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   The Twelfth Tone
Area 12 Newsletter                                                                 February  2019

In This Issue
From the Chair
Composition Contest
Northern Nevada
Southern California
San Francisco Bay Area
LA Metro
Southern Nevada
Central California
Northern California
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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 -
Scott Leggett

Greetings all!

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.

This idea  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 attend 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,

Scott Leggett
Composition Contest
LAST Clast callALL!

Area 12

The Handbell Musicians of America Area 12 Composition Contest strives to expand the handbell repertoire with interesting and accessible compositions, while providing a tool for learning and enjoyment at the Area's biennial conference. T he winning composition will be performed at Red, White, and Bells!

Summary of the Rules
  • Composition Contest applicants need not be a member of Handbell Musicians of America.
  • Only one composition will be chosen.
  • Composition may be for Division A, B, C, or Combined Massed Choir.
  • Compositions may or may not add additional secondary instruments.
  • The winning Composition Contest entry shall be considered for publication.
  • If the adjudication panel deems no piece acceptable, no prize shall be awarded.
  • All compositions must be received no later than February 28, 2019.
We invite interested composers to visit the Composition Contest page on our website for full details. 

Have questions?
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?

May 18, 2019
South Reno United Methodist Church
200 DeSpain, Reno, NV

Joshua Kramer, Lorenz, AG35339
Triumphant Spirit
Nicholas A. Hanson, Choristers Guild, CAB842

Barbara Walsh
For information on Northern Nevada's concerts, events,
and other opportunities, click here
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 registration/information packet 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!

As always, if your group has any performances, presentations, or outreach events coming up, please be sure to either add the info to the Area 12 calendar, or send me the info via email and I'll be sure to post it!

Hope you have a fabulous February!

May 17-18
Alex Guebert and Elizabeth Mays

This event is sponsored by Handbell Musicians of America

My best,

Michèle Sharik
For information on Southern California's concerts,  events,
and other opportunities,  click here .  
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San Fransisco Bay Area - Marquise Usher

Friday and Saturday
May 3-4, 2019
featuring  Nick Hanson

This event is endorsed by Handbell Musicians of America

Marquise Usher

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

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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.

But the  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!

JUNE 1, 2019
9 AM TO 5 PM
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.

  Sharon Guilliams
For information on LA Metro's concerts, events,
and other opportunities,  click here.
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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!

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

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Hawaii - Karen Carlisle
Karen Carlisle

This past season my group members have had some heartbreaking struggles. We made it through the season and the music helped them if even for an hour in our concerts. When faced with the loss of loved ones and medical struggles, we find a solace in music. How we love to perform and share with our communities or church homes! It can make a huge difference!

We never know what struggles our audience is having when  we bring our love of music into their lives.

My group has been strong in support: they truly are an Ohana (family). It's nice to see groups support each other in trying times and connect on this truly amazing instrument. Playing handbells and the music it brings to us and our listeners can be a blessing and comfort when we least expect it and need it the most.

Karen Carlisle

For information on Hawaii's concerts, events,
and other opportunities,  click here .
Central California - Christine Anderson

Greetings, CenCal!

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.

Happy Ringing,

Christine Anderson

For information on Central California's concerts, events,
and other opportunities,  click here .
Northern California - Sandi Walker-Tansley

Sandi Walker-Tansley

For information on Northern California's concerts, events,  and other opportunities,  click here !