The last time International Handbell Symposium came to the United States was 2008, when it was held in Orlando, Florida. I had only been on the staff of what was then the American Guild of English Handbell Ringers a little over three years.
From the President's Pen
I don’t believe in New Year’s resolutions. I do believe in setting goals, and I believe there is always an opportunity for growth. But I do not believe that change is tied to the calendar, and I certainly don’t believe that we are somehow desperately needing to change come January 1.
Over the past few weeks, I have been speaking with many people about my new role with Handbell Musicians of America. The chats have been with colleagues, friends, family, businesses of the Greater Fort Myers Chamber of Commerce (where I am coming from), board members, and many more.
One of the COVID-era hobbies I expanded on was my bicycling options. We purchased a used tandem bicycle during the 2020 summer. The photos below are of my husband Tom and me on one of our first tandem road trips through northern Maine (top) and a neighborhood ride (middle).
Bell Tree Enthusiasts, Solo, Ensemble, Bell Tree Enthusiasts
New Column for Solo, Ensemble, and Bell Tree (S.E.T.) Enthusiasts
Welcome to the newest column in Overtones and the newest member of the “core” groups of Handbell Musicians of America, which currently consists of faith-based, educational, and community ensembles and organizations. I am honored to shepherd this column every month, alternating between these three specialties.
More Than an Ensemble
Developing the “Community” in Community Ensemble
We often refer to ourselves as “community ensembles” because of our membership, or the area we serve and perform in, or maybe the way our group is established independent of other organizations.
Expanding Through Youth
Reaching Out to Those Not in the
Handbell Musicians of America is always thinking about ways to reach out and get more people involved in handbells. I was excited when the national board announced its emphasis on bells in education, especially since my area chair is on the committee driving this effort.
Handbells in Education
Collaboration between a community choir and community college makes a winning combination
Handbell choirs and local institutions of higher learning often share the word ‘community’ in their names. However, the reality of having these two organizations work together for their common good and the good of their city or town has not yet been experienced much in the handbell world.
Handbells in Worship
Keeping the Faith
Navigating to a new normal in a worship setting
It is no secret that life has been very different these past 18 months. Certainly, making music in church has been as affected by COVID as has all other aspects of life, and now we are trying to find our way to a new normal. Part of the challenge is that we are all in [...]
Tips & Tools
In this and the previous issue, we offer a number of exercises used in a National Seminar class by Kathleen Wissinger to help develop various ringing techniques. Practice them at different tempos and dynamic levels, including crescendos and decrescendos.
Tips & Tools
“Intrada” is for 3 octaves, C major, and with no bell changes so it can be played with music stands only. It is meant to be an easy Introit or Call to Worship for handbells.
Bells and Brew
Bringing a handbell festival into an unconventional setting
Say handbells, and people think church. People think Christmas. And when we aren’t ringing in church or as Christmas entertainment, handbell ringers attend handbell weekend workshops and festivals. There we spend days ringing with and for ourselves. The repertoire usually includes music also suitable for church. We may end with a concert, but it is [...]