by Jill Fedon

After nearly two years apart, many of us gathered as a community in Glendale, Arizona for this year’s National Seminar. As it is each year, Seminar is the best kind of family reunion, made all the more special by our prolonged time apart. 

Jill Fedon
National Board President

One of my favorite moments was standing in the intersection of hallways as the first session of classes was beginning, with the sound of handbells washing over me from all directions.

I enjoyed the new Handbell Commons area and the Happy Hours each day there. It was a wonderful space to frequent and support handbell vendors and visit with friends, new and old. Both the Silent Auction and the Adopt-A-Bell fundraiser were incredibly successful thanks to the many generous donors. Those funds will be put to good use to support the HMA’s Education efforts.

As announced at our banquet, the search for Executive Director is well underway, guided by project manager, Rick Minnotte. We expect to announce a decision by late fall. The Education Committee continues to build resources for educators, and the board continues its work on a business plan with OneSource.

Each Seminar concert was unique and special. Handbell performances have thrived during the pandemic thanks to the creativity and resiliency of the handbell community. How beautiful it was to sit together in the same space and enjoy live handbell concerts again! On Friday evening I was speaking with Matthew Compton about the upcoming Bells of the Cascades and Cathedral Bells concert, and he remarked, “I can’t wait for you to hear it. It’s like a hug.” I had no idea he meant that literally. Matthew, along with Alex Guebert, managed to present a concert, and in particular a final piece, that perfectly expressed that indescribable feeling of being a part of this handbell community. They surrounded us with the most magical, musical handbell hug and sent us on our way to carry that spirit out into the world with a renewed hope in the future of handbells.

Thank you to the HMA staff, planning committees, vendors, clinicians, and performers for all their time, talents, and efforts in making a memorable Seminar for both in-person and virtual attendees.

Life has not yet returned to the normal we had hoped, but we continue to find ways to refocus the future of Handbell Musicians of America and move forward safely together. I wish you all a healthy and joyous fall season of handbell and handchime ringing, and may you feel surrounded by the larger handbell community as you do so!

One of my favorite moments was standing in the intersection of hallways as the first session of classes was beginning, with the sound of handbells washing over me from all directions.

I enjoyed the new Handbell Commons area and the Happy Hours each day there. It was a wonderful space to frequent and support handbell vendors and visit with friends, new and old. Both the Silent Auction and the Adopt-A-Bell fundraiser were incredibly successful thanks to the many generous donors. Those funds will be put to good use to support the HMA’s Education efforts.

As announced at our banquet, the search for Executive Director is well underway, guided by project manager, Rick Minnotte. We expect to announce a decision by late fall. The Education Committee continues to build resources for educators, and the board continues its work on a business plan with OneSource.

Each Seminar concert was unique and special. Handbell performances have thrived during the pandemic thanks to the creativity and resiliency of the handbell community. How beautiful it was to sit together in the same space and enjoy live handbell concerts again! On Friday evening I was speaking with Matthew Compton about the upcoming Bells of the Cascades and Cathedral Bells concert, and he remarked, “I can’t wait for you to hear it. It’s like a hug.” I had no idea he meant that literally. Matthew, along with Alex Guebert, managed to present a concert, and in particular a final piece, that perfectly expressed that indescribable feeling of being a part of this handbell community. They surrounded us with the most magical, musical handbell hug and sent us on our way to carry that spirit out into the world with a renewed hope in the future of handbells.

Thank you to the HMA staff, planning committees, vendors, clinicians, and performers for all their time, talents, and efforts in making a memorable Seminar for both in-person and virtual attendees.

Life has not yet returned to the normal we had hoped, but we continue to find ways to refocus the future of Handbell Musicians of America and move forward safely together. I wish you all a healthy and joyous fall season of handbell and handchime ringing, and may you feel surrounded by the larger handbell community as you do so!

Jill Fedon
National Board President