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   The Twelfth Tone
Area 12 Newsletter
June 2015
In This Issue
From the Chair
2016 Festival Conference
San Francisco Bay Area
Southern California
Northern California
Southern Nevada
Northern Nevada
LA Metro
Central California
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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!

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

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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

Regarding snail mail
to our national office!

The US Post Office will soon discontinue forwarding mail addressed to the former Dayton office.

Any correspondence for the National Office should be sent to the address below. Please update your

address books! 


For mailing anything that includes payment by check:

Handbell Musicians

of America

PO Box 145400

Mail Location 521 Cincinnati, OH 45250


for mailing everything else:


Handbell Musicians

of America

201 E. 5th Street

Suite 1900-1025
Cincinnati, OH 45202


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.

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The Twelfth Tone will take a break in July, so soak up everything you can below and keep it handy for your mid-summer reference!

Message from the Chair - Michèle Sharik


Hi there, Area 12!

As our handbell programs start to wind down for the summer, it's time not only to reflect on the great season we just had, but also to look ahead to the fall. Specifically, fall workshops! I know several of our Regions have events planned, so be sure to look at our event calendar and plan to attend one (or more!) of these excellent skill-building opportunities.

Speaking of events, it's not too early to start planning to attend the 2016 Area 12 Conference, to be held in Modesto. Our Conference Chair Lisa Traughber has some news for us below, so keep reading!

Have a great summer! 

Michèle Sharik



Area 12 Ringers'  Festival Conference - June 16-19, 2016
June 16-19, 2016

   The DoubleTree by Hilton
     Modesto, CA

     What do raisins, almonds,             walnuts, and chocolate have in     common? Hmm..."Trail Mix" and

Modesto in CA's Central Valley!


Take a trip back to the 50's with poodle skirts, saddle shoes, leather jackets, jeans and penny loafers, not to mention the cars, "malt shops" and music! Join Area 12 next summer to relive and/or experience that era and make music too!


Although key in feeding the nation with its orchards, vineyards and dairies, Modesto celebrates every summer with parades and car shows highlighting classics and hot rods from the 50's. This valley is also rich in music making and we invite you and your family to join us on this journey, ringing back in time, some classics and not so traditional handbell music, at Modesto's "Handbell Hop"! Stay tuned for the next jukebox selection and mark your calendars now! Details coming soon!

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."

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."

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

Communiqué - Barbara Meinke, Communications Director
Barbara Meinke


Back to Bells!


It's hard to think about going back already! After all, we've not quite finished this season yet! But, progress takes planning and germinating seeds takes time. Let's plant some seeds NOW and then sit back over the summer and watch them grow!


Handbell Musicians of America is sponsoring a program this September called Back to Bells. It is a collaborative effort between our national organization, all 12 Areas, and the Handbell Industry Council to provide an opportunity for churches with inactive handbells to restart their programs. Areas, with support from the Guild, will host FREE workshops which will provide instruction on starting and sustaining a church handbell program. Area 12 will be offering at least 12 of these workshops THIS SEPTEMBER all over California, Nevada, and Hawaii! (list will go up on our web calendar very soon!).


How can you help? Just by planting seeds! Do you know of an inactive bell set? Would you make some calls in your area to find out who has hidden bells? Will you direct folks to our Area 12 web calendar (for dates and locations right now) and the National website (registration information will be there August 1) or pass their contact information on to me or another board member? Every lead could be a seed that just needs a little water and sunshine. We've got that (at least figuratively)!


Barbara Meinke

Communications Director


San Francisco Bay Area


Hi everybody!


I'm your new Regional Coordinator for the SF Bay Area. You've most likely seen me directing or ringing at a Bay Bells concert, or at the Bay Area Spring Ring. You might also have seen me at a recent area festival or at DB West this past February. I've been ringing bells since I was in middle school, when I watched my mother play a handbell trio with some other members of her church. I thought to myself, "What is this strange and fascinating instrument my mother suddenly knows how to play?"  Turns out, she learned from my great aunt, who learned from my great grandmother, and the rest is history!  

As your new Bay Area Regional Coordinator, I plan to keep you informed about upcoming events, workshops, and other exciting happenings. I am always looking for ways to share handbells with new audiences, so I'd love to hear from you what successes you've had in that area. Finally, I intend to support you all in whatever way I can, so here's my first foray into that realm.
Have you ever needed a sub for a rehearsal? Are you on Facebook? Have you heard of the group "Bay Area Handbell Subs"? If any of these are true, join this group! The group is not only for directors; it's for any ringer who wants to be available to sub in the SF Bay Area, because you can never have enough ringing! The larger the group is, the more effective it will be, so encourage all your ringers to join. I once had a sub ringer come from Lodi, just because she happened to be in town that weekend! 
I'm always open to your ideas and news, so email me anytime!
All my best, 

Kendra Scott

Bay Area Regional Coordinator

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
Timbré Ensemble

in Escondido, CA
Saturday, September 12, 2015
First United Methodist Church of Escondido
 341 S. Kalmia St., Escondido, CA 92025

in Victorville, CA
Saturday, October 24, 2015
Trinity Lutheran Church
16138 Molino Dr., Victorville, CA 92395

These events are endorsed by Handbell Musicians of America

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                

No. California - Nancy Schmitt, Regional Coordinator
Nancy Schmitt


Hello, Northern California!


It is that time of year again when many of us close up our handbell shops for the summer! Directors share appreciation and thank their ringers for a wonderful season of ringing. They also thank their families for sharing their ringer once or twice a week! Perhaps it's also time to say goodbye to ringers or directors who are retiring from bells or moving. For some, summer is a welcome break to visit with friends and families and enjoy some fun non-handbell activities. So, go ahead and relax! Then in the fall, come back refreshed and ready to ring! And speaking of fall -




Redding Handbell Festival


Saturday, October 31, 2015 

Redding, CA

Registration forms are on the Northern California Calendar.


This event is endorsed by Handbell Musicians of America 

I wish you all a wonderful and safe summer!




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


Desert Spring United Methodist Church

120 N Pavilion Center Dr, Las Vegas, NV 89144


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


This event is sponsored by Handbell Musicians of America 

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. 

No. Nevada - Barb Walsh, Regional Coordinator



Many of us bell ringers are winding down for the summer, but some of us are gearing up for our final concerts! If you would like to have your concert on the Area 12 website calendar, please send me your information and I'll pass it along.

We're just putting the final touches on the Umpteenth Young Ringers' Festival in Reno. By the time you read this, it'll be over, but I hope to have a report on it and pictures in this space next time!

Please remember the Zephyr Point Handbell Conference up at Lake Tahoe, July 26-30. It's the most beautiful place on earth to ring bells! (click on side bar ad for more info!)

Barbara Walsh

Northern Nevada Regional Coordinator



For information on Northern Nevada's concerts, events,

and other opportunities, click here. 

International Symposium 2016
click the image for all the details!
LA Metro - Scott Leggett, Regional Coordinator

It's hard to believe summer is upon us!


Many of us still have some concerts to perform or attend as the traditional ringing season moves to the summer festivals. I'm looking forward to our national conference Pinnacle in Dallas July 16-19 and if you are planning to attend, please let me know so we can share some LA Metro time while we are there!


Plans are shaping up for our Fall Ringers Workshop which is geared for newer ringers, featuring basic technique classes and ringing of level 1+ to 2+ music. Look for more information next month.


Lastly, I would like some advice or tips from you on a troublesome topic; page turning. Turning pages is one of most troublesome parts of ringing; not so much playing over the page turn, but physically turning the page. I personally had a page turn melt down at the last concert with LA Bronze; I just could not get the page to turn. My sticky tab had disappeared, the corner itself had torn off from so much turning and my glove had no grip. Of course, we were playing Bugler's Holiday at breakneck speed and, before I knew it, I had missed a page and a half of playing! So, what are smart tricks for physically managing page turns? Of course, memorizing would be the perfect solution. Someone suggested using some music sleeves, other groups have two ringers to one stand to help, and then, of course, there are dog-ears and tabs and clothes pins. Please email me your thoughts and suggestions and I'll report back next month.


Scott Leggett

Los Angeles Metro Regional Coordinator



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

                            Find us on Facebook                   

Central California - Lori Smith, Regional Coordinator
Lori Smith

Hi CenCal,

I was chatting with a friend and she told me of a rather fun and effective experiment her bell choir did.

Tracy had recently come in as the new director. She ran the group through their existing repertoire to get a feel for their ringing style and level. When they came to "Silent Night," they rang it perfectly, with great technique and dynamics, but looked a bit bored. They explained it was a piece they played every year for the Christmas presentation. Could they ring it from memory? Sure. Why not? On the night of the Christmas presentation, the group rang through their repertoire for the evening. Tracy walked to the back of the sanctuary and turned off every light. Pitch black. The congregation began to wonder. Tracy made her way back to the music stand. She traded out her regular baton for a Glow-in-the-Dark white baton. Following her lead, the bell group raised their bells.  They'd been wearing glow-in-the-dark wrist bands under their gloves, which were now visible to the congregation. An exclamation of, "Ooohhhhh" filled the room. The treble bells wore pink, the battery, yellow, and the bass, blue. To gather the congregation into quiet focus, one bass bell began slowing tolling four times. Then they commenced with "Silent Night." It was magical and the hit of the evening.

What hits do you have to share? Email me!

Lori Smith
Central California Regional Coordinator

 For information on Central California's concerts, events,

and other opportunities, click here. 
Hawaii - Karen Carlisle, Regional Coordinator
Karen Carlisle




As the end of the handbell season windss down and most take breaks, it is time to renew and get excited for things to come and bells to ring! My season is not done until the end of June with our upcoming concert season starting May 31 through June 21. We have spent a lot of time working on music and enjoying fellowship and the hard work is paying as we will be playing some beautiful music for our audiences! 

We need to remember our music sharing ministers to people! I have recently had three people join one of my groups, two who moved here from Chicago and Alaska. They are bummed that they just started and now we are going on a break! I love seeing that enthusiasm in them! My children's community group played for the last time this season and they have so much energy to learn and share, it is renewing to see the smiles on their faces. When I asked them what they like about handbells, they replied that it was fun and they get to learn. They also said they would love to play everyday! I am not sure I have the energy to keep up with them everyday, but I am thankful for them!
During my break I will be still be immersed in handbells, replacing springs and polishing an old set that has been sitting unused in a closet for eight years. They don't look very good right now, but they will be gorgeous before the summer is over!  Then there is the chore of picking music for the following season. There is so much really great music out there thanks to so many talented composers and arrangers, they make it so hard! 

Check out the calendar for upcoming concerts in our area.


Karen Carlisle
Hawaii Regional Coordinator

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