by Ed Rollins

The transition to find a new executive director for the Handbell Musicians of America has begun. It’s a time for our organization to consider new possibilities, new methods, new ideas, and new hopes.

Ed Rollins
Interim Executive Director

This is never easy, but it becomes harder in days of a world-changing pandemic that is characterized by seclusion, quarantine, fear, death, and uncertainty. Will we as an organization and world succumb to fear and uncertainty, or will we look forward to bright new possibilities?

There are signs all over our world that we are not people of despair. There are tremendous stories of new possibility with people and organizations finding ways to say, “be safe, we will get through this.” Magic is being created by musicians everywhere. YouTube and news agencies are showing us samples of real possibilities like a cellist performing on their front porch, dancers dancing on their drive way, and music stars of all styles creating “in home” performances. Television executives have created innovative and inspiring ways to give us joy and hope: the recent Disney Sing-a-long hour was great fun and the performance by country stars Garth Brooks and Trisha Yearwood showed us some of the first new ideas for quarantined music-making.

Handbell musicians are right there too, creating magic that we’ve never seen before like “in home” performances by small groups and quartets with all parts rung by the same person and spliced together. Creativity is abounding. We continue to find music bringing people together and giving us hope.

In the midst of magic, there are real challenges to our organization because of this pandemic:

  • Events of all kinds have had to be canceled and all summer events are in a state of uncertainty. What we do know is that event organizers are working diligently to consider the safety of all participants, and they are behind the scenes considering new possibilities for recreating events, virtually or in other creative ways.
  • Membership in this (and most all organizations) has slowed to a trickle as people wait for a return to economic stability. As such, the Handbell Musicians of America has proactively opened up its website to all for the next 60 days, we are giving a grace period for payment of dues, and we have sent a survey to those who haven’t renewed their membership as a way to assess those who were not planning to renew in comparison to those who are planning to renew when the economy shifts. The Regional Membership Chairs and the National Board are also considering new possibilities to ensure that our membership remains strong in the years ahead.
  • Thanks to the quick action and foresight of our past executive director, Jenny Cauhorn, our organization has applied and been approved for a stimulus PPP loan to help us through any short-term financial difficulties.

These are but a few of the steps being taken to ensure that new possibilities exist in the future for our organization.

In the meantime, directors have more time to plan for the fall, ringers have more time to watch performances and hone technique, composers have more time to compose, and bell sets have more time to rest up before we come back and put them to work. We will come back and we will ring out hope and joy, the likes of which have never been heard before.

May your days be filled with new possibilities.

Blessings to all –

Interim ED (Ed Rollins)
erollins@handbellmusicians.org

This is never easy, but it becomes harder in days of a world-changing pandemic that is characterized by seclusion, quarantine, fear, death, and uncertainty. Will we as an organization and world succumb to fear and uncertainty, or will we look forward to bright new possibilities?

There are signs all over our world that we are not people of despair. There are tremendous stories of new possibility with people and organizations finding ways to say, “be safe, we will get through this.” Magic is being created by musicians everywhere. YouTube and news agencies are showing us samples of real possibilities like a cellist performing on their front porch, dancers dancing on their drive way, and music stars of all styles creating “in home” performances. Television executives have created innovative and inspiring ways to give us joy and hope: the recent Disney Sing-a-long hour was great fun and the performance by country stars Garth Brooks and Trisha Yearwood showed us some of the first new ideas for quarantined music-making.

Handbell musicians are right there too, creating magic that we’ve never seen before like “in home” performances by small groups and quartets with all parts rung by the same person and spliced together. Creativity is abounding. We continue to find music bringing people together and giving us hope.

In the midst of magic, there are real challenges to our organization because of this pandemic:

  • Events of all kinds have had to be canceled and all summer events are in a state of uncertainty. What we do know is that event organizers are working diligently to consider the safety of all participants, and they are behind the scenes considering new possibilities for recreating events, virtually or in other creative ways.
  • Membership in this (and most all organizations) has slowed to a trickle as people wait for a return to economic stability. As such, the Handbell Musicians of America has proactively opened up its website to all for the next 60 days, we are giving a grace period for payment of dues, and we have sent a survey to those who haven’t renewed their membership as a way to assess those who were not planning to renew in comparison to those who are planning to renew when the economy shifts. The Regional Membership Chairs and the National Board are also considering new possibilities to ensure that our membership remains strong in the years ahead.
  • Thanks to the quick action and foresight of our past executive director, Jenny Cauhorn, our organization has applied and been approved for a stimulus PPP loan to help us through any short-term financial difficulties.

These are but a few of the steps being taken to ensure that new possibilities exist in the future for our organization.

In the meantime, directors have more time to plan for the fall, ringers have more time to watch performances and hone technique, composers have more time to compose, and bell sets have more time to rest up before we come back and put them to work. We will come back and we will ring out hope and joy, the likes of which have never been heard before.

May your days be filled with new possibilities.

Blessings to all –

Interim ED (Ed Rollins)
erollins@handbellmusicians.org

Ed Rollins
Interim Executive Director


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