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   The Twelfth Tone
Area 12 Newsletter
May 2015
In This Issue
From the Chair
Northern Nevada
Northern California
Southern Nevada
San Francisco Bay Area
Southern California
Central California
LA Metro
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Click on the calendar icon for concerts and events!
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Passages,  the album, epitomizes The Raleigh Ringers 25-year musical journey, featuring classical arrangements, cutting-edge original compositions and signature rock arrangements by The Rockin' Raleigh Ringers

on the group's second double CD.


Over 100 minutes

of music!


 To buy your copy,

click here!

Don't miss
Velocity 2

in their final performance!


That's right! It's been a little more than a year since V2 gave their debut concert in Southern California. And just last summer they were honored to perform at National Seminar in Atlanta. Now there's only one chance left to see them in concert before Joel moves to South Dakota. (But that's another story....)



Join us for classical, piano standards, a pop tune, and...of course...the Flight of the Bumblebee!


Sunday, May 31
4 pm
First Covenant Church
4000 Redwood Road

Oakland, California

Heitz Handbells Logo

 A full service 

handbell store

with music and accessories:



maintenance items



bell tree items

Malmark products


 visit us at




877 426-3235



6603 Queen Ave S, Suite S

Richfield, MN   55423

Handbell Supply 

 Handbell Music,
Supplies and Service
Toll Free  888-775-WEST 
Call: 559-625-5111
Fax: 559-741-7346 







P.O. Box 4361
Visalia, CA 93278-4361
cartoon bells  
Our National

Handbell Musicians of America

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Tip of the

 Does your member group have its own website? We will list it for you on the new Area 12 website!
Check it out here 
and then email your group website address to  webmaster.area12@

Have a tip to share?
Advertising Rates for the 2015 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.

Advertising Rates: 

We offer two different ad types

1.(a) Ad designed and formatted by you that is exactly 150 pixels X 300 pixels and sent in a jpeg or gif file. The ad will by hyperlinked to your website.
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2.(a) 1.5" X 4" ad which can contain a picture or logo sent as a jpeg or gif file and will be hyperlinked to your website. You provide the text to be formatted by the editor.
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2.(b) 1.5" X 8" ad which can contain a picture or logo sent as a jpeg or gif file and will be hyperlinked to your website.  You provide the text to be formatted by the editor.
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Payment is due before publication. Submission DEADLINE is the 24th 

Please submit your ads via email to
Barbara Meinke, Communications Director

It's a beautiful day in the neighborhood, of handbells that is!
Message from the Chair - Michèle Sharik


Hi there, Area 12!


This past Saturday I attended the Southern California Spring Ring in Murrieta. Over 100 ringers from all over the SoCal, LA Metro, and even Southern Nevada regions attended to work with conductor Margi Zearley and teachers Alex Guebert, Barbara Meinke, and me. By all measures, it was a successful event. Big thanks to Barbara Meinke and the Bells of Hope (from Hope Lutheran Church in Temecula) for hosting this event. Barbara took over organizational duties when our SoCal Regional Coordinator had to step down for family obligations, and she did a fabulous job! Thank you, Barbara!

Speaking of events, your Board of Directors met almost two weeks ago and decided that we'd like to re-implement the position of Events Coordinator for Area 12. If you have, or know someone who has, event planning and/or administrative experience, please contact me so we can talk about the duties and responsibilities of this position.

Coming up in September is a National endeavor called "Month of Handbells." The goal of this initiative is to find unused bell sets and help to start (or restart) a bell program in that church or school. This first effort will focus on churches. Handbell Musicians of America will reach out via the American Guild of Organists, Choristers Guild, and other organizations and invite Music Directors, Organists, and Choir Directors to attend FREE events around the country. At these events, attendees will learn about handbell techniques, handbell resources, and the ins and outs of a handbell program. Area 12 is already busily scheduling these events, so watch the August and September newsletters for more details. Meanwhile, we would appreciate your help! If you know of a bell set that is currently unused, please contact either your Regional Coordinator or me. Thanks!

I would like to announce that Kendra Scott is our new Bay Area Regional Coordinator! She will tell us about herself next month, but for now, please join me in welcoming her to your board!

Finally, at our recent board meeting, we did a lot of planning for the 2016 Area Conference, to be held in Modesto, June 16-19, 2016. This newsletter contains information that you need to know, including a call for presenters, so be sure to keep reading!

As always, my best to you all,

Michèle Sharik



Area 12 Ringers'  Festival Conference - June 16-19, 2016
The Handbell Hop
at The DoubleTree by Hilton
Modesto, CA
June 16-19, 2016

What do you think we should be teaching at the Area 12 Conference next year? Do you really yearn to learn more about weaving (bells, not baskets)? Do you ache to ring the bass bells (they are heavy)? Or are you passionate about 4-in-hand (just can't get enough)? But wait, maybe there's something else! Something we've never thought of before, but you have!  

This conference is all about YOU - the attendee -  and we want to make sure that YOU get all YOU want out of it. Send your class suggestions to us so we can schedule the classes YOU want! We can't guarantee all suggestions will be fulfilled, but we welcome them all so we can try. Send those suggestions to Tessique Houston, Chair Elect at chairelect.area12@handbellmusicians.org. Please use the subject line "Modesto 2016 Class Suggestion."

Do you have a class you are just itching to teach at the Area 12 Conference in 2016? Is there some subject about handbells, music, performance, etc. you feel should really be presented to our attendees and you think you are just the one to do it? We know we have so many talented people in Area 12 and we want to give you all the chance to apply to teach at our conference!

Classes will be presented in the Track System we have been using for the past few conferences. Each class is approximately 1 1/2 hours long, with two classes comprising one track. Single class proposals may be paired with another to make a track.  

Instructors will be offered a nominal honorarium and lunch on the day(s) they teach, but will be responsible for their own transportation, food and lodging. Instructors are welcome to register for the conference and attend other tracks when not teaching, but are not required to.

Class proposals should include title and class description, instructor information (teaching experience, directing, etc.) and a copy of class notes (if available). Please send these to Tessique Houston, Chair Elect at chairelect.area12@handbellmusicians.org. Please use the subject line "Modesto 2016 Instruction Proposal."

We are looking forward to serving YOU
(and having YOU help!)

Communiqué - Barbara Meinke, Communications Director
Barbara Meinke


Area 12 for the WIN!


Area 12 is blessed to be among the movers and shakers in the handbell community! We have college students paving the way for formal education in handbell musicianship (see the LA Metro article below). We have rock solid long-timers and innovative new-comers working together to create opportunities to advance our art. We have conductors and teachers and composers and ensembles who are carving a clear path for handbells to carry on for many more generations. The best part? We get to be a part of this blossoming tree! 


Most recently, Area 12's own Alex Guebert, from Orange, CA, won Bells of the Cascades 25th Anniversary Composition Contest with his piece "Out of the Silent Planet." Check out information on its premier by clicking here! Congratulations, Alex!


Got a great accomplishment to share? Submit it to me and maybe it will appear in our newsletter or on our website!


Barbara Meinke

Communications Director


No. Nevada - Barb Walsh, Regional Coordinator



What an amazing, musical day! Our 13th Annual Sierra Spring Ring started out ominously with a heavy snowfall in the foothills and over Donner Pass. So much so, one of our groups on the California side couldn't drive over that morning and had only two hardy representatives who decided to drive over the night before.

The ringers were so well prepared that we actually got to work on interpreting the music and pour our hearts and souls into the beautiful pieces. It was awesome to have a group of 56 ringers ring as one ensemble! The solo pieces shared by most of the individual ensembles were rung well and fun to watch. Thank you for such a wonderful day!

Coming up!

Tuesday, May 26, 2015
South Reno
United Methodist Church
free concert open to the public at 12:15 p.m.

This event is  sponsored by the Handbell Musicians of America.

Find information and registration form on the calendar listing here!

Barbara Walsh

Northern Nevada Regional Coordinator



For information on Northern Nevada's concerts, events,

and other opportunities, click here. 

No. California - Nancy Schmitt, Regional Coordinator
Nancy Schmitt


Hello, Northern California!




Redding Handbell Festival


Saturday, October 31, 2015 

Redding, CA


So, what happens there? This is an endorsed event that features massed ringing, bronze level ringing, outstanding clinicians and bell classes, then culminates in a final concert open to the public. Did I mention FUN, FOOD, and FELLOWSHIP?!


Our guest conductors will be Tessique Houston (massed ringing) and Larry Sue (Red Zone Bronze Choir). One hour classes will include basic ringing, beginning bell trees, beyond beginning bell trees, maori sticks, movement, bell maintenance, percussion instruments used with bells, and a JAM session playing through Level 2 and 3 music. Clinicians will be Mary Balkow, Diane Barnes, Julie Hunziker, Dwayne Corbin, Mel Tully, and Tess. The event takes place at Simpson University in Redding. Check the Area 12 calendar for registration forms. This event is endorsed by Handbell Musicians of America.


I always look forward to hearing from you about your local workshops or concerts, so please send that information to me so we can promote your special event.



Nancy Schmitt

Northern California Regional Coordinator  

For information on Northern California's concerts, events,
and other opportunities, click here!
So. Nevada - Alison Pruett, Regional Coordinator


Las Vegas Twelfth Night Handbell Festival

is returning!

January 9, 2016


Clinician Barbara Meinke will direct four massed ringing pieces and all groups will be invited to perform a solo piece.


We are still seeking a venue, so if you or someone you know would be able to host this event, please get in touch with me ASAP! This event will be sponsored by Handbell Musicians of America Area 12.


To receive updates on this event, email me RIGHT NOW and I'll put you on the direct contact list, making sure you get all information as soon as it's available.


Alison Pruett

Southern Nevada Regional Coordinator



For information on Southern Nevada's concerts, events,

and other opportunities, click here. 

International Symposium 2016
click the image for all the details!
San Francisco Bay Area


On The Annual Bay Area School Handbell Festival 


Held on March 26 at the All Saints Catholic School in Hayward, almost 130 students rang together under the clear direction of Tessique Houston, our own Area 12 chair-elect. Two massed pieces were rung by all, and two each in the two  divisions. Added to that were six solo performances by the schools attending which made a very nice afternoon concert for the parents and student body of All Saints.



Thank you to Dian Ruder, event organizer, and Steven J. Meyer, site host. We have room for a couple more schools, so we hope you'll join us next year!


Welcome to your new Bay Area Regional Coordinator, Kendra Scott! We'll hear from her starting in June!


For information on San Francisco
Bay Area's concerts, events,
and other opportunities, click here.

                             Find us on Facebook                 

So. California - COULD BE YOU!, Regional Coordinator
So Cal Spring Ring a HUGE Success!

Read all about it in Michèle's article above!
And save April 16, 2016 for a single day, all massed ringing event you won't want to miss!

So Cal Region is looking for a coordinator! Won't you please raise your hand?

Send email to Michèle Sharik or Barbara Meinke. We'll treat you to lunch while we tell you all about it!



Southern California Regional Coordinator


This email address IS being monitored!


For information on Southern California's concerts, events,
and other opportunities, 
click here. 

                            Find us on Facebook                

Central California - Lori Smith, Regional Coordinator
Lori Smith

Hello CenCal Folks,

The Central Coast Spring Ring was held at Zion Lutheran Church in Zion Lutheran Church.  Many thanks go to Shirley Werner and her team for organizing, Vicki Ewart and her team from Zion for hosting, and Mary Balkow for being clinician and bringing fun ideas. Sixty-seven registrants enjoyed a full day of ringing, learning, and laughing.

Around noon, a delivery person from town dropped off an order to the kitchen. At that moment, we were rehearsing "Chanson" (arr. Kenneth Lowenbert). The sweet sound of the bells caught his attention and he suddenly looked up and said, "Oooohhhhhh!" Mary brought a new piece she had arranged, "Stompin."  Inspired by the Broadway show "Stomp", which utilizes trash can lids, plastic buckets and push brooms, Mary asked each ringer to bring a non-traditional item from home which would make a fun sound. Some of the "new" instruments included

corrogated plastic lid (played wash-board style)
commuter coffee mug
dust pan
aluminum lid from a sauce pan
Velcro tennis ball on Velcro Frisbee
cardboard oatmeal cansiter
glass bottle
aluminum loaf pan with thimbles worn on fingers
metal bucket
Doritos chip bag

I'm already looking forward to next year's event in the Central Coast area!

Happy ringing!

Lori Smith
Central California Regional Coordinator

 For information on Central California's concerts, events,

and other opportunities, click here. 
LA Metro - Scott Leggett, Regional Coordinator

Happy concert season!


It always seems to be that May is one of busiest months for concerts outside of Christmas. Time is one thing I know we all feel short of, but I do encourage you to seek out handbell concerts this month and support their programs.


I was privileged this week to attend the Azusa Pacific University Handbell Choir's spring concert conducted by Area 12's own Historian, Elizabeth Mays, who was completing her graduate recital in instrumental conducting. She conducted a very entertaining and well rung program. Congratulations to her!


Although I am disappointed LA Metro was not able to have our Spring Ring, that same event will be held in January as a "Winter Ring" at the same location with Christine Anderson as our clinician. Stay tuned for the confirmed date. I am also finalizing plans for a fall ringers workshop in October which will be geared for those choirs playing level 1 and 2 music with massed ringing and basic ringing technique classes.


I close with one of my favorite quotes about music:

"Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, and life to everything."  --  Plato


Scott Leggett

Los Angeles Metro Regional Coordinator



For information on LA Metro's concerts, events,
and other opportunities, click here.

                            Find us on Facebook                   

Hawaii - Karen Carlisle, Regional Coordinator
Karen Carlisle



I have had an exciting month! It is coming up on the end of the season and I have had many people express interest in ringing in my groups. As we only have one or two more times to perform in church, this is not really a time when I focus on recruiting, but I never want to turn anyone down!

I have just recently taken on conducting a new group temporarily to get them through the end of the year, giving me a total of six groups! Yes, that is a lot but I am excited about it! I love being able to go into a new group and teach some really great techniques they do not know. Of my three church groups, Aiea UMC has not been full for 10 years and now it is! We also have four more wanting to join us in the fall. My Harris UMC  group filled up just in the last couple weeks and that has not been full since I took over three years ago.  So, I say keep recruiting ringers! They are out there no matter what time of year! 

If you and your Hawaii group are interested in honing your handbell skills, let me know. I would love to help!

Karen Carlisle
Hawaii Regional Coordinator

For information on Hawaii's concerts, events,
and other opportunities, click here.