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The Northwest Campanologist
Vol 13. No.10 October 2022
Meet Your Alaska State Chair
Greetings from Alaska!
I’m Caroline Valentine, an Alaskan resident for 50+ years and handbell ringer/director for 40+ years. I was first introduced to handbell ringing by Linn Schmidt in early 1980’s. She invited me and my husband to ring in her church bell choir. Linn was in and out of my life as a handbell musician for many years. She was a valued mentor. I’ve been fortunate to have many mentors through the years. Paula Johnson was another. When Ellie organized the ringers/directors years ago, I flew “down” to Portland to be a part of that first meeting. It’s all about learning for me.* I was in the first class of HMA’s Level 1 certified Handbell Musicians.
Who am I? I am married to Craig (55 years), mother of two adult children, grandmother of three teens. I taught mathematics (54 years) from 6th graders to college students. Craig and I operate an authentic bed and breakfast (40+ years.) I am a church musician (45+ years.) I serve my present church as organist, handbell director, and accompanist. Our handbell choir, the Northern Lights Ringers, rings 6+ octaves of bells and 7 octaves of chimes. We rang through the pandemic years from my driveway where we practiced and did recordings for our virtual church services. It got cold on the driveway. One creative ringer, Lynn Barber, wrote handbell-themed lyrics which we sang and recorded. (See footnote.) Last year we returned to the sanctuary to practice and ring for in-person worship services. Now we properly use the tables to mart a bell. We have only memories of bruising our bodies for our “art” of playing a mart without a table.
Probably you didn’t know much about me since I’ve been a handbell lurker gathering knowledge. I’m a shy person until I stand in front of my ringers ready to conduct. Then I’m big, bold and in charge. (Thanks, Ellie!)
Now it’s time to give back. So here I am, your up-North member ready to work with you.
“I think one of the great things about being a musician is that you never stop learning.” Yo-Yo Ma
Pandemic Bells (sung to “I’m Singing in the Rain”)
We’re ringing if it rains. We’re ringing if it’s not.
We ring our bells with joy, be it weather cold or hot.
A smile behind each mask, there’s nothing more we ask.
We’re giving, we’re giving all we’ve got
Snow Bells (sung to tune “Let It Snow”)
Oh, the weather out here is frightful, but the ringing’s so delightful.
Since Caroline won’t let us go, let it snow, let it snow, let it snow.
Though our fingers will soon be numb, our bells joyful sounds will ring.
Though the weeks that will surely come, snow-muffled music we’ll bring.
Oh, the weather out here is frightful, but the ringing’s so delightful.
Our bells swinging to and fro, let it snow, let it snow, let it snow.
Lyrics to both were written by Lynn Barber, fabulous 4-in-hand ringer, at the time with Northern Lights Ringers
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Area 10 Events
Fall into Ringing

October 14-15, 2023
St. Albert United Church
20 Green Grove Drive
St. Albert, Alberta
The Alberta Guild of English Handbell Ringers (ALGEHR) annual handbell festival, Discovery, is back in person this year! Don’t miss out on this great chance to catch up with handbell musicians from across Alberta. This year’s event, Fall into Ringing, will be held October 14-15, at St. Albert United Church. The event starts on Friday evening with an option of two breakout sessions and ends on Saturday evening with a concert which will include the most recent Fred Merrett Award for New Compositions winners.

With massed ringing and breakout sessions, there is something for everyone. If you are a director or ringercome for a technique refresher or learn something new! We have a Youth Stream, and welcome young ringers to join us.

To register, please visit!event-list

Watch the ALGEHR website for details of our latest fundraiser, a 50/50 raffle with the draw for the lucky winner being made during the evening concert at Discovery. By purchasing tickets, you will help ALGEHR purchase the former Concordia University of Edmonton handbell collection to enhance our outreach handbell programs. 

Hope to see you at Discovery!


Fiona Bamforth
President, ALGEHR
Bells of the Cascades Christmas Concerts
Saturday, 17 December 7:00pm

Forest Grove United Methodist Church
1726 Cedar Street, Forest Grove, OR

Sunday, 18 December - 7:00pm

Salmon Creek United Methodist Church
12217 NE Hwy 99, Vancouver, WA

Snake River Handbell Conference
Friday night and Saturday, February 10-11, 2023
Central Elementary School Gym
Nampa, ID

More details and registration information will be coming, but here is the repertoire list. Our clinician is Sandra Eithun. We have played some of her music in previous conferences and I think you will like her selections for our conference. One of the composers of the music is her son, Mitchell.

Bells of the Cascades
2023 Spring Handbell Festival
Saturday, Feb 11, 2023

Salmon Creek United Methodist Church
12217 NE Hwy 99
Vancouver, WA
Join us for our annual Spring Handbell Festival in February 2023!

Open to choirs, ensembles and ringers of all levels: Challenge yourself, learn new skills, and meet musicians from around the region. The festival will include optional individual group rehearsals and massed rehearsals, with a free public concert.

Challenge yourself, learn new skills, and meet musicians from around the region. The festival will include optional individual group rehearsals and massed rehearsals, with a free public concert.

Siskiyou Summit Handbell Conference

May 6, 2023
Together Again!
In Ashland, OR 
As the wider handbell community begins to gather again, Siskiyou Summit is back with a restart in 2023. As we all get back into the swing of rehearsals and live performances, I have decided to restart the event with a one day Massed Ring/Workshop format. Tim Waugh will still be our Conference Guest Conductor leading the full group in Massed Ringing. The repertoire list can be found below. It is revised from 2020 but is still exploring Fascinatin’ Rhythms. Join us for a Spring Day full of wonderful music and learning opportunities as we celebrate our extended handbell family.
Event Registration is $65/person by March 1st, after March 11st $75/person. Registration will open January 1, 2023. You don’t need a full choir to participate, Partial Choirs and “Orphans” are welcome to attend.

For more information contact Diane Barnes
REPERTOIRE—accessible and suitable for use in Worship. All pieces have the optional addition of percussion and other instrumentation.
Recollection L2+ Tim Waugh 

Jerusalem My Happy Home L3 Cathy Moklebust 

Let Us Talents and Tongues Employ L3 Benjamin
Angels Sing Gloria L2+ Sandra Eithun 

Festal Dance L3  Tim Waugh 
“Rendezvous on the Spokane”
Area 10 Conference June 16-18, 2023
CenterPlace Regional Event Center,
Spokane Valley WA

After meeting virtually for the 2021 AREA Conference “AREA 10 Goes Globell” we can meet again IN PERSON in June 2023. Rally your Choirs, friends, and family as we are together again and “Rendezvous on the Spokane”. Begin your 2022-2023 ringing year by checking out the conference repertoire list (insert link) and maybe programing some into your ringing year, prepping for June 2023. Registration will open January 1, 2023, with an Early Bird deadline of March 31, 2023.

The AREA 10 board invites anyone interested in leading a workshop at the AREA conference to contact Diane Barnes at expressing your interest, topics you would like to teach along with any experience you’ve had with that topic.

Brenda Austin
Our Guest conductors are “regular” people just like us, get to know Brenda a little bit more as she shares a bit about her life beyond handbells.
We all bring our own journeys with us as we join to make music, so it might help if you know a bit about the person behind the name you might see on the top of a piece of music or standing on the podium at the festival.

I grew up in a small, rural area in southwestern Michigan on a fruit farm. This has turned me into a complete fruit snob. Nothing beats freshly picked fruit! All through school, I loved singing and dancing. I participated in a lot of show-choir camps. In undergrad, I sang in a vocal jazz group, and I was a singer/dancer at Cedar Point amusement park one summer. I thought it was crazy…I got paid to sing and dance?!?! I am a runner, pink is my favorite color and all things that sparkle.

Handbells made their entrance into my world when I was in the 5th grade, and they’ve been a part of my life ever since. I rang in my friend’s church handbell choir and was sad when that ended. Handbells re-entered my life through my church director of music positions, and I grew to love directing as much as playing. I started writing handbell music for my own choirs when I began as Director of Music at FUMC of Eaton Rapids, MI in 2002; as they say, necessity is often the mother of invention! My first handbell piece was published in 2014. I direct handbells at all levels from the beginner to master ringers. I have continued to write with my groups in mind – if it works for me and my groups, it seems to work for others, too. You might even notice some of the influence from my dancing and singing days showing up in the music itself!

I have three great kids and two fur babies who keep me busy. The two eldest are well into their undergrad programs and my youngest is in his last years of High School. Of course, all three are ringers (the youngest rings with Embellish in Grand Rapids, MI) and are often called into service to record demos of 8- and 12-bell music for Hope Publishing. This kind of free child labor can’t be beat! The fur babies are not involved in the recordings if we can help it.

When I direct a festival, I come prepared so we can make the most of our time together and MAKE SOME MUSIC! (Isn’t that why we’re all there, after all?)

I’m looking forward to getting to the west side of the country and making music with you all. 
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For more information contact Diane Barnes, Events Chair at
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