November 29, 2020
Greetings Area 12!
It is the time of year where we count our many blessings as we reflect on a most unusual year. We are thankful for our health, our family and friends, and our ringing circles. We have found new ways to stay connected with our fellow ringers and make music in courtyards and on Zoom. 

The holidays are also a time when many of us look for ways to give back to our communities. Many of us volunteer at food banks or give to local charities. We at Area 12 would welcome your donations this Giving Tuesday as we continue to develop new initiatives to keep our ringing community connected. We are also still in need of a chair-elect candidate to fill a slot in our biannual election. There are plenty of other ways you can give back, so please reach out to us. We would love to connect with you!

May your holidays be filled with joy and ringing,

Kendra Symonds
Six hours of music, interviews, fun, and giving
Tuesday, December 1, beginning at 2 p.m. (PST)
On Giving Tuesday, December 1, Handbell Musicians of America will be hosting our first-ever Ring-a-Thon. For six hours, we will take to YouTube Live with a fun lineup of musical performances from solo ringers, collegiate choirs, community choirs, and some of our amazing groups from the past.

Join handbell personalities Michèle Sharik and Michael J. Glasgow, as they emcee the six-hour event with music, interviews with directors and performers, and generally, add a great deal of fun to this event. While we rock around the clock, there will be many other opportunities for fun, swag, and giving.
Plan now to join us from 2:00 p.m. (PST) to 8 p.m. (PST) as we ring the night away….and what would Giving Tuesday be without the chance for you to give?
We hope you’ll enjoy the music and contribute to the ongoing work of Handbell Musicians of America!

Regional Updates
Michèle Sharik
For information on Southern California concerts, events, and other opportunities, click here.  
Hello, SoCal --

I hope you all had a meaningful Thanksgiving and are looking forward to Advent and Christmas seasons. Most of all, I hope you are all staying safe & healthy! 

Have any of you re-started in-person handbell rehearsals? I would love to hear about it, if you have. Maybe send me a picture of your group in your rehearsal space—maybe it will inspire others to do the same. (Don't forget the COVID-safe guidelines provided by the Handbell Industry Council & Malmark, which you can find here

I recently had the wonderful opportunity to participate in LA Metro's virtual event "Christmas Handbells"—not only as a member of the event committee, but also as a ringer in the rehearsal video. The virtual event (which was Saturday, November 21) was a big hit, with a lively YouTube chat room, and many positive comments. I hope some of you participated and created your own video submissions to be included in the project. I am really looking forward to the Watch Party on Dec 6!

It's easy to feel isolated in times like these, when everything seems so dismal and uncertain. Please do take advantage of the virtual fellowship, ringing, and educational opportunities that are available to us now, such as Area 12's "Table Talks," regional and national "Handbell Happy Hours," virtual events such as "Christmas Handbells," online workshops, livestreams, and of course, the Virtual Bell Academy courses available from the national guild here

Most of all, I wish you all peace and solace as we enter this holiday season. 

Please let me know if there's anything I can do for you!

My best,
A full-service handbell store
with music and accessories:

maintenance items
bell tree items
Malmark products

visit us at

6603 Queen Ave S, Suite S
Richfield, MN 55423

Barbara Walsh
For information on Northern Nevada concerts, events, and other opportunities, click here.  

It seems so odd that Tintab doesn't have a gazillion Christmas concerts scheduled. We do have a couple of livestream concerts, one on Dec. 12 at 6:00 and one on Dec. 13 at 4:00 p.m. (check the Area 12 calendar or go to for more info) that will be half live performance and half pre-recorded. The pre-recorded pieces are from that crazy schedule we did in the Fall - 2 rehearsals and then record 4 pieces. Here's a link to "Good King Wenceslas" that we recorded as part of the second set. Performing without an audience is hard! I'm thinking of getting some of those life sized cut-outs to put in the theater seats!

I know it will be a very different holiday season this year, but I would still like to wish everyone a Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukah, Joyous Kwanzaa, and whatever other holidays you may be celebrating. May you have peace, joy and good health.

Sharon Guilliams
For information on LA Metro's concerts, events,  
and other opportunities, click here.  
As 2020 comes to a close, I'd like to reflect a bit on the past year.

  • We were all set to have a great Spring Ring in March, but as you know, those plans had to be set aside. 
  • Area 12 also had to postpone our Las Vegas conference, but was able to pivot and hold a virtual conference, Handbell Encounters of the Area 12 Kind (HEAK - or "Heck", as some insiders called it). 
  • Inspired by the Association of Lutheran Church Musicians' Pentecost virtual ensemble (which did not include handbells!), and the belief that Christmas without handbells is NOT good, LA Metro held the Christmas Handbells Virtual Massed Ring Event. On November 21, at least 80 ringers got together virtually to work on two pieces of music, then were sent off to record videos of their individual parts and send them to us. The feedback we received was very complimentary and appreciative of the effort. This event would not have been possible without our committee of eight dedicated handbell advocates including our clinician Alex Guebert, 13 rehearsal choir members, our technical director Derek Nance, plus several other support persons. Thank you!

Now let's look forward.

  • On Thursday, Dec 3, at 6:30 p.m. (PST) we will have an LA Metro Handbell Happy Hour during which we will answer questions about how we pulled off the Virtual Massed Ring and discuss what folks would like to see in the Spring. Please join us on Zoom.

  • On Sunday, Dec 6, at 5:00 p.m. (PST) we will hold a Watch Party in which we will debut our Christmas Handbells Virtual Ensemble videos, as well as have some other fun. The Watch Party will be an interactive Zoom event open to anyone. Dress up in your holiday cheer and join us on Zoom!

While the COVID pandemic has been very stressful, I am very thankful for the technology that has allowed us to stay connected, as well as for all the essential workers that just keep going under unimaginable circumstances. And yet, even during these difficult times, I have met so many really awesome folks.

Please have a very Merry Christmas and we will see you in the New Year.

Hello friends!

I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving this year. This year looked very different from years past—instead of the large family gathering, I had a small meal here at home and visited with my family using zoom. As I think about the things that I am grateful for, at the top of the list is the level of technology that we have that allows for all of us to stay connected in a time of pandemic. I am also thankful for all the handbell friends and family in my life and I look forward to continuing to make music in whatever way we can. 

As we look ahead to Giving Tuesday next week, I wanted to remind everyone that the Area 12 Handbell and Handchime loan program is always taking donations of equipment. These sets of bells and chimes can be borrowed by a school to assist them with getting a bell or chime program started. Our chimes have traditionally been in higher demand than our bells. If you are aware of a set of chimes that are no longer being used, one option is to donate them to the Area 12 loan program so they can contribute to the establishment of new school programs. All donations to Area 12 are tax deductible to the extent allowed by law. If you would like to donate any equipment or have any questions about our loan program, please e-mail me at I hope everyone has a wonderful holiday!

Beth Mays
Sandi Walker-Tansley
For information on NorCal concerts, events, and other opportunities, 
click here.  
Karen Carlisle
For information on Hawaii concerts, events, and other opportunities, 
click here.  
Christine Anderson
For information on Central California concerts, events, and other opportunities, click here.  
Nancy Schmidt
For information on Northern California concerts, events, and other opportunities, click here.  
Alison Pruett
For information on Southern Nevada concerts, events, and other opportunities, 
click here.  
Marquise Usher
For information on Bay Area concerts, events, and other opportunities, click here.  
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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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Teachers, would you like the use of a 3-octave set of handbells or handchimes to add interest and a new dimension to your music class?

Area 12 encourages schools and other educational institutions, both public and private, to develop educational programs using handbells and handchimes.

To support the development of such programs, Area 12 has six 3-octave sets of handbells and three 3-octave sets of handchimes for loan.

To learn more about the responsibilities and procedures for participating in this program, click here.
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