by Kim Braswell

There is something refreshing about a repeat. It is just one of those things that makes you feel in control. You already know the material, expectation, and how to navigate the music. Often, we put our favorite songs on an endless repeat. Every time it plays again, we find something new and exciting that makes us appreciate it even more.

These past two years have felt like we have been stuck in a repeat. Just as we learned how to navigate the challenges, we went right back to the beginning. The good news is that we already know how to overcome obstacles and can push forward more confidently. I have heard so many amazing ideas about how to make the best of not being able to gather the whole handbell choir together. Some groups met virtually, others in smaller ensembles, while a few used larger spaces to accommodate all their members. It may have felt strange at first, but truly some great things came from those challenges. Many of our members attended area events far beyond where they could have traveled. International clinicians are now much more easily incorporated into the virtual events. Even with fewer ringers in our handbell choirs, we were able to focus on musicality and technique, which helped us all to improve our skills.

As we go back to the beginning because of what feels like a repeat, we know we can overcome what is before us.

Being a part of Handbell Musicians of America has really helped us navigate through these unforeseen circumstances. The ability to share ideas with our fellow handbell musicians and directors has been a lighthouse shining upon these rough waters. Be sure to check out the events that are going on at the national and the area levels. Many of these events have been structured around what we have been experiencing through these difficult times. As we move forward into the next section, we know what to expect.

The security we find in a repeat also comes with the hope of a new ending. My favorite would be the Da Capo al Coda. Not only do I get to play the music I am familiar with, but I also get to enjoy a completely new ending. I believe we should make this year a coda section of the music that is being written. Think of all the possibilities before us. We now have a new bag of tricks to incorporate as we work to grow and adjust to these strange new surroundings. It is a wonderful outlook when we know how much we can share with each other to become better handbell musicians.

As we write this coda section, let us look at all we learned from this repeat. Hold tight to some of the old things that really worked, add in new ideas, and combine it with all we have discovered. Ultimately, we will have a wonderful new ending to all that we have learned.

These past two years have felt like we have been stuck in a repeat. Just as we learned how to navigate the challenges, we went right back to the beginning. The good news is that we already know how to overcome obstacles and can push forward more confidently. I have heard so many amazing ideas about how to make the best of not being able to gather the whole handbell choir together. Some groups met virtually, others in smaller ensembles, while a few used larger spaces to accommodate all their members. It may have felt strange at first, but truly some great things came from those challenges. Many of our members attended area events far beyond where they could have traveled. International clinicians are now much more easily incorporated into the virtual events. Even with fewer ringers in our handbell choirs, we were able to focus on musicality and technique, which helped us all to improve our skills.

As we go back to the beginning because of what feels like a repeat, we know we can overcome what is before us.

Being a part of Handbell Musicians of America has really helped us navigate through these unforeseen circumstances. The ability to share ideas with our fellow handbell musicians and directors has been a lighthouse shining upon these rough waters. Be sure to check out the events that are going on at the national and the area levels. Many of these events have been structured around what we have been experiencing through these difficult times. As we move forward into the next section, we know what to expect.

The security we find in a repeat also comes with the hope of a new ending. My favorite would be the Da Capo al Coda. Not only do I get to play the music I am familiar with, but I also get to enjoy a completely new ending. I believe we should make this year a coda section of the music that is being written. Think of all the possibilities before us. We now have a new bag of tricks to incorporate as we work to grow and adjust to these strange new surroundings. It is a wonderful outlook when we know how much we can share with each other to become better handbell musicians.

As we write this coda section, let us look at all we learned from this repeat. Hold tight to some of the old things that really worked, add in new ideas, and combine it with all we have discovered. Ultimately, we will have a wonderful new ending to all that we have learned.