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   The Twelfth Tone
Area 12 Newsletter
September 2014
In This Issue
Area 12 Board
From the Chair
LA Metro
Northern California
Central California
Southern California
Bay Area
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 Virtuoso is Back!


June 12-14, 2015

Raleigh, North Carolina

Conductor: Dr. William Payn


Virtuoso was created by The Raleigh Ringers as an opportunity for a small group of advanced ringers to participate in a professional performance experience under the baton of renowned conductor Dr. William Payn. The three-day event will include all aspects of preparing for and presenting a formal concert, culminating in a performance on a concert stage as special guests during The Raleigh Ringers' Spring Concert at Meymandi Concert Hall.


To request an application packet, email rradmin@rr.org. Deadline to apply is December 1, 2014.


For more information, visit


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Advertising Rates for the 2014 Publishing Year

The Twelfth Tone is published the first of each month, except July, by Area 12 of the Handbell Musicians of America (The Guild). The Guild is a non-profit organization dedicated to advancing the musical art of handbell/handchime ringing through education, community, and communication. The editor of this publication reserves the right to reject or modify copy.

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Area 12 Bell Loan Program
cartoon bells  

Yes, it's September already! Time for a fresh start, renewed energy, and new ideas! Need some to get you started? See below!     
Message from the Chair - Michèle Sharik

Hi there, Area 12!


    Well, September is finally here! Are you ready to restart your handbell program and get ready for the fall concert and church season? I hope you will take advantage of fall workshops and festivals, not only for the great classes and conductors, but also for the networking opportunities.
   That's right! Not only can you learn things from the teachers and conductors at workshops and festivals, but it's a perfect opportunity to reach out to your fellow ringers and directors and see what they are doing. Maybe it'll inspire you to try something new at your venue. It's worth a shot, so why not?
    Check out the Area 12 calendar for events in your region this fall. Hope to see you there!
    And finally, I'd like to extend my heartfelt thanks to outgoing Secretary Ruben Mendoza and Treasurer Kathy Arnold. It was a great honor and privilege to work with them over the past two years.

My best,


Michèle Sharik



A Wild Ride - Rima Greer
Rima Greer

Hi Folks!

Rima, your outgoing Past Chair here! I just wanted to thank everyone for giving me the opportunity to serve on the Board for the past six years. It's been an amazing, eye-opening experience! I've made new friends, expanded old friendships, and learned a boatload about how challenging it can be to steer a ship much bigger than my own little kayak!
     I wanted to tell you that one of my biggest disappointments as Chair was how little we heard from our membership. I'm thrilled that I'm leaving you in the capable hands of our new Board, which is packed with forward-thinking, dynamic, committed folks, who I know will do a fabulous job!
     But they can't do their very best if YOU are not engaged with them. Let me invite you to attend as many Area 12 events as you can. When the Board asks you for input, please DO send them your two cents (in a gentle, respectful way). One of the deepest joys of being a Handbell Musician is the closeness you develop with your fellow artists. Let me encourage you to extend that relationship to your Board. Share your ideas with them.  Even better, volunteer to work with them! It's a wild ride, but you will never, ever regret it. I certainly don't. And I thank you again, from my heart, for the opportunity.

See you in Overtones!

Rima Greer
Past Chair
Communiqué - Barbara Meinke, Communications

Hello, all!
     This month I am sharing a fabulous letter from our Patty Marquart Scholarship winner, Mary Deauclaire from Concord, CA. I hope it will inspire YOU to attend the next National Seminar (2015 is a Pinnacle event!) in Dallas, TX. And until September 30, you can reserve a space at the 2014 price! Need help to make it happen? Maybe you'll be our next scholarship winner!

Dear Area 12 AGEHR Scholarship Committee,


     My apologies for taking so long to formally thank you for selecting me this year for the Patty Marquart Conducting Scholarship for 2014. With the help of the scholarship, I was able to attend National Seminar and I want to tell you about what it was like for me to participate in those four glorious days in Atlanta July 14-18.

     I arrived in Atlanta two days early in order to visit friends. We went to hear Stone Mountain Carillon and while there got to meet Mabel Sharp, the carilloneur. She explained the design and mechanisms, invited us into the glass-house console room while she gave the concert, and afterwards told us the history going back to the 1964 World's Fair in NY. By coincidence this was also the 50th anniversary of President Johnson signing the Civil Rights Act of 1964 on July 2nd. We visited the Martin Luther King, Jr., Historic Site including the family home, grave site of Martin & Coretta King, Jr., the Visitor Center, and most moving of all we visited the original Ebenezer Baptist Church.

    Following registration at the Sheraton Hotel on Monday night, the Seminar swept us up in a whirlwind of activities. It was a priceless opportunity to connect with musicians from other regions of the US and to be exposed to all sorts of music and ideas that were new to me. I was pretty much running on adrenalin by the end of the week. Barb Walsh and I enjoyed rooming together, compared experiences at the end of each day, and studied together for the Certification Theory 2 test (and both passed!).

     I'm working toward certification Level 1, so I was disappointed not to get into Michele Sharik's Techniques 1 class, but I tested out of Michael Glasgow's Theory 1 and also passed Theory 2. In Kath Wissinger's "Beginning Ringing Track," we worked with her compositions that are written especially to teach beginners. For me, Kath is a fantastic role model for how to teach adults and children by keeping them (in this case, our class) fully engaged through musical games, movement, and lively quizzes as well as bell ringing. I told Kath that just those five classes alone were worth the trip to Atlanta because I got a better handle on how to work with some of my newer and rhythmically challenged musicians. "Increasing Your Group's Internet Presence" (discussion group), moderated by Derek Nance, was very worthwhile. Several people shared their successes with social networking and websites to communicate, promote and build online communities specific to their musical groups and events. The group encouraged me to expand the music ministry presence on my church's website and I have started working on that. Now I have a some technically savvy handbell friends who can give me feedback. The most fun class I took was "Malleting" with Hart Morris. I came away with a set of progressively challenging malleting exercises to use with my own bell ringers.

     All the concerts were impressive and entertaining. Before this I had not been to many handbell concerts, so I was excited to find that top groups have distinct personalities and play a huge array of composers, arrangers, and styles. Handbell repertoire is seemingly endless; it's a matter of creativity matched to a group's ability. How interesting to hear Largo from Handel's Xerxes in the same program with Flight of the Bumblebee. I was especially taken with the younger groups such as Impulse Handbell Ensemble from New Jersey and Arsis Youth Ensemble from Estonia. Arsis seemed to dance and weave their pieces out of thin air, they played as a single instrument with such musicality, precision, and emotion. Velocity2 made a big impression on me with their virtuoso playing, talks between pieces, and their sense of theatre without going too far. They really put on a good show, but it felt like we were in a much smaller room because it was so personal. The All-Star Choir proved that you can lock handbell musicians in a room for three days with Hart Morris and Emily Li and they'll come out playing like they've been together for months.

    The pièce de résistance for me was the Hymn Festival at Central Presbyterian Church on Thursday night. It was thrilling to join in singing along with so many fine musicians from National Seminar, as well as the choral choir, instrumentalists, and handbell choir lead by David VanderMeer. I would like to organize something along those lines at my own church, although not as large and elaborate. The Festival was a beautiful way to honor musicians past and present at the 60th Anniversary of the Handbell Musicians of America.

     Everyone I met at National Seminar was just as friendly and helpful as could be, regardless of how much experience and knowledge they have ringing/conducting/composing/teaching. As an example, Tess Houston invited me to the Leadership Breakfast and I sat between her and Lee Afdahl. Lee and I reminisced about the years when we were in school studying music in the Midwest, and he was genuinely interested in my story. JR Smith would simply not give up until I was able to access the seminar app on my iPhone. Ellie Hodder was super nice about making sure I got what I needed when things got confused. So many teachers were generous with their time in answering questions, even those who were extremely busy. I am staying in touch with some of my new acquaintances as we roll into autumn and winter. In September I am giving a talk at my church to share about my experiences in Atlanta this summer and showcase my ringers in a demonstration of handbell techniques.

     Thank you for giving me this great opportunity to learn and grow.



Mary Deauclaire

Barbara Meinke
Communications Director

LA Metro - Scott Leggett, Regional Coordinator

     I am writing this as I prepare to leave for a final summer vacation adventure, returning just in time for the start of bell ringing season. I hope you find yourselves rested and ready for ringing! Please remember our fall ringer's workshop on Oct 4 in Pasadena is coming up fast and registrations are already coming in! Please get yours in as soon as possible so we can customize the education opportunities to match your interests! You can find the information on our web page and most of you in the LA Metro area should have received a mailer as well. Also, I encourage you to send me your events and ringers-needed notices and we can list them on our website. Fianlly, LA Metro has great Facebook page where YOU can post anything handbell related: funny foibles of bell ringers, thoughts on repertoire, questions, etc. It's another space for our community to stay in touch with each other. Till next time!  


LA Metro Fall Ringers' Workshop

October 4, 2014

Pasadena, CA

Ramona Miller, clinician

 Details and registration forms coming soon!

This event is sponsored by Handbell Musicians of America 


 Workshop with Timbré

September 27, 2014
West Hills, CA

This event is endorsed by Handbell Musicians of America


Scott Leggett

LA Metro Regional Coordinator



For information on LAMetro Region's concerts, events, and other opportunities, click here to go to the LAMetro page. 

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NorCal - Nancy Schmitt, Regional Coordinator
Nancy Schmitt

     I would like to take this opportunity to invite you all to this very special endorsed event, Redding Handbell Festival. The festival is Saturday, October 11.  There is a Red Zone Bronze advanced ring attached to this festival which begins on Friday, October 10.  Our massed director is Ellie Hodder and Red Zone director is Larry Sue. There will be great classes: basic ringing, reading session, drum circle, ear training, changing and sharing bells, rhythm, and creating words for a wordless language. There will be outstanding clinicians:  Shosh Meyer, Mary Balkow, Lois Nichols, Dr. Corbin, and Ellie Hodder. There will be a finale concert featuring the bell choirs, soloists, duets and quartets. The event is held at Simpson University in Redding, CA and registration is a mere $30.00 per person!

     The deadline for registering is Sept. 13, so you still have plenty of time to fill out those forms and send them in! All of the information and forms may be found in the Northern California section of our website. Fall is a great time to attend a festival and jump start your ringing program! Hope to see you in Redding!


Redding Handbell Festival

October 11, 2014

Simpson University in Redding, CA

 This event is endorsed by Handbell Musicians of America   



Nancy Schmitt

NorCal Regional Coordinator  

For information on NorCal Region's concerts, events, and other opportunities, click here to go to the NorCal page.
Hawaii - Karen Carlisle, Regional Coordinator
Karen Carlisle


     Going to a fabulous handbell convention during the summer, learning great things to try at home, and then having to wait for almost two months at home before rehearsals start up again is the worst! Total withdrawal! I have received a couple emails and Facebook messages from my ringers telling me how much they are also suffering from withdrawals. Well, my friends, rehearsals are beginning and we can give in to our craving for these fine bronze instruments. Whew! My groups are excited to play our new 6th octave chimes expansion set! Two of my groups have started already! Both my kids' community group and my adult group are already getting their fixes! It is so great to have these people who love to do this as much as I do in the same room together!
     With that in mind, I am coordinating an opportunity to have yet another ringing experience in the form of a workshop with Tim Waugh on November 15 from 8:30 to 4:00!!! Mark your calendars NOW!
     We would love to hear what is happening with all of you. Send me a note!

Karen Carlisle
Hawaii Regional Coordinator

For information on Hawaii Region's concerts, events, and other opportunities, click here to go to the Hawaii page.
Nevada - Barb Walsh, Regional Coordinator

Barb Walsh Headshot 

     Please join me in welcoming Alison Pruett, our new Las Vegas Liaison! We will give her a few weeks to get settled and hear more from her next month!

     And join me in thanking Dixie Bailey for her many years of service in that position. Thank you, Dixie!


Barbara Walsh

Nevada Regional Coordinator



For information on Nevada Region's concerts, events, and other opportunities, click here to go to the Nevada page. 

CenCal - Lori Smith, Regional Coordinator
Lori Smith

Hello CenCal!

     I've been chatting with various bell directors, asking about their plans and goals for the new ringing season. Everyone seems refreshed and eager to start! Here's what I'm hearing about.

* Recruiting and retaining ringing members.

* Reviewing basics lost during the summer break.

* Sharing and employing new techniques learned by ringers and directors during the summer break.

* Challenging the group's musicianship (level of reading, improving techniques).

* Preparing music so it is satisfying to the performer and listener alike.

* Reconfiguring the bell set-up to allow for ease of playing and room to move in the space allowed.

     Two of our directors are beginning new positions. They are looking forward to sharing new ideas and enjoying successful traditions.
     I am thankful for all the hard work and long hours our directors put in to helping our bell groups shine!
     As for me, the sooner I get back to the bell table, the better!

Lori Smith

CenCal Regional Coordinator  


For information on CenCal Region's concerts, events, and other opportunities, click here to go to the CenCal page. 
SoCal - Kari Jacobs, Regional Coordinator


Hello SoCal Ringers!


     By now most of you are probably back in the swing of rehearsals and getting ready for a busy fall! Hopefully everyone has a restful summer and is rejuvenated and ready for another season of bells!

     I am in the midst of putting together classes for our Spring Ring, so if you have any suggestions of something you have always wanted to learn, PLEASE feel free to email me!

     Also, remember to email me any special events or concerts so we can get them on the calendar and website.


Happy ringing!




Kari Jacobs

SoCal Regional Coordinator



For information on SoCal Region's concerts, events, and other opportunities, click here to go to the SoCal page. 

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Bay Area

We are now seeking a new Bay Area Regional Coordinator. If you are interested, please contact Michèle Sharik


For information on Bay Area Region's concerts, events, and other opportunities, click here to go to the Bay Area page.



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