Lesson Plans
  • Rehearsal Exercises

Features

  • Human interest stories about the people who make handbells special
  • Articles about especially unique handbell events or programs from which someone else could gain ideas