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   The Twelfth Tone
Area 12 Newsletter                                                               November 2016

In This Issue
From the Chair
Southern Nevada
Central California
Northern California
Southern California
Northern Nevada
San Francisco Bay Area
LA Metro
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   Virtuoso is Back!
June 9-11, 2017
Raleigh, North Carolina
Conductor: Dr. William Payn
Virtuoso was created by The Raleigh Ringers as a unique opportunity for 29 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, 2016.
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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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Message from the Chair - Tessique Houston

Hello Area 12!

Aloha! I just returned from the island of O'ahu. I was honored to be asked to be the clinician and this year's Aloha Ring and we had a wonderful time! Bells in Hawai'i are really kicking! I was so blessed to get a chance to work with such wonderful ringers. We had a group of middle school students come over from the Big Island and a great mix of ringers from several groups in the Honolulu area. I also got to work with a great group that plays at the oldest church on the island - such a beautiful sanctuary! I am really looking forward to the next time I'm asked to go - it was so fulfilling to work with all those ringers.

Speaking of ringing in Hawai'i - I can't give any concrete details yet because we haven't signed any contracts, but Area 12 is planning to have our 2018 bi-annual convention on O'ahu! Start saving your money - we want to see all of you there! And keep your eyes on the the website for information - we will post it as soon as we have it!

Area 12 voting reminder - your ballots need to be postmarked by  November 5 in order for your vote to count. If you have not yet cast your ballot for the Area 12 election, please take a minute to review the candidate bios and put that ballot in the mail on time!

Until next time,

Tessique Houston
Communiqué - Barbara Meinke, Communications Director
Michael Glasgow and I have many things in common - handbells, cooking, entertaining, bargain shopping and serving as editors for our Area newsletters. I enjoyed his article this month so am taking this month off and sharing his with you! I can relate!

Tightening Up Rehearsals
by Michael J. Glasgow
Bell-O-Gram Editor 

As I sit here on a crisp fall day, I begin to ponder writing what it is that I will need to write in my column and share with you, the readers of The Bell-O-Gram, as we begin another year of wonderful ringing and directing; and it occurs to me, as I think of these ponderings, that this is how several articles have begun over the last nine years, when I have received their original first drafts from columnists in this, our Area 3 magazine, The Bell-O-Gram.

Most of my editing time is spent tightening up people's writing, with its parenthetical long-windedness. To be fair, our state chairs are thrown into their positions with the expectations of submitting four articles a year, and many of them have told me, "Michael, I am not a writer. Can you 'clean it up' for me?" So I have to tighten and trim.

The opening paragraph (which is not far off from material I've actually received) can be tightened up thusly: "People take too long to get to their freaking point."

We know you're "sitting there writing an article," because you've written an article. Don't lead with "As I sit here writing this article," because I'm going to cut it. Trim it back to the necessary points, and then add a bit of flair if you wish. Don't start with a bunch of flowery stuff; it's like you're padding a book report ("'Alice's Adventures in Wonderland,' by Lewis Carroll, was a book which I read for my book report, and so this is the book about which I have written this report"). Please, just let the Jabberwocky eat me.

Too often, this "padding" works its way into our rehearsals. I've been guilty of it, because I love to tell stories; sometimes, this is a respite from a super-intense rehearsal, but we can all get carried away. So here are a few things to avoid:

Talk too much.  Nothing is a greater timesink than overexplaining what you want the ringers to achieve. Give them the overview, and then let them try it. Respect their intelligence, and give them a chance. They want to ring.

Come into rehearsal unprepared. Everyone's given up something else they could be doing to be at your rehearsal. Not knowing your music, running a poorly planned rehearsal, or forgetting your music is going to make them mad.

Manage time poorly. Ours is a tough instrument, because often a tricky passage requires just a few people out of the whole group. Don't let those few folks steal too much time from the whole, though! Let everyone else go 10 minutes early and have a focused sectional if needed. Keep it moving.

What else annoys ringers? What pitfalls can you caution your colleagues to avoid? E-mail me, and we can continue the discussion in the February issue!  

That last bit...it's from me too! Ringers and directors, send me your comments and we'll continue the conversation!

Barbara Meinke
Communications Director
Southern Nevada - Alison Pruett, Regional Coordinator

Hello, Southern Nevada!

As you're getting ready for your holiday performances, be sure to keep in mind the pieces we will play at this year's Las Vegas 12th Night Handbell Festival and incorporate those pieces into your performances. Reminder - the early bird registration ends on November 30th so get your registration in before prices go up! We hope to see everyone there!

featuring Tim Waugh
Saturday, Jan. 7
For Festival Registration Forms, CLICK HERE
This event is endorsed by Handbell Musicians of America

Alison Pruett
Southern Nevada Regional Coordinator

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

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Central Calif - Christine Anderson, Regional Coordinator

Happy Autumn!

By now your handbell choirs should be in full swing and gearing up for Christmas concerts - the best music in the whole year.

Handbells are coming to another TV sit-com - how exciting! "Workaholics" on Comedy Central will start a new season in January and six handbell ringers will be part of the story in episode 6. You  may recognize a couple of our So Cal Area 12 ringers!

Please be sure to  list your Christmas events  on our Area 12 calendar so we can support each other in attendance!

Happy Ringing!

Christine Anderson
Central California Regional Coordinator

For information on Central California's concerts, events,
and other opportunities,  click here .
Northern California - Nancy Schmitt, Regional Coordinator
Nancy Schmitt
Hello Northern California,

Seventy-two ringers came together for the Redding Handbell Festival, October 21-22, to ring massed numbers under Shosh Meyer and attend fun and educational bell classes. Barb Walsh directed  the Red Zone Bronze Choir. 

The final concert was open to the  public and 150 people attended! The $570.00 raised will benefit the Salvation Army.

What events are you hoping or planning for? Let me know!

Nancy Schmitt
Northern California Regional Coordinator  

For information on Northern California's concerts, events,
and other opportunities,  click here!
Southern California - Michèle Sharik, Regional Coordinator

Hi there, SoCal!
By now you should have received your postcards advertising the SoCal Spring Ring (April 28 & 29 in Oceanside). Be sure to register soon to take advantage of the Early Bird discount, to ensure you have a primo place on the ringing floor, to get into your first choice class picks, and to lock in your preferred position in the Bronze Vision group. Remember you can register as an individual even if your whole group doesn't come!
If you've misplaced your postcard, or didn't get one, you can get more event information and registration forms at the SoCal web page - just scroll the calendar forward to April 2017 and click on the Spring Ring event. A window will pop-up with a link to the info and registration forms.
In other news, the winter holiday season is approaching FAST! The Area 12 web site has a new feature where you can submit your event to our web calendar. Just click on Submit Your Event on our home page and enter the information. You may submit any kind of bell event, whether it's a church service, a concert, your group is going caroling, a ring-a-thon, anything! Let's get that calendar FILLED with BELLS!

Until next month,
My best,

Michèle Sharik
For information on Southern California's concerts,
events,  and other opportunities,  click here .  
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Northern Nevada - Barb Walsh, Regional Coordinator


Tintab had a great time at the Redding Handbell Festival this past weekend! Many thanks to Nancy Schmitt and Lois Nichols for coordinating the event and to Area 10's Shosh Meyer as the massed director.  We had a blast!

Speaking of festivals, we have a date and venue for the 15th Annual Sierra Spring Ring.  It will be on May 20, 2017 at Marvin Picollo School in Reno, NV. South Reno UMC was already booked for that day, so we're very grateful to have this alternate site. It is a bit smaller, so be ready to register as soon as we post forms so you won't miss out! We'll keep you posted as we iron out all the details.

If you have Christmas concerts planned, please be sure to send details to me or enter them on our website form. We'd love to fill your audience with fellow handbell ringers!

Barbara Walsh
Northern Nevada Regional Coordinator

For information on Northern Nevada's concerts, events,
and other opportunities,  click here
San Francisco Bay - Kendra Scott, Regional Coordinator

A Trip Down Memory Lane
Some of you may know that my great-grandmother, Helen Runkle, was very active in the early days of the Guild. Like good daughters and nieces, various members of my family have saved correspondence and memorabilia from her involvement in those days. My mother and I thought we had located everything that was kept, but this week a box surfaced with some papers we had not seen before. So today I now know the origin of a little ceramic bell name tag that I have kept on my bookshelf for the last ten years. In "Handbells Ringing," by Isabel Meldrum, historian of the AGEHR circa 1959, it is written:

"Our Second Annual Festival was held August 26-28, 1955 ... Each  delegate on arrival at Castle Hill received a beautiful miniature pottery bell to wear with his name tag. The bells had been made by Mrs. Florence Marlow, director of the Blue Bells of Webster Groves, Missouri."

We also found a badge with the emblem of the AGEHR in 1954 that was distributed to bell folks, as well as other fascinating correspondence of the early guild administration. Some entertaining bits from "Occasional Paper No. 1: 'General Information about Handbells' ": 
"What comprises a set? There is no rule. You may order one bell or sixty-one (5 chromatic octaves) the total number manufactured. Ringers can normally handle at least 3 bells apiece."
"Warning: This is important ... [regarding transposition] Unless ordering all five octaves, build your order around the [written] Middle C, not the founder's middle C, or you will receive the low, heavy, more expensive bells. Check your order with an experienced handbell ringer."
And what did 5 octaves of bells run you then? Approximately $1500. Individual and group memberships to the Guild at the time were $5. What a deal!

Click below to view information on the upcoming

This event is endorsed by Handbell Musicians of America

As always, check out the events calendar for concerts near you. Happy ringing!
Kendra Scott
Bay Area Regional Coordinator

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

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Los Angeles Metro - Scott Leggett, Regional Coordinator
November is the time for thanks and I want say how thankful I am for this handbell community that is so supportive, engaging and active in our communities and churches and brings so much joy and happiness to ourselves and our audiences. THANK YOU.

I had the honor of spending a morning last week with a group of nuns at a local convent which is associated with a large community assisted living/skilled nursing center in our area. They reached out looking for the kind of help we were advertising in our Back to Bells workshops. One of the sisters is the activities coordinator and uses a 1-octave set of colored handbells and very old set of chimes with the residents. They even have a beautiful marimba another sister is teaching herself to play. The activities coordinator can't read music herself, but she wrote out songs putting numbers to the notes that match numbers on the instruments and they can play!

The sisters were having the same concerns many of us have in our groups - folks too shy to join in, varied skill levels especially among the very ill and elderly, not enough time for rehearsal, and looking for ideas to ring with few ringers. I know some of my colleagues will have some solutions and join me in a half day visit providing some ideas and demonstrations of ringing and maybe a marimba lesson as well. They were so thrilled just having a connection with the wider handbell community; which made me again say THANKS! 

Please add your events to our calendar....every single audience member counts and we want to help you spread the word!

Scott Leggett
Los Angeles Metro Regional Coordinator
For information on LA Metro's concerts, events,
and other opportunities,  click here.
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Hawaii - Karen Carlisle, Regional Coordinator
Karen Carlisle

We had a fun Aloha Ring last weekend! It was great having a group of six youth come from the Big Island and have fun ringing with others.

The fellowship is invaluable with our handbell people. Ringing all day is so much fun! Though the turnout was small, we appreciated Tess Houston for traveling all the way to help us out. I admit we did not have to twist her arm!
While Tess was here, we visited the possible site of our 2018 Ringers Conference. This hotel is really nice but the details are still in early stages, so we'll have to keep you in suspense a little longer. I can tell you they have a great garlic shrimp plate for sale right in the lobby!! Watch for details as we iron them out and plan to join us in Honolulu in summer 2018!

Karen Carlisle
Hawaii Regional Coordinator

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