A12 HMA Logo Vertical Dark
   The Twelfth Tone
Area 12 Newsletter                                                                      March 2017

In This Issue
From the Chair
LA Metro
Southern California
Central California
San Francisco Bay Area
Northern Nevada
Northern California
Southern Nevada
Join Our Mailing List

Welcome to

David Hooper
San Bruno, CA
Blue text and most pictures, logos, and clipart take you to more information!
Click  on it!

Click on the calendar icon for concerts and events!

Go to our HOMEPAGE to submit your event for listing!

Click on the sign above to check out our Classified Ads for Ringers, Directors, and Instruments/Equipment.

Want to place a classified ad? Click on the Wanted sign and fill out the form!
Like us on Facebook


 Tie-dyed gloves,
t-shirts, CDs & DVDs 
available for
For more information, visit

 A full service 

handbell store

with music and accessories:



maintenance items



bell tree items

Malmark products


 visit us at




877 426-3235



6603 Queen Ave S, Suite S

Richfield, MN   55423

Handbell Supply 

 Handbell Music
and Supplies
Toll Free  888-755-WEST 
Call: 559-625-5111
Fax: 559-741-7346 







P.O. Box 4361
Visalia, CA 93278-4361

Have a group, business, workshop, concert,
fund-raiser or item- for-sale to advertise? 
Our newsletter goes out to nearly 1700 handbell enthusiasts and our advertising  rates are great!
Check it out by clicking the logo above or reading the side bar below!
Our National
Click logos to get more info!

Handbell Musicians of America


Like us on Facebook
Area 12 Board
A12 HMA Logo Vertical
cartoon bells  
Advertising Rates for the  2017 Publishing Year

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.

Advertising Rates: 

We offer two different ad types

1.(a) Ad designed and formatted by you that is exactly 150 pixels X 300 pixels and sent in a jpeg or gif file. The ad will by hyperlinked to your website.
$10/issue            $54/6 issues                 $94/11 issues 

1.(b) Ad designed and formatted by you that is exactly 150 pixels X 600 pixels and sent in a jpeg or gif file. The ad will by hyperlinked to your website.
$18/issue              $97/6 issues                $168/11 issues

2.(a) 1.5" X 4" ad which can contain a picture or logo sent as a jpeg or gif file and will be hyperlinked to your website. You provide the text to be formatted by the editor.
$15/issue              $81/6 issues                $140/11 issues

2.(b) 1.5" X 8" ad which can contain a picture or logo sent as a jpeg or gif file and will be hyperlinked to your website.  You provide the text to be formatted by the editor.
$27/issue            $146/6 issues                 $252/11 issues 

Payment is due  before publication.
NEW submission  DEADLINE is the 20th of each month.
No issue in July.

Please submit your ads  via  email  to
Barbara Meinke , Communications Director

Some great articles and fun pictures and videos below! Read on!
Message from the Chair - Tessique Houston

Hello Area 12!

Here we are in March, Lent has begun and Easter will be here before we know it. As I have been preparing for all the upcoming events with my groups, I have been thinking of renewal. I see the earth coming to life around me - flowers and trees in bloom, grateful for the water we've received - and that has inspired me to think of how to renew my own musical life.  

Where have we gotten bogged down, or what ruts have we fallen into? How do I bring new life to our rehearsals and to our learning of the music. What can I do better as both a director and a ringer? Where is my growth?

One of the best things we can do to keep growing is to attend events. Interaction with other handbell musicians is inspiring.  I always find myself coming away from any event with something new in my head.

I also had the chance to sub as a ringer in a rehearsal for a local community ensemble. It was great to see how they were working through their music and enjoy the fellowship of another group of handbell musicians. Just getting out and seeing what others are doing can lead to growth.

I encourage everyone to find a way to grow - attend a Spring Ring, go to National Seminar in Anaheim, or find a way to visit with another group.  

Until next time,

Tessique Houston

P.S. - Our Area 12 board meeting is coming up soon on April 22nd and 23rd in Southern California. If you want to join us to listen or have thoughts to send along, please contact your regional coordinator!
Communiqué - Barbara Meinke, Communications

This last weekend I attended my 11th Distinctly Bronze event to ring music I love with people I love on an instrument I love, but you know all about that. This year I asked "first-timer" Krystle Hara from Hawaii to tell us about her first experience at DB and I hope it will encourage you to make next year yours! (By the way, this is a great article and I can't wait for you to read it!!)

I struggled with how to explain to my family, friends, and co-workers why I was flying to the mainland for handbells. Distinctly Bronze West is not a conference where I would sit in a large room and watch PowerPoint presentations, nor a convention with classes for which I would choose smaller rooms to sit in and watch more PowerPoints. I started calling it my "bell thing," and that seemed to convey enough of the information that my friends needed to know about my upcoming trip. I would say things like "I'm practicing for my bell thing" or "it's the music for my bell thing," but this nickname never felt quite right.

In preparing for DB, I felt like a student again. I was studying and counting down the days until the big exam where I would be graded on how well I knew the material. I heard two voices, one telling me how it would be difficult and to be prepared to be overwhelmed, and my friend, Becky, saying I would be totally fine and rock the music. As much as I wanted to believe the latter, the first ate away at me. What if I'm not good enough? What if I can't get those fast runs of sixteenth notes? What if I ring on a rest and everyone turns and looks at me? I imagined the monotonous bell of the Septa from Game of Thrones ringing with chants of "Shame. Shame. Shame."

My neighbor, Carolyn, gave me a gift before our first rehearsal. Her "first-timer's pack" included an energy bar, reinforcements for my music, mints (because she had to stand next to me), and encouraging stickers that said "fabulous" and "great job" to reward myself for any time I did well or needed some encouragement. I survived the first rehearsal without any glares or stares, and surprised myself with how I was so comfortable that I wanted to play (some) songs even faster!

I met ringers from around the country and Canada, including Matt Compton, the composer of a piece I had just performed last Christmas. We talked and laughed about my struggles plucking his piece, and he offered to help me out. During a break the next day, he made some suggestions which changed the way I pluck for the better (but I still prefer thumb damping treble bells).

Before coming to DB, I did my homework. I studied the music and joined the Facebook groups, but I wasn't prepared for the outpouring of love and friendship from my fellow ringers. There was something really special about being in that place in the mountains with a bunch of other people who are just as passionate about this niche hobby turned obsession.  

I had been preparing myself mentally in case I failed. It would be an honor to even be accepted to attend once, and I could tell myself that it was a great learning experience. But now, there is no way I'm not going back. Should I be asked to take a year to improve my skills, I will work even harder to get there. I've been told that I'm "part of the gang" now and I won't let my people down. DB is no longer "that bell thing" to my not yet enlightened to handbells friends, but "bell camp" to evoke the same sense  of making new friends through shared experiences in a gorgeous remote location that I felt from camps as a child. DB West 2017 may have been my first time, but will definitely not be my last.
- Krystle Hara

Until we meet again!

Barbara Meinke
Communications Director
LA Metro - F. Thomas Simpson, Regional Coordinator

Let us introduce your new LA Metro Regional Coordinator, F. Thomas Simpson! We will hear from him next month after he has a chance to soak it all in. But send him a note of welcome at his email address below and let him know what you need/want and how you can help!

Timbré Ensemble

March 31 and April 1
Pasadena, CA
featuring Timbré Ensemble

This event, led by the  artists of Timbré and others, is on Friday evening, March 31 and Saturday, April 1. It is organized  so you can sign up for both days or Saturday only. The classes and ringing opportunities are amazing and it will be an  event not be missed! Click the blue link above to get more info and forms.

This event is sponsored by Handbell Musicians of America

Our National Seminar is coming to LA Metro in July in Garden Grove and if you haven't been to one, you really should go! There are volunteer opportunities to help at the seminar so please let me know if I should pass your name along.

F. Thomas Simpson
For information on LA Metro's concerts, events,
and other opportunities,  click here.
 Like us on Facebook 
Southern Calif - Michèle Sharik, Regional Coordinator

Greetings, SoCal!

Ash  Wednesday marks the beginning of the Lenten season, the time of repentance and reflection, when Christians prepare themselves for the coming of Easter. As handbell musicians, many of us have been preparing for Lent and Easter since we finished our Christmastime celebrations and are now ready to provide heartfelt music to enhance our congregation's observations of this season of self-reflection. 

But March is also the end of winter and the beginning of Springtime, which means our annual Spring Ring is almost here! I am very much looking forward to having our clinician, Stevie Berryman, here with us. I just know you're going to love her! If you haven't already, please be sure to get your registrations in soon. The Early Bird discount may be over, but there are still discounts for youth and for Guild members, so don't delay!

If your group has spring concerts, Lenten service appearances, or community events, please either send them to me or go to our web page and enter them into our calendar yourself. It's easy to do! Just visit the Submit Your Event page, fill out the information, and click Submit. Easy breezy!

April 28-29, 2017
St. Thomas More Catholic Church
Oceanside, CA

This event is sponsored by Handbell Musicians of America

May you have a peaceful Lent! Until next time,

Michèle Sharik
For information on Southern California's concerts,  events,
and other opportunities,  click here .  
Like us on Facebook         
Central Calif - Christine Anderson, Regional Coordinator


Manteca United Lutheran Church, who is hosting two bell choirs from Concordia University on  Sunday, March 5, at  7:00 PM, is in need of one overnight homestay in/near Manteca to help house students for one night, provide a hot shower and send them on their way the next morning! Two groups from Concordia University, Irvine, California, are on their Spring Break Tour!

Concert Handbells, under the direction of Dr. Herbert Geisler and Spirit Handbells, under the direction of Nancy Jessup, will be at Manteca United Lutheran Church on  March 5 for a 7 p.m. concert. The ensemble performs using five octaves of Schulmerich handbells and 5 1/2 octaves of Malmark Choirchimes as well as a variety of other instruments.
Please contact Lisa Traughber at  (209) 918-1990 to say you will help!

and remember the upcoming


Saturday, March 25
St. John Lutheran Church
4500 Buena Vista Road, Bakersfield

Contact Dianne Bryant for more information

Clinicians include
Barb Walsh, Tess Houston, Mel Tully, and Christine Anderson

Mel and Christine will have their stores, so save your pennies for the things you need for your handbell programs.

Christine Anderson
Central California Regional Coordinator

For information on Central California's concerts, events,
and other opportunities,  click here .
San Francisco Bay - Kendra Scott, Regional Coordinator

Hey Bay Area!

It's not too late to sign up for the Bay Area Spring Ring!  It's sure to be a fabulous event with Bill Mathis leading the helm.  You can even start signing up for classes!

There's also a second great opportunity the very next day in Concord for the Director's Workshop! You can take advantage of having Bill Mathis in town not just once, but twice!

Last summer at the Modesto conference, I put out an interest sheet regarding playing the National Anthem at an Oakland A's game this coming summer. I was very excited by the response you gave. We are still working toward that goal, and are about THIS CLOSE to announcing a date for it. In the meantime, the anthem is part of the Bay Area Spring Ring repertoire, and you can contact me for assignment suggestions (no bell tables at the stadium!) and any other questions you may have about the event.  Thanks for your patience!

  Bay Area Spring Ring, Intense Ring
and Director's Workshop
April 2 8 , 29, and 30, 2017
Valley Church, Cupertino CA

This event is endorsed by Handbell Musicians of America
Happy ringing,

Kendra Scott
Bay Area Regional Coordinator

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

Like us on Facebook  
Northern Nevada - Barb Walsh, Regional Coordinator


Our 15th Annual Sierra Spring Ring will be happening on  May 20th in Reno, NV. In addition to the two massed ringing pieces ("Acclamation in G Minor" by Karen Thompson and "Little One" by Jason Krug), Tintabulations will be teaching classes that include bell techniques, rhythm, bell maintenance, making the most of your rehearsals, and team building. All this for only $15! Individuals, partial ensembles and whole ensembles are welcome. 
15th Annual
Sierra Spring Ring
May 20, 2017
Marvin Picollo School
Reno, NV

This event is endorsed by Handbell Musicians of America


Umpteenth Annual
Young Ringers' Festival

May 23rd   in Reno, NV
$1 per student

The students will perform a processional and one massed piece. In addition, each ensemble is encouraged to share a solo piece. 
This event is sponsored by Handbell Musicians of America

Please contact me at my email address below or call 775-677-8117 for more information on either of these events.

Barbara Walsh
Northern Nevada Regional Coordinator

For information on Northern Nevada's concerts, events,
and other opportunities,  click here
Northern Calif - Nancy Schmitt, Regional Coordinator
Nancy Schmitt
Hello Northern California,

Lois Nichols, my good friend, fellow bell director, member of HMA, and co-coordinator of the Redding  Handbell Festival here in Redding, was lucky enough to cross something off of her bucket list back in November  2016 by participating in the Big Ring Guinness Book of World Records attempt for most handbells ringing at one  time. I asked Lois to share her experience.

The Big Ring

How often do you get a chance to go for a world record? Three of us from the Redding Bell Peppers  (my husband, Tim, Lyle Hurley, and I) signed up to do just that!

In November we flew into Minneapolis and  the first thing I did was find the St. Paul hospital where I was born (another thing crossed off my bucket list).

Early  Saturday morning, November 19, we arrived at the Great Mall of America where The Salvation Army North and  Mall of America were working together for the kick-off of the annual Salvation Army Red Kettle Campaign. We  reported to the top floor to sign in and receive a wrist band for official participant. After everyone was checked in  we were taught a bell peal which we played as we navigated down the escalator to the first floor. We were introduced  to Hart Morris, our conductor and arranger of our performing piece, Silver Carol, a medley of Silver Bells and Carol of the Bells . Weeks before the event we were assigned two bells and agreed to memorize our parts. 

Once at the event  we were all excited but at the same time nervous, wondering how we would all stay ringing together. Then we learned the music would be projected up on Jumbotron line by line so we could stay together as there were 664  ringers! We had one run through and then dismissed for snacks provided by the Salvation Army. After our snacks  we lined up for the official world record try.

The Big Ring
The Big Ring

During our actual performance, judges wa lked around making sure all were playing and we were timed to make  sure the song lasted 5-6 minutes. Once finished we waited excruciatingly until it was announced we had  done it - beaten the world record by almost 100 people! It was truly an experience of our lifetime! The three of us  were proud to represent Redding and Area 12 at THE BIG RING!!

-Lois Nichols


Nancy Schmitt
Northern California Regional Coordinator  

For information on Northern California's concerts, events,
and other opportunities,  click here!
Southern Nevada - Alison Pruett, Regional Coordinator

Many of us are affiliated with church programs where we can't do big, joyful ringing in services during the Lenten season. But, there are many ways to incorporate bells into this somber, reflective season. Add singing bells or tolling to hymns. It's a way to bring bells into the service without a full bell piece. There are quite a few pieces that use bells in a quieter or more subdued way. One of my favorites is Matthew Prins' "Morning Song." It is great for this time of year because it's played entirely with mallets on suspended bells. So, don't be discouraged! Bells can add to services in any season if you get a little creative. But, if you're in a church where you just can't use bells during Lent, don't worry. Easter will be here before you know it! 

Alison Pruett
Southern Nevada Regional Coordinator

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

  Like us on Facebook
Hawaii - Karen Carlisle, Regional Coordinator
Karen Carlisle

I'm so excited we had three ringers representing Hawaii this past weekend at Distinctly Bronze West. For my third event, we traveled to Portland, OR, then drove out to Welches. We encountered snow (think island girls building a snowman!), a bit cold for us, but we had a great time ringing advanced music with our closest 89 friends from all over the US and Puerto Rico.   Nothing is better than ringing in a large group and having great conversations about something we all love to do. This community is the best!

Being a member of Handbell Musicians of America and participating in these events is the best way to learn more. My 37 years of membership have been priceless!

I am excited that so far four Hawaiian handbell ringers will be attending National Seminar this summer in Anahiem! This will be the closet this event will ever be to us. It is a great opportunity and I hope you will go too! There is a website full of information - just click the link in the side bar and if you have any questions, let me know!

Karen Carlisle
Hawaii Regional Coordinator

For information on Hawaii's concerts, events,
and other opportunities,  click here .