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The Northwest Campanologist
Vol 13. No.8 August 2022
News from Area 10 -
Meet Your Oregon State Chair
Hello Fellow Area 10 Campanologists!

I’m excited to be involved in spreading my love for handbells and handchimes. I was fortunate to first play handbells and handchimes in elementary school, and it was love at first ring! This was very much during the time of “The Great Handbell War,” as NPR called it. I was proud to report that we played “only Malmarks.” I laugh about it now, but it was serious stuff to a 7th-grader! I played in handbell choirs every year until I graduated from high school, but then there was sadly no handbell program at any of the universities I attended.

Fast forward to 2013 and the HMA National Seminar in Portland, Oregon. I had just gotten back to ringing with a community group when a family member mentioned the National Seminar and I decided to go so I could learn how to repair handbells. I ended up attending the entire event and found out “The Great Handbell War'' had ended. I attended both repair classes for Malmark and Schulmerich bells, even though I only really needed to know about Schulmerichs at the time, since that’s what my community group had.

The next year, I agreed to direct the children’s community handbell group. I’d been teaching classroom music for several years at the local church school which included preparing and directing all the music at the annual Christmas program. But directing bells was a whole new experience for me, and I leaned heavily on Martha L. Thompson’s book, “Handbell Helper.”

I then decided I wanted to start a handbell group at the church school where I was teaching music, and bought a two-octave set of 70’s era Schulmerichs that I polished and fixed up. Jubilate Deo! was made up of students from the 6th to the 12th grades and we met after school twice a week. After we were together for a year, I managed to get an old 3 octave set of Malmarks donated to the school. A grant from Handbell Musicians of America allowed me to replace a few broken handles plus all the springs and clapper heads. I was really glad I had attended the repair class at National Seminar!

But alas, like all good things, the after-school group had to end when the school stopped offering high school. A new principal came to the school with a background in music education, so I stopped teaching music there. I am happy to say the school is still using the bells, though.

My personal interest in handbells continued growing, despite not leading a group anymore. I was able to attend several Coppers Classic and Siskiyou Summit events, and fell in love with playing bass bells and bass chimes. I added a 3rd octave to my personal set of Schulmerichs, and a three octave set of Malmark chimes. I’ve now started solo ringing, but I’m still very much a beginner! I’ve discovered it’s very different from playing as a member of a group.

Nowadays, I teach reading for an online school. But I’ve just been asked to teach music for them as well this year. So that will be a new experience for me! I welcome any advice on teaching music in Zoom.

Handbells and handchimes are an (almost) instantly accessible way for beginners to experience the joy of making music. I’m so happy I can spread my love of handbells and handchimes by way of the handchime loan program, so that even more of us may experience the joy of expressing ourselves through music. 

With all that’s gone on in our lives over the past two years, making more music is what all of us need. As Leonard Bernstein said best, “"This will be our reply to violence: to make music more intensely, more beautifully, more devotedly than ever before."

Heather Dixon, Oregon State Chair
Hey Ringer! Did you know...?
... that Area 10 has 3-octave sets of chimes in each state to loan out?

The chimes also come with educational material and music. It's a perfect way to introduce chimes, and ultimately handbells, to new organizations. Schools. Churches. Senior living facilities. and more. I personally took advantage of this program to see if it was possible to start a chime choir in my remote community of just 1200 people. It was sort of a proof of concept approach, with minimal upfront investment. Once I learned that there were enough interested musicians, I forged ahead and purchased a 3-octave set of bells. We are in our 10th year and up to 4 1/2 octaves of handbells and 3 octaves of chimes.

The Area 10 Board is currently refreshing the materials for this program, but in the meantime, try to think about how your community might benefit from a loaner set of chimes. And keep your eye out for more information about the program soon.
Alaska state handchimes have been found!
After searching for the loaned handchimes in Alaska, they have been returned via USPS to the state chair.

Originally I was told that Debi, the person borrowing them used them in Dutch Harbor/Unalaska on the Alaska’s Aleutian Chain. As you know there are no roads to drive the almost a thousand miles to check it out. After making multiple calls to various local government agencies who suggested several churches to contact, I gave up on that line of finding the chimes. No one had heard of Debi who borrowed them. The next day I got an email response from Debi who told me the chimes were in Dillingham with her. She would return them if I provided an address. I did. She mailed them at a cost of almost $100 postage. I received the chimes in good condition this afternoon. Wahoo!!

Enclosed in one of the boxes was this brief note. “Thank you so much for the loan of the chimes. Please let me know if a report is due…Over 50 people enjoyed the chimes and 2 adults and 5 young people learned to play. When covid hit we did not meet again for some time.” This was a nice note from Debi.

Caroline Valentine
Alaska State Chair

P.S. The chimes came with a luggage tag indicating that Paula Johnson of AGEHR was Alaska State Chair and Malia Johnson was Area X Chair. In talking with Marlene Anderson this evening Marlene said the chimes were at least 21 years old.
Bells of the Sound Summer Ringing Sessions
Do you go through withdrawal when your regular choir ends for the summer? Looking for an opportunity to play different positions, work on new techniques, and meet other members of the Puget Sound handbell community?

Join us on Tuesday evening from 7 PM to 9 PM for our Summer Ringing Sessions! Open to all ringers - beginners and pros, young and old - but general ringing skills are a plus. We'll be playing selections from our library ranging from Level 2 through Level 4. These are drop-in sessions - come as you are able.  

Bring your gloves - and a friend!

August 2nd @
3940 41st Avenue SW
West Seattle, WA
International Handbell Symposium
Aug 1-6, 2022; Nashville, Tennessee USA
“Each friend represents a world in us,
a world possibly not born until they arrive,
and it is only by this meeting that a new world is born.” – Anais Nin

The Symposium Massed Ringing Concert will be livestreamed on YouTube at 3:00PM CDT (2 PM Mountain Daylight and 1 PM Pacific Daylight) on Saturday, August 6. We hope you will share the opportunity to watch and listen to this performance with all your friends, family, and fellow handbell lovers. Here is the link to the livestream page:
Area 10 Events
Bells of the Cascades Presents...
Read and Ring: 2022

Sat, August 13, 2022, 9:00 AM
Emmanuel Presbyterian Church
19200 Willamette Dr.
West Linn, OR

Facebook listing: 
Bells of the Cascade Audition
Tuesday, Aug. 30, 7:00 PM
In the Portland, OR metro area
For more information or to apply, visit our audition application form:
If you have questions, write to
AREA 10 Biennial Conference
June 16-18, 2023

SAVE THE DATES for AREA 10’s Handbell Conference

Reunite with your Handbell Family and Friends!

* There will be Two Ringing Divisions COPPERS MINUS L2-L2+ and
.... COPPERS PLUS L3 to L4 directed by Brenda Austin
* A Bronze Conference Choir (BCC) directed by Marquise Usher
.... (Participation by application)
* Massed Ringing with conducting duties shared by Brenda and Marquise
* A line-up of Workshops to help you develop your ringing skills and
.....musicality along with a READ and RING of new repertoire

Click Here for:
For more information contact Diane Barnes, Events Chair at

Brenda Austin
Marquise Usher
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Marlene M. Anderson
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Cell 206-390-8789
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Tie-dyed gloves, T-shirts, CDs, and DVDs available for purchase on-line.

Click on the gloves to go shopping.
The Raleigh Ringers
8516 Sleepy Creek Dr
Raleigh, NC 27613
Featuring music for:
Handbell solo, 8-bell Ensemble,
Handbell choir, 12-bell Ensemble,
Piano and more!

Our small-ensemble music is fully reproducible and available for immediate download!

All titles come with permission to live-stream and broadcast!

Visit us at

Follow us online:
Facebook: GrassyMeadowMusic
Twitter: @GrassyMeadowMus

Use coupon code "Area10" for 10% off your order

A full service handbell store with music and accessories:
gloves, gifts, binders, mallets,
maintenance items,mallets, bell tree items, Malmark products
Visit us at 
7209 Morgan Ave S
Richfield, MN 55423
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