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Message from the Chair -
Have you ever been listening to the radio, or streaming a classical music station online, when up comes
a master pianist playing a technically simple piece for their level of skill that you yourself may
have played as a child, such as Für Elise by Beethoven, and are awestruck by the beauty of the sound and
interpretation, and how every note was played with emotion and clarity? It always reminds me that
excellence in musicianship and performance isn't just about playing as many notes as you can as fast as
you can, but it's more about expressing and communicating with your audience the beauty and story
you are communicating in your performance.
For our instrument, there can and should be as much
beauty in a level 1 piece as there is in a level 5. Beginning ringers may need more time to learn the technical skills,
but all musicians, include bell ringers, need to practice being engaged
with every note, know what its purpose is in the musical line, what is it communicating,
and where it fits in the tension/release dynamic that is integral in most Western music.
has been on my mind as I am preparing my groups
and myself for upcoming concerts and festivals; make
every note count and express the beauty of the musical story.
I am so happy to announce Marquise Usher has been appointed our Bay Area Regional Coordinator! Marquise is very active in our handbell community and is as excited to join our board as we are to have him.
I hope you are all planning to at
tend one or more of Area12's upcoming Spring Rings, concerts, or workshops
and if you know of an event that is not on our Area 12 calendar, please add it! Our
members want to support each other and come to concerts and our online calendar is the best free
advertising to an engaged audience.
Until next time,
Northern Nevada - Barb Walsh
Making the Music Meaningful
In my first article about score preparation, I mentioned making up a story to go with the music and/or looking up the lyrics. Doing this can make it easier for the ringers and conductor to figure out how to interpret the piece and how to make the music more than just a bunch of notes on the page - making it meaningful to both the performers and the listeners. Let's put this idea into action by starting with Larry Sue's lovely piece called Meditation, originally titled Lenten Piece.
Of course, the title suggests what the composer's intention might be for the mood of the piece. When Tintab first played through Meditation, some of us thought of Jesus meditating in the Garden of Gethsemane the night before he was crucified. So, our story developed into Jesus' journey from breaking bread with his disciples on Holy Thursday to Golgotha on Good Friday. The sections became:
* intro and coda - gift of his body and blood
* A section - denial
* B section - alone
* C section - betrayal, arrest
The story in a nutshell became:
* intro - Passover/ The Last Supper - gift of the Eucharist
* 1st A - Mount of Olives - Jesus tells his disciples that they will deny him
* 1st B - Gethsemane - Jesus meditates alone while his disciples sleep
* C - betrayal, arrest
* 2nd A - Peter denies knowing him
* 2nd B - Jesus is alone with the soldiers while he is scourged
* coda - preparing to be crucified, gift of his life
Interestingly, one day we happened to play Jesus, Lover of My Soul (arr. by Karen Roth, based on the tune Aberystwyth) right after Meditation. We were pretty sure the arranger meant for the cacophony of quarter note chords at the very beginning to be played aggressively, but when we played it right after Meditation, we understood that it was pounding the nails into Jesus as he was being crucified. Wow! We had been struggling to find meaning with the lyrics, but this changed our interpretation entirely! Now that awkward major chord at the end made sense; we took it to mean the Resurrection.
We decided to perform the pieces back to back without any break in between to make it be the whole Easter story. Before we performed them, we told our listeners why we were performing the two pieces without stopping in between. Sometimes telling your listeners what to listen for and why makes the music even more meaningful for them - which I guess is why we play, right?
SAVE THE DATE!
SIERRA SPRING RING
May 18, 2019
South Reno United Methodist Church
200 DeSpain, Reno, NV
Joshua Kramer, Lorenz, AG35339
Nicholas A. Hanson, Choristers Guild, CAB842
For information on Northern Nevada's concerts, events,
Southern California - Michèle Sharik
Hi there, SoCal!
I hope you all had a great holiday season and have had a chance to catch your breath after all the holiday busy-ness. As you prepare for Lent and Easter, I hope you will take a few moments to send in your registration for our 2019 Spring Ring.
In addition to our "cafeteria-style" event with three participation options to choose from (check out the
for more information), there are also three discounts available:
*) Early Bird Discount -- If your registration is postmarked on or before March 15, the Early Bird discount applies and you save $5 per registrant!
*) Youth Discount -- Save $5 per registrant of high school age or younger.
*) Guild Member Discount -- For the purposes of this particular event, if anybody in your group has an unexpired "Handbell Musician," "Retired Handbell Musician," or "HIC (Business)" membership, then the discount applies to *everybody* in the group. (Sorry, but "Sub-Membership" & "Full-time Student" memberships don't grant a discount to everybody in the group, only to that particular registrant.)
All three discounts are cumulative, so the potential exists to save from $5 - $15 per registrant!
Hope you have a fabulous February!
Alex Guebert and Elizabeth Mays
This event is
by Handbell Musicians of America
For information on Southern California's concerts,
San Fransisco Bay Area - Marquise Usher
Friday and Saturday
May 3-4, 2019
This event is
by Handbell Musicians of America
For information on San Francisco
Bay Area's concerts, events,
and other opportunities,
Los Angeles Metro - Sharon Guilliams
Wow, it is already February! The Super Bowl and Presidents' Day will be done and gone before we know
it! Luckily, Lent starts late this year in the first week of March.
Most folks eased back into ringing after
the holiday season, but for some it has seemed busier than ever. The church where I ring had a concert
in late January! I confess I was a bit skeptical, but it went very well and was very well received.
important thing to you is that Scott and I have been working on securing a venue for us to have an
event this spring - and we were successful!
RING, READ, & REJOICE
JUNE 1, 2019
9 AM TO 5 PM
FIRST CHRISTIAN CHURCH OF WHITTIER
6355 GREANLEAF AVENUE
WHITTIER, CA 90601
There will be opportunities to ring/read upcoming and select favorite releases of
music and sharpen your skills by taking a class or two. If you or your group would
like to ring your favorite piece one last time, Ring, Read, and Rejoice is that o
pportunity. This event will be open to individuals as well as complete choirs.
More details/application to attend will be forthcoming.
If you are interested in helping with our June event, please contact me. We have
opportunities to lead some of the reading sessions and to teach a class or two. And then there is always
helping with the providing bells, pads, schlepping, etc.
I promised I would continue to share things I learn as I embark on being the LA Metro Regional
Coordinator. For this month, I did discover that if you list your group on the National page
, it does not
carry over to our Area 12 page and visa
versa. So, if you want to maximize your exposure, I would suggest that you take a couple of minutes to
list your group in both places.
I am sure your spring concert dates are being finalized, so please remember to
add them to our calendar
. And maybe make a late
New Year's resolution to go support your fellow handbell ringers by attending someone else's concert!
As always, if there is something I can help with please let me know.
For information on LA Metro's concerts, events,
Southern Nevada - Alison Pruett
Last month we held the 24th Las Vegas Twelfth Night Handbell Festival with Michael Glasgow as the guest conductor! The 95 ringers from Nevada, California, and Oregon, including high school, church, and community choirs, had a great time! The audience enjoyed the mix of holiday music performed by the attendees and gave rave reviews! Check out the
festival's Facebook page
to see videos of all the pieces performed
. A huge thank you to those who stepped up to sing in the world debut of Michael Glasgow's
Sing We Now of Christmas
! It wouldn't have worked without you!
Be sure to mark your calendars for the 25th Las Vegas Twelfth Night Handbell Festival which will be January 10-11, 2020, under the direction of Stevie Berryman!
For information on Southern Nevada's concerts, events,
Central California - Christine Anderson
What's up with y'all this spring?
Any spring ring flings fixin' to happen?
Are you interested in hosting one?
Your Area 12 Board members are ready and willing to help you organize one and even direct and/or teach. Just let me know!
Polishing tip of the month: Put your hand in a sock to smear on the polish.
For information on Central California's concerts, events,
Northern California - Sandi Walker-Tansley
For information on Northern California's concerts, events,
and other opportunities,