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   The Twelfth Tone
Area 12 Newsletter                                                              September 2017

In This Issue
From the Chair
Northern California
LA Metro
Southern Nevada
Central California
Southern California
Northern Nevada
San Francisco Bay Area
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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 - Tessique Houston

Hello Area 12!  

Are you all ready for the New Year? Yeah, I know, it's September. But so many of us are still tied to that school/church year calendar. So....here's our 'New Year'.

I know I have been busy getting my Sunday schedule set up for the two churches I serve, picking music for Sundays and concerts, planning rehearsals to make sure we are getting the most out of our time together, and just mentally 'gearing up' for the days to come. I'm sure so many of you are right there in that boat with me - directors and ringers alike! (Whew)

We have our upcoming Fall Board Meeting on Saturday and Sunday, September 16 & 17. Our meeting will be in the South San Francisco Bay Area. As always, any member of the Handbell Musicians of America in Area 12 is welcome. If you would like to come, please contact me and let me know. Or, if you have anything you think the board should consider, please contact your regional coordinator or let me know.

One item we have coming up is a by-laws vote. As I mentioned in the May newsletter, we have been working to bring them up-to-date. We are still in the process they need to go through to be ready to send to you for your vote. You should expect to see more information on that by the end of the year.  

I wish you all the very best as you 'polish off the tarnish' and 'tune up your skills'. I hope this coming year will see us all making joyous music and enjoying the fellowships we have built as handbell musicians.  

Until next time,
Tessique Houston
Communiqué - Barbara Meinke, Communications


My job on the Area 12 board is to facilitate communication. As musicians, we communicate feelings, emotions and experiences through our music. Most of us are pretty good at that! But what about communicating our desires, needs, and frustrations?

I like to keep things positive. Desires, needs and frustrations are hard to communicate in the positive! But if things are not going the way I'd like, or I'm not getting what I need, or the process or people are frustrating me too much, then what? Bow out? Blow up? Storm off? 

Many times the best thing is to SAY SO! Communicate! Speak the truth in love. Share your desires...someone else probably has them too! Ask for what you need...someone else has it to share or is willing to help you get it. Share your frustration...someone else has probably experienced the same thing and we can't fix things we don't know are broken! Area 12 board members WANT to help you fulfill your handbell desires, get what you need to succeed, and not be too frustrated trying! But we need you to SAY SO! 


Each of your regional coordinators communicates with you every month through this newsletter and some in several other ways. Not getting what you desire or need? Please contact them. Have a frustration with them or someone else, tell them or ask another board member to facilitate. 

In sharing our desires, needs, and frustrations, we can build a stronger guild, offer more relevant events, and share more feelings, emotions, and experiences through our music making. 

We're listening...

Barbara Meinke
Communications Director
Northern CA - Nancy Schmitt, Regional Coordinator
Nancy Schmitt

Hello Northern California,

Save the dates for these two upcoming events.

  Celebrating the upcoming
 500th Anniversary of
the Reformation
Saturday, September 23, 2017
3:00 p.m.
St. James Lutheran Church
Redding, CA


Finale concert at 4:30 p.m. open to the public
Full choirs and individuals are encouraged to attend.
Massed ringing and classes.
$35.00 per ringer
Mary Balkow, Massed Ringing Conductor
Barb Walsh,  Red Zone Bronze Conductor
Registration:  ONLY $35.00!
 Click the blue title above for more info and registration. 
This event is endorsed by Handbell Musicians of America

Nancy Schmitt
Northern California Regional Coordinator  

For information on Northern California's concerts, events, and other opportunities, click here!
Hawaii - Karen Carlisle, Regional Coordinator
Karen Carlisle

Here's a little note a received from Georgia in Kamuela, Hawaii about National Seminar.

"I'm back to school and beginning to share my new knowledge and renewed excitement with my new handbell group. The National conference was truly amazing. I loved every minute of it and didn't want it to end. I appreciated Karen's support and close accompaniment and everyone else who made me feel so welcomed and comfortable. It was very reassuring being such a newbie! I hope to be back next year with my daughter!"

Many people had similar experiences this past summer!

Going into fall we have a couple of events happening.
Back to Bells- This is a national event to help churches and schools get their handbells out of closets! We'll trains leaders in handbell ringing technique, recruiting, rehearsal planning, repertoire selection, handbell maintenance and much more.  It gives people a chance to be part of the handbell community. Come join me Saturday, Sept. 30 from 8:00-12:00 in Mililani. 
Then in October we will have our annual Aloha Ring!! We are going to be led by Barb Walsh from Reno Nevada. She is the artistic director of Tintabulations and a longtime member of Handbell Musicians of America. We are going to have massed ringing and two separate class sessions on rhythm and technique. You will also have the opportunity for your group to share a song in the afternoon. Both individuals and groups are welcome. If you can not make it for the entire day, please feel free to come for as long as you can.

Saturday, October 21
8:00 am registration
9:00 a.m. - 4:00pm
Harris United Methodist Church
20 S Vineyard Blvd.
Honolulu, HI 96813

Click on blue title for registration information and forms.

This event is sponsored by Handbell Musicians of America

Karen Carlisle
Hawaii Regional Coordinator

For information on Hawaii's concerts, events,
and other opportunities,  click here .
LA Metro - F. Thomas Simpson, Regional Coordinator

Welcome Back! I hope your summer was a good one. This summer was a big one for Los Angeles and Area 12. We hosted the National Seminar in Anaheim. You can read all about it in the upcoming Overtones in a few weeks.

Now, everyone should be gearing up for their fall kick offs. Have you planned all your music yet? I've decided this year to plan every piece my choirs will play - PLUS the dates we're playing them - before our first rehearsal. So every piece for my choir will be in the books on day one!! This is a departure from what I usually do, planning by concert season for my community choir and month to month for my church. How do you plan for your upcoming year?

Upcoming events!

  Saturday, October 28
10:00 AM to 2:00 PM
Ojai United Methodist Church
120 Church Rd
Ojai, CA 93023

LA Metro Spring Ring 
in late March/early April

Summer Ring in ???????

F. Thomas Simpson
LA Metro Regional Coordinator
For information on LA Metro's concerts, events,
and other opportunities,  click here.
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Southern NV - Alison Pruett, Regional Coordinator

is returning  January 12-13, 2018 with guest clinician Christine Anderson. Registration package, including music list, is available
HERE. Reminder early registration ends on  November 30. Hope to see everyone there!

Most of us are well aware of the resources available to us through Handbell Musicians of America, but are you making use of the wealth of knowledge on the various social media platforms? One of the oldest networking methods has been the Handbell-L email listserve. This system is still going through Google Groups. Just do a Google search for "handbell-l" and it will pop up. It's a place you can ask any question you may have and someone will likely have the answer. On the Google Groups page, you can also search through past conversations which may have an answer you're looking for. But this group has evolved to be more than just an email group through Facebook.
There are many handbell networking groups on Facebook. Just a few are Handbell-L, Handbell People, Team Handbell, and Handbell Conductors. There are even specialized groups like Handbell Soloist, Catholic Handbell Directors, and Southern Nevada Handbells. Just doing a search on Facebook for "handbells" will likely bring up a group for the niche you're looking for that will provide you with a wealth of knowledge for all those questions that never seem to have an answer.

There are other platforms that folks are using to communicate such as Twitter or numerous handbell blogs. I focused on the resources I primarily use, but go online and search. There's so many other folks out there trying to do the same thing as you. It's always nice to know you're not alone.

Alison Pruett
S Nevada Regional Coordinator

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

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Central CA - Christine Anderson, Regional Coordinator

Hello, CenCal!

National Seminar is now a memory - and I hope it was a good one for everyone! Who was there from CenCal? This is what I would like to know ~ if you attended classes at Seminar, which ones were your favorites, and why? What classes would you like to see  offered that weren't? What would entice you to attend ANY handbell event? We really do want your feedback so we can plan outstanding events in the future. Please send me an email ~ I'm collecting ideas to present to the Board at our fall meeting this month! Let me hear from YOU so I can be an effective voice!

I hope everyone had a great summer and you're looking forward to a new ringing year. Need help, need advice, want to host a workshop? Your Board is ready to assist!

Happy Ringing!

Christine Anderson
Central California Regional Coordinator

For information on Central California's concerts, events,
and other opportunities,  click here .
Southern CA - Michèle Sharik, Regional Coordinator

Hi there, SoCal -- 

I hope you had a great summer and are all ready to restart (or continue) your upcoming program year, whether for school, church, or community! 

As I write this, I just completed conducting a " Back to Bells" workshop in Escondido. "B2B" workshops are free events put on across the country to help you get your handbells out of the closet and restart your handbell program - or start a brand new program. These workshops will continue through September and October -- and it's not too late to attend or host one at your venue! Contact me at   socal.area12@handbellmusicians.org for more information.

Please remember to let me know about upcoming concerts, workshops, or really any musical presentations you may have scheduled for this fall. You can either email me directly or submit your event to the Area 12 calendar yourself by going to our web page and filling out a simple form here.

Finally, please reserve  Saturday, May 19 for our 2018 SoCal Spring Ring with Area 12's own KatRyn Howell directing. It'll once again be at St. Thomas More Catholic Church in Oceanside. I am hoping to have the repertoire selections to you ASAP and the registration forms available by the end of October. Please watch this space in the newsletter and SoCal's Facebook page for that information.

Until next month, have a great handbell time! :-)

All my best!

Michèle Sharik

For information on Southern California's concerts,  events,
and other opportunities,  click here .  
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Northern NV - Barb Walsh, Regional Coordinator


It's that time to dust off your bells and get ringing again! As you begin scheduling your holiday concerts, don't forget to let us know when and where so we can get the word out and support each other! Email me or list them yourself here!

Barbara Walsh
Northern Nevada Regional Coordinator

For information on Northern Nevada's concerts, events,
and other opportunities,  click here
SF Bay Area - Kendra Scott, Regional Coordinator

There's no substitute for building community in your bell choir. Everyone feels more involved and they just might ring better, too!

Here are some ideas I've used in my choir and with my middle school students. Works for every age!
  • Ask them how they got into ringing!
  • Ask them to share two truths and a lie about themselves. The group has to guess which is the lie.
  • Share a strength and an area the ringer would like to improve on.
  • Have everyone tell a joke!
  • Group stretches and backrubs!
  • Continuation story: One person starts telling a story for 2-3 sentences. Then each person in turn continues the story, only for 2-3 sentences, until everyone has contributed. You can go around the circle more than once.
  • Tennis ball bouncing: It builds a communal sense of pulse and is sure to result in laughter and tennis balls everywhere! 
    • On a four count, everyone has to bounce their ball on "1". 
    • Then 1 and 3. 
    • One person bounce-passes the ball on 1 to a partner. They bounce back on the next 1.
    • One person bounces on 1, their partner bounces it back on 3.
    • Both partners pass simultaneously.
    • Bounce on 1 and 3, but in a 3 count!
    • Get everyone in a circle. Bounce-pass around the circle!
    • The options are endless.
Until next month!

Kendra Scott
Bay Area Regional Coordinator

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

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