Class Descriptions

Class Descriptions
Bring It! Ring It! 2018
Handbell Musicians of America – Area 8
Updated 6/5/18 3pm

Click HERE for a PDF of class descriptions. Updated 6/5/18 3pm

50 Shades of Damping (Michele Sharik)
One of the first things we learn as a handbell musician is to damp the bell. But, there is so much more to damping than just “on” or “off”! Discover how selective damping, soft damping, pre-damping, half-damping (and more!) can help you shape your music and take your performance to new heights!
Class Session: F

8-Bell Music (Larry & Carla Sue)
Find out about making music with just eight bells! We’ll discuss the types of music available and how to choose the right pieces for you and your group (or duet partner). We’ll talk about how to assign bells, the techniques used, and ideas for how you can use eight-bell music in your performances or as part of a worship service. You’ll be able to look through some printed copies of our music, ask questions, and have fun playing through a couple of our eight-bell pieces. If you are able, please bring G5, A5, B5, C6 OR D6, E6, F6, G6 clearly marked bells with you to class (this is not a requirement to participate).
Class Session: H

Ask a Composer (Lauran Delancy)
Do you have an idea for a handbell composition or arrangement, but aren’t quite sure where to start? Are you wondering how to go about submitting a work for publication? Maybe you have always wondered WHY do they do it THAT way in a handbell score? This session will be an opportunity to ask questions and discuss the art of composing and arranging for our instrument.
Class Session: B

Assignments/Levels: Does One Affect the Other? (Kristin Kalitowski-Kowal)
Have you ever wondered what is the difference between L.2 and L.3 music or do you want different ways of assigning bells? Come to review & discuss the Guild system for assigning difficulty levels to handbell music as well as how handbell assignment methods factor in. Bring your piece specific questions if you have them!
Class Session: I

Basics Revisited: Your 100,000 Measure Tune Up (BriannePituley)
Whether you’re a brand new beginner or a “veteran ringer”, this class will teach (or remind) you what to do before you ever pick up a bell or chime. Learn ergonomic techniques to help you not only “survive” those long rehearsals, concerts, and day-long ringing festivals, but also do so without pain or soreness. Ringers will be introduced to the “Three S’s” (Stance, Seat, and Stroke), and will focus on developing a relaxed ringing style to help control the bell, ring dynamically and make beautiful music.
Class Sessions: E, H

Bass Layout/Teamwork (Larry Sue)
Enhance or refresh your bass ringing. We’ll cover the basic skills of lifting, ringing, damping, and tabling. In addition, there will be an opportunity to address topics of special interest to the participants. This is a hands-on class.
Class Sessions: C, K

Bass Techniques (Larry Sue)
Learn concepts to make your bass ringing more efficient, both as an individual ringer and as a bass team. This is a hands-on class where you get to apply those ideas immediately.
Class Sessions: B, G

The Best and Not-So-Good Fundraising Ideas (Kipp Willnauer)
Choirs are busy raising money to cover expenses to attend various Festivals and/or purchasing addition equipment. We will discuss ideas that yield high profit for the hours invested. Car wash for a concert or an auction or Avon? Which will it be?
Class Sessions: A, H

Beyond the Basics (Mary Liao)
So you can ring and damp. Can you martellato? Tap pluck? Thumb damp? Make it sing? Join this class to learn how to execute these special techniques and more, including shake, swing, gyro, echo, vibrato, and even a ring touch that won’t leave a mark! We’ll also learn the notation indicators for these techniques and which work (and how to modify them) for handchimes. Recommended pre-requisite “Basics Revisited” (but not strictly required).
Class Sessions: B, G

Boomwhackers: A Music Maker For All! (Kipp Willnauer)
Making harmonious music with these simple tubes. Boomwhackers can be used by children, youth and adult choirs and groups. These music makers are for rhythm games and song presentations.
Class Sessions: J, K

British-Style 4-in-Hand (Carla Sue)
An opportunity to try the traditional British style of 4-in-hand ringing. Learn how to hold the bells, and have a go at playing some simple music. No previous 4-in-hand experience is required for this informal, low-stress class. Bring an English accent if you have one! If you are able, please bring G5, A5, B5, C6 OR D6, E6, F6, G6 clearly marked bells with you to class (this is not a requirement to participate).
Class Sessions: B, D, K

The Camera Doesn’t Lie (KatRyn Howell)
From public speaking to athletics, and certainly the performing arts, the mirror and the camera are important tools that allow us to critique our own performance. Take this opportunity to check your own technique.
Class Sessions: F, J

Change Ringing (Kristin Kalitowski-Kowal)
How fun would it be to ring tower bells in England? Come learn how to “practice” with handbells. We’ll cover the history of the tower bells and potential performance uses. Finally, put on some gloves and we’ll ring the changes together.
Class Sessions: C, J

Chat with the Chair (Kristin Kalitowski-Kowal)
Interested in being more involved in serving our Area? Have some great ideas for future festivals? What about other Area 8 events? Stop by to chat with Kristin Kalitowski-Kowal (Chair) with your ideas. Please arrive within the first 15 minutes, or else your Chair will be given another task outside of the assigned room.
Class Session: F

Community Groups Roundtable (Linda Ashley)
Join other directors and ringers for a lively discussion about issues we face as community handbell performing groups. Many topics will be discussed, so bring your experiences and your ideas to share.
Class Session: Sat 12:15pm

Conducting: SHOW Them What You Want (Tessique Houston)
Learn the techniques of simple, clear conducting, as well as what a conductor can do to be the one who initiates the music rather than respond to it. Ringers can benefit from this class as well! All participants are encouraged to bring a baton, if they use one. Time allowing, we will also do some simple score study and tackle individual problems you may bring with you.
Class Session: A, D, K

Country Line Dance Party (River City Shakers)
Come and join in an authentic Country Line Dance Party! Participate in a variety of dances for all ages that have stood the test of time. No previous dance experience is required, but bring your best smile and energy!
Class Sessions: J, K

The Cup Game (Lori Fenton)
Clap Clap Tap Tap Tap… Have fun learning the popular Cup Game, including some variations. Handbells require excellent hand eye coordination and this game will help with that. You’ll take home the instructions on how to teach to your choirs. Great for kids and adults alike!
Class Sessions: A, D, J

Dream Weaving (Carol Pickford)
In this hands-on class, you’ll master the “weave” technique with 3 bells, 4 bells, and more. Find out how weaving can help you wend your way through difficult musical passages without getting warped!
Class Sessions: A, E, G

Effective Communication (Laura Kopff)
Looking for ways to bring your choir on to social media? How do you get your performance details out to potential audiences? We will look at ways we can improve communication to the “outside world” including using Facebook groups and Twitter/Instagram, email newsletters, YouTube and live streaming. Bring any tips or questions you have as we discuss strategies for effective communication.
Class Session: D

Extra-Ordinary Ringers (Nancy Youngman)
Is your choir outside of the norm i.e. a variety of ages, skills, a very young or an elderly group, or an unusual number of ringers? This class will help you adapt to these special challenges. Special ways to develop music or to work with existing music will be explored, as well as ideas to work with a variety of personalities within your group.
Class Sessions: E, H

First Connections Lunch (Lori Fenton)
An opportunity for First Time Attendees and Orphan Ringers to meet some new handbell friends and have any questions answered. Grab your box lunch and come to this class to learn how to maximize your conference time, maneuver the conference schedule, survive the massed ringing experience, and find out how addicting the whole handbell business is. Bring your conference booklet and, if you have music questions, bring your music along, we can help with that too!
Class Session: Thurs. 11:30am

Follow the Money: [or What Every Handbell Musician Needs to Know About Copyright] (Michele Sharik)
Is it okay to make copies for vision-impaired ringers? Is it okay to play from sheet music on an iPad? What are performance royalties? Why should I care? Learn the answers to these questions and more in this overview of what every handbell musician needs to know about copyright and how to protect themselves and their organization from copyright litigation.
Class Sessions: J, K

Four-in-Hand: Use It or Lose It (Elizabeth Mays)
You will learn various methods of ringing 2 bells in each hand (there are more than seven ways to do it!), how to decide which to use when, and how to do them safely and musically.
Class Sessions: B, G

Handbell Olympics (Linda Ashley & Laura Kopff)
Do you have what it takes to be a gold medalist? Come test your handbell skills with a friendly competition! Participants will be split into teams and compete in areas ranging from handbell techniques to sight-reading to round-robin style ringing! This hands-on class will see who takes home top prize in the all-around of the handbell world!
Class Sessions: J, K

If Bells Grew on Trees (Elizabeth Mays)
Bell trees are a beautiful way to add bells to choir music, play along with the church praise bands, or stand alone as a solo instrument. This session will teach you the basics of bell trees, including how to string them up, what mallets to use, etc.
Class Sessions: E, I

In-Depth Score Study (Alex Guebert)
Both directors and ringers can benefit from studying the score to identify the melody, primary harmony, accompaniment, and descant, as well as the form and structure of a piece of music. Learn how to dig deep and truly unlock your musical potential!
Class Sessions: A, G

KatSigning: Doing More with Less (KatRyn Howell)
Timbré plays up to 6 octaves of bells with only seven ringers. How do we do it? Learn KatRyn Howell’s tried-and-true method of assigning that makes sure the parts are challenging, but musically playable. Not just for small ensembles, you can use this method for assigning more ringers as well, for groups of ringers with a variety of skill levels, or perhaps for allowing your group to play an octave more than you – or they – thought they could!
Class Sessions: D, G

Let’s Chime In! (Nancy Youngman)
A class to help you make the most of your set of chimes, whether in the classroom or at church. Learn special techniques, tips on care, and ways to use and enhance music through the use of chimes.
Class Sessions: B, C

Making the Most of Your Guild Membership (Jennifer Vangolen)
Your membership in Handbell Musicians of America offers more than just events and a copy of Overtones! New resources are being added regularly, so come learn about all the benefits offered to members of the organization, as well as the different levels at which you can join. There will also be an opportunity to share what you get out of your membership.
Class Session: F

Malmark Maintenance (Gail Welk)
This class will offer participants hands on experience in maintaining their Malmark Handbells and Choirchimes. They will learn to take apart and reassemble a handbell as well as the basic adjustments for Malmark bells and chimes. Participants are invited to bring a bell that needs attention.
Class Sessions: C, E

Maori Stick Games (Janet Carter)
A fun set of rhythm games from New Zealand that help with coordination, partnering and feeling the beat. Best played by sitting on the floors, but chair play is permitted!
Class I covers the basics.
Class Sessions: D, E
Class II moves quickly to variations on the basics.
Class Sessions: F, G

Metal and Muscle (KatRyn Howell)
How many muscles does it take to ring a handbell? Bet you’ll be surprised. Learn how to engage all the muscles of your body to support and enhance good ringing.
Class Sessions: A, H

Music Literacy I: The ABC’s of Do-Re-Mi (Note Reading) (Alex Guebert)
Are you still struggling with actually reading the notes on your music? This class will teach you easy-to-remember ways to identify pitches so you can become a more confident and accurate ringer.
Class Sessions: B, H

Music Literacy II: The ABCs of Do-Re-Mi (Rhythms) (KatRyn Howell)
Are you still struggling with actually reading the rhythms on your music? This class will teach you easy-to-remember ways to identify rhythms so you can become a more confident and accurate ringer.
Class Sessions: I, K

Orchestration for Bells: Using Chimes and Other Instruments in Your Music (Michele Sharik)
This workshop gives advice on adding the tone color and textures of handchimes and other instruments to handbell music, even if they’re not included in the score. It also demonstrates various chime techniques.
Class Sessions: D, E

Processionals (Kipp Willnauer)
Make an entrance with Processionals and Fanfares that are Public Domain and/or 12 measures and repeat from Pulications.
Class Session: I

Reading Session: Christmas (Janet Carter)
Come ring through dynamic literature for your ensembles in the Christmas season.
Class Sessions: C, Fri. 7:00pm

Reading Session: Concert Music (Patrick Gagnon)
Come ring through some pieces perfect for your next concert! Class Sessions: Fri. 8:15pm, J

Reading Session: Lent and Easter (Kipp Willnauer)
Come ring through a variety of handbell music to set the tone for your ensembles in Lent and Easter.
Class Sessions: Thurs. 8:30am, C

Relax and Unwind (Johannah McWhirter)
Come and take time out of your busy day and spend an hour focusing on yourself! We will take this time to try and relax your mind and body, restore some balance from your day to day living and hopefully change the way you treat yourself by taking care of your first. There will be a guided meditation and some relaxation massage techniques in this class.
Materials needed: Anything you need to make yourself comfortable sitting in a chair or laying on the floor.

Class Sessions: H, I

Remedies for the Sightreading Blues (Barbara Meinke)
Does the thought of ringing through a new piece of music give you the heebie-jeebies? Join us to learn some techniques to improve your sight-reading mojo. Part discussion, part hand-on, we’ll unveil the mystique and find the joy in that first read-through.
Class Sessions: B, F, H

Rhythms 2 Ringing™ (Tim Waugh)
Join Tim for this challenging and fun class exploring and experiencing wats to improve your rhythmic acuity! This class, a favorite of handbell workshop participants for over three decades, works with concepts that “Your Body is the (First) Music Instrument” and that music and movement are intertwined! Come ready to move, laugh and have fun! No two sessions are exactly alike.
Class Sessions: A, I

Ring S’More Track (Sharon Schmidt)
(Additional Fee/Registered Track) New this year, a track for those who just want to Ring S’More. No preparation is needed, and there isn’t any performance pressure! You’ll get your own copies of the selections at the first session. We’ll spend much of the three sessions ringing the level 2 to 3 selections on 5-6 octave sets, and the rest exploring the nuances of stem direction, musicality and mixed meter. This track is most appropriate for those who can sight read level 2 and above music, including bell changes, techniques, syncopation and changing meters.
Class Sessions: B, E, K

Ringing in One Accord (Michele Sharik)
Ringing chords cleanly and rapid runs accurately can be a challenge for handbell choirs. Learn techniques and strategies to help you and your choir ring more fluidly.
Class Sessions: A, G

Schulmerich Maintenance (Bethan Neely)
This hands-on class will give you the skills to disassemble and reassemble your bells with confidence. We will cover basic maintenance and repairs, so you are able to keep your bells ringing at their best!
Class Sessions: C, E

Small Ensemble Resources (Lauran Delancy)
Come explore some of the many resources available for small ensembles. Whether your choir has a limited number of ringers, or you have a small group looking for more of a challenge, there are handbell resources available to meet your needs! This hands-on class will offer an overview of several different types of music available as well as other helpful techniques and resources.
Class Session: F

STEAM Rolling Bells in the Classroom (Cathy Brenner and Sara Mulford)
Learn ways to identify how you can partner with schools using handbells and chimes to promote STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math) learning activities beyond the music classroom. An example lesson plan for third grade is provided for participants to run through. A roundtable discussion will be included to explore modifications for use with other grade levels and ideas for additional lesson plans.
Class Sessions: B, C

Stem Direction Does Count! (Sharon Schmidt)
How do you figure out who does what in handbell music? How do you study a piece of music away from the table? We’ll walk through several pieces of music to explore the mysteries of stem direction. On the way, we’ll review all the information presented in the music, including the bells used chard, brackets and parentheses, plus tricks for finding the melody.
Class Sessions: I, J

Stopped Sounds 1: The Basics (Pat Latshaw)
Mart, pluck, mallet and more! You’ll have the opportunity to practice them all in this hands-on class that will familiarize you with the various stopped sound notations and focus on proper technique. Class exercises will emphasize the skills needed to perform them all effortlessly and musically.
Class Sessions: C, E

Stopped Sounds 2: Combinations (Pat Latshaw)
Once you’ve mastered the basics, you’ll find that stopped sounds are often used in combination with each other. This class will teach you the art of playing multiple techniques in a piece and will emphasize the preparation needed to achieve the ultimate goal of fine musicality. Hands-on exercises will demonstrate various combinations found in handbell literature.
Class Sessions: D, H, I

There Ain’t No Such Thing as Solo/Ensemble Techniques (Elizabeth Mays)
Learn how to apply traveling 4iH to your music in a full-choir setting. Not just for the high bells, these techniques can be used down to D/E5 or even lower. (You should already know how to ring 4-in-hand.)
Class Sessions: F, J

There’s More than One Way to Peel a Banana (Michele Sharik)
This is a hands-on overview of a variety of assignment strategies. From Allured to Hilty to Ivey to KatSigning and beyond, come try out a bunch of different ways to assign the bells to ringers.
Class Session: B

Unpublished Music Reading Session (Patrick Gagnon)
This session is a unique opportunity to sight-read unpublished music in the presence of the composer! Dynamic and eminent handbell composers Larry Sue and Tim Waugh will be in attendance to offer written and verbal commentary to attending composers. Information about this class, submitting compositions, and procedures can be found on the Area 8 website.
Class Session: Fri. 9:30pm

We Damp Through the Air with the Greatest of Ease (Barbara Meinke)
As beginning bell ringers, most of us learned that damping is just as important as ringing. Now let’s explore and practice damping in a new way that enhances our visual and musical result. This class will include instruction and plenty of examples and time to practice what you learn.
Class Sessions: E, G, I

With Mallets Aforethought (Alex Guebert)
Do you feel like you’re on the wrong end of the stick whenever you play mallets? Come learn the safe way to hold mallets, as well as how to use them for the greatest musical effect on handbells.
Class Sessions: D, F, K

Working with Young Ringers (Lauran Delancy)
This class will focus on making the art of handbell ringing more accessible to young children. When we encourage their natural enthusiasm and desire to learn and couple it with the beginnings of technique and rhythm instruction, we plant the seeds of love for music that will grow with them. I will share my experiences and strategies for working with children as young as 4 years old and we will have an opportunity to try some of the various techniques and share ideas.
Class Session: G, K

Worship Track (Jeff White)
(Additional Fee/Registered Track) Discover new possibilities for using handbells in your worship service! This track will be three sessions and will cover processionals, hymn and choir accompaniments, liturgical music, ringing with less than a full choir, and more. You’ll not only get the chance to hear these exciting ways of using bells, but you’ll get to experience it as well! This track is open to all levels of handbell ringers and directors, and even non-bell musicians! All attendees will have the chance to participate—even if you’ve never rung a bell before!
Class Sessions: A, F, I

XYZ: Perpendicular 6-in-Hand (Mary Liao)
Finally, 6iH that’s easy to set up, easy to let go, and each bell can be rung separately! Come learn all the ins and outs of this fun technique!
Class Sessions: A, H