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   The Twelfth Tone
Area 12 Newsletter                                                                      March  2019

In This Issue
From the Chair
Northern California
San Francisco Bay Area
Southern California
Northern Nevada
LA Metro
Southern Nevada
Central California
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Joanna Lo - Diamond Bar, CA

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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!
I've been thinking a lot recently on how to maintain and grow the handbell program at my church amid declining church membership and attendance which, as we know, is a very common situation in most mainline protestant churches where handbell music has historically been nurtured and supported. Simply asking people to join an established handbell choir can be intimidating and, frankly, folks who already have some musical experience and have performed in public before are most likely already part of the vocal or handbell choir. The opportunity to add ringers may have to come from providing basic knowledge in how to read music and making the experience performing for others less scary, but instead making it about being active in leading the worship experience.
I was reading a blog recently, Prelude to Postlude, by Erica Tape, who described three ways to recruit and retain church musicians. First, she says to set clear expectations for rehearsals, how often they will perform in worship, and what they need to already know. She also suggests allowing a new member to just commit to a short period of time trying out 1 or 2 performances and see how they feel. Secondly, Erica suggests personalizing the experience as much as possible, perhaps by pairing a new ringer up with a seasoned veteran to shepherd and encourage them in their ringing and musicianship. The last suggestion made was to optimize rehearsal time. Her point here was that everyone's time is precious, so use the rehearsals to really dig into the music and make the time sacrifice of the musicians worthwhile.
As many of us grapple with these issues, we should also remember this is not just a new issue for the 21st century, but even J.S. Bach struggled with many of the same issues. In 1730, after working feverishly at St. Thomas church in Leipzig, Bach had become exhausted, bitter, and depressed for not receiving the proper appreciation, support, and reward he felt he deserved. That year, he wrote a long letter to the Town Council of Leipzig that has become known as the "Short but Most Necessary Draft for a Well Appointed Church Music". In his letter, he laid out his demands to the town council for the minimum numbers of singers in each range he required and what specific instrumentalists he needed to continue his work at St. Thomas. I don't know how successful he was with the town council as this would be his last Cantor position in a church, and I doubt I would be any more successful in writing a letter to my church council demanding more ringers, so I will need to look at new ways to grow from within my church and all the potential musicians at hand.

On another note, please attend one of Area 12's Spring Rings and workshops taking place from Sacramento to Southern California. Lastly, your Area 12 board will be having our spring meeting on Friday and Saturday, March 22-23 in Long Beach, CA. The meetings are open to all members and you are encouraged to attend. If you have any topics you would like us to discuss, please let me know.
'til next time,

Scott Leggett
Northern California - Sandi Walker-Tansley
Hello to all Area 12 folks, and especially to the Northern California members!
I am your Northern California regional coordinator and I look forward to meeting those of you I don't already know in the coming months. Please reach out to me with any questions you might have about Area 12 or the Handbell Musicians of America. I've been ringing in Lodi and Sacramento for many years and enjoy meeting new handbell folk.
If you haven't already heard, Riverbells of Sacramento is revisiting a Spring Ring for our area with Barb Walsh of Tintabulations fame as clinician. Should be a great time for all! Hope you'll come!
Saturday, March 30th, 2019
Prince of Peace Community Church
7501 Franklin Boulevard
Sacramento, CA

Free public concert at 4:00 p.m.

For more information and to register for the event, contact us at musicallen@comcast.net, 916-397-2923, or go to www.riverbells.org

This event is endorsed by Handbell Musicians of America

Enjoy ringing!!!

Sandi Walker-Tansley

For information on Northern California's concerts, events,  and other opportunities,  click here !
San Fransisco Bay Area - Marquise Usher

I began working for the San Francisco Boys Chorus last fall. Out of 150+ choristers, only eight were in enrolled in the handbell program. I had just completed two summer camps with SFBC and each camp had an abundance of kids and almost not enough handbells, so when I learned that so few signed up for fall semester, I was pretty disappointed. 

My disappointment soon turned into excitement. I quickly learned I was working with eight of the most intrigued choristers in the program. They remembered my solo from camp and wanted to know, "How did you do that?"

They remembered a video I showed them of Matt Compton ringing aluminum 2's. "Only Thor could lift those bells! Is he [Thor] your friend? Can we get some Thor bells?" 

Suddenly my job description changed. I was no longer just the handbell director in charge of teaching technique and preparing music for concerts. I'm now responsible for cultivating the next leaders in the handbell community. 

Our numbers grew to ten students, so I taught one how to "four in hand" so we could play 3-octave music. He is now excelling at multiple handbell techniques and is very interested in conducting. Another student loves rhythms so I allow him to break down the tricky rhythm spots. Another is intrigued by the idea of entire handbell concerts and festivals. The thought literally blew his mind! My newest student asked if he could still play handbells if he didn't continue to sing with the chorus. Of course you can!

Here, in my hands, I have future composers, conductors, clinicians, executive directors, board presidents, event planners, and quality handbell musicians. It is my duty to feed these interests so that they can continue the tradition of handbell ringing.

Part of this cultivating includes taking them to events like the Bay Area Spring Ring. We are blessed to have a wealth of handbell clinicians in the Bay Area. Let's use this invaluable resource to feed and nurture all of our future leaders, whatever their age. All it takes is one good experience to gain a dedicated handbell musician for life.

Spring Ring with Nick Hanson is approaching! You still have just a moment to sign up for the Early Bird Registration. The deadline is March 8 th . I'm looking forward to taking my youth and adult groups. Don't forget to sign-up for Intense Ring! See you there!

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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Southern California - Michèle Sharik

Hello, SoCal!
As some of you may remember, this month marks one year since the unexpected death of my mother. In the aftermath of that, I fell into a deep depressive episode which only began to be lifted by the amazing power of music.
Last May I was invited to teach at the Siskiyou Summit Handbell Festival in Medford, OR. Tintabulations Handbell Ensemble of Reno, directed by Northern NV RC Barb Walsh, was scheduled to perform a solo concert the first evening of the festival. During my layover at the Portland airport, Barb phoned me asking if I could sub with them during the concert since one of their ringers had a last-minute family emergency. Of course, I said yes.
It was the first time I had played bells since coming home from my mom's in Ohio, and while it felt wonderful to have bells in my hands again, one piece in particular was especially meaningful to me, Bill Griffin's arrangement of Handel's Passacaglia. Words cannot adequately express how I felt, but I'll try anyway. During that piece, I felt like nothing else in the world existed except for me and this music: I was surrounded by music, swimming in music, breathing in music, inundated with music! It was as if the hand of God came down and touched my heart and started the healing process. For the very first time, I felt as if I might make it out the other side alive and well.
I'm sharing this experience with you because I want you all to know how transformative music can be. Most of us play in church and many times we never know how our music affects those who hear us, how a life may have been changed because of what we do, even if only in a small way. As we enter the contemplative season of Lent, let's think about this great gift we have to touch people's hearts and change lives.
Don't forget to send in your Spring Ring registrations - the early bird deadline is March 15!
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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Northern Nevada - Barb Walsh


Come join us for our 17th Annual
May 18, 2019
South Reno United Methodist
200 DeSpain, Reno, NV
In addition to massed ringing, the schedule includes a variety classes taught by members of Tintabulations. The massed ringing pieces, led by Barb Walsh, are very accessible. The pieces are:

Peace,  Joshua Kramer, Lorenz Publishing, AG35339
Triumphant Spirit, Nicholas Hanson, Choristers Guild, CGB842

We will also have a "sharing" time at 3:00 for whole groups, small ensembles, duets, solos, etc.  All this for the low price of $15 per ringer! We welcome Individuals, partial groups, and whole ensembles. Please contact me for questions. We hope to see you there!

Barbara Walsh
For information on Northern Nevada's concerts, events,
and other opportunities, click here
Los Angeles Metro - Sharon Guilliams
Let March Madness begin!

Ash Wednesday, basketball, my first Area 12 board meeting, finalizing details on my own choir's concert in April, and trying to get our June event all ironed out.  FUN!

June 1, 2019
First Christian Church of Whittier
6355 Greenleaf Ave
Whittier, CA 90601

  This is a Handbell Musicians of America sponsored event.

$25 HMA Members 
$30 Non-HMA Members 
(Lunch Provided) 

Registration Information is available by clicking on the blue title above. Classes offered are F undamentals Advanced Fundamentals, and Basic, Better, Best: A Video Feedback Experience.

If you or your group are interested in performing at the concert at 4:00 pm, please let me know.

Thank you to those groups which have added their website info to the LA Metro page. I will be working through the process of getting a local event endorsed by HMA and I will let you know how the experience goes. From what I see it should be easy and will definitely get the word out to a much broader audience than I could otherwise reach.

The other big news is that LA Metro will have a 2020 Spring Ring on Friday, March 20, and Saturday, March 21 at Red Hill Lutheran Church in Tustin, CA. We are now reaching out to some specific folks to be our clinicians. Mark your calendars now!

You may think it is too early, but I want to make sure we offer Spring Rings every year, so if you know of a venue that would be interested in hosting the 2021 Spring Ring, please let me know. I would like to see the 2021 event in northern Los Angeles or southern Ventura County.

I recently participated in a conference call regarding the 2020 Area 12 Festival Conference in Las Vegas. It will be a very exciting time over July 4th !  Your board is working hard to make the conference meaningful to all levels of handbell musicians and the inclusion of a youth festival is grand.

One last thought, for Lent I am going to try and stop (give up) worrying that things in my handbell world will not work out. As my choir members know, I am a worrywart. While planning and preparing are good, going to my worried paranoid place is not. May all your Lent, Easter and spring concert rehearsals and plans be worry-free!

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

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

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Hawaii - Karen Carlisle
Karen Carlisle

Karen Carlisle

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

Christine Anderson

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