November 29, 2020
Greetings Area 12!
A new year is always a time to think about new beginnings. Some of us make resolutions, and fewer of us stick with them. In order to plan for the future, it is helpful to look how far we have come. We are all now more knowledgeable about copyright, livestreaming, video and sound editing, virtual meeting rooms, and of course, hygiene! We were able to virtually "attend" concerts across the country that we would not have been able to see otherwise.
Whether we asked for it or not, we formed some important new synapses in our brains in the last 9 months. Moving forward, let's brainstorm how we can continue to innovate in our music making and community outreach as we share our love of handbells with our families and friends. 

May the new year bring each of you continued health and happiness, and of course, handbells.

Kendra Symonds
Director as Teacher—The Next Step | March 14, 2021
SUNDAY, March 14, 2021 1:30 - 5:30 PDT via Zoom - yes, the day we start Daylight Saving Time!!!

Instructors Barbara Walsh and Tessique Houston will continue the concepts covered in Director as Teacher, and will use the same music. Subjects to be covered include:
  • Conducting Patterns & Gestures
  • Audiation
  • Rehearsal Planning (including how to teach some bell technique and articulations). 

$30 for HMA members/$40 for non-members
$40 for all registrations that come in after March 7, 2021
Attendance will be capped at 23, with a waiting list if needed. (so sign up soon!)

All are welcome! If you are a ringer that just wants to have better insight into what director's are thinking, please feel free to 'audit' the class. You do not need to have attended the previous workshop to attend this one.

Registration is open now!—Please see website for full details, including required music and optional equipment. If you have any questions or need further information, please contact Tessique Houston - Events Director. 
Directors - Are you looking for a way to more fully engage your ringers in all things handbells? Sub-membership in Handbell Musicians of America (HMA), the national handbell organization, may be the answer. Sub-membership allows access to all the online resources of a full membership, including the online version of the quarterly journal Overtones. The cost is only $10 for the year (enrollment now will be good until 3/31/2022).

Ringers - Want to improve your skills and knowledge of what is going on in the handbell community? Sub-membership in Handbell Musicians of America is the most cost-effective way to accomplish your goal.

The easiest way to enroll for sub-membership is for directors to enroll their ringers electronically. To facilitate this we have created a "how to" document. Click the image to access the PDF.

You can also enroll using a paper application that can be found on the HMA website. (Please note, the parent HMA membership must be an organizational membership, not just an individual membership.) 

If you have any questions, please contact Kim Braswell, West Regional Membership Coordinator for Handbell Musicians of America.
Regional Updates
Michèle Sharik
For information on Southern California concerts, events, and other opportunities, click here.  
Happy New Year, SoCal!

... or rather, I hope it's a happy new year, or at least not too terrible. 2020 has been a very strange year for everyone and I know many people are hurting and others are grieving right now. I do hope and pray that all of you and your loved ones are well.

Last month, I asked for those whose groups are ringing together in person to tell me about it, in the hopes that it would help to inspire others. Two people answered my call: Nancy Bernardi in Fallbrook and Carol Pickford in Orange. (Yes, Orange isn't technically in the SoCal Region, but the handbell community is an inclusive one.)

Nancy tells me that her ringers started meeting together again in October, though what had originally been 12 ringers had become six, which makes it a challenge for directors to find suitable music, as many of you well know. They've been following County guidelines and rehearse on tables spaced at least six feet apart, meeting weekly for only an hour and a half. They rang for the first time for their church's outdoor service on Nov 29 (the first Sunday of Advent), playing Barbara Kinyon's lovely 2-octave arrangement of O Come, O Come, Emmanuel. Nancy says, "Hearing the bells play again brought joy and normalcy to the parishioners, and to us ringers as well!"

Carol plays in Cathedral Bells, from St John's Lutheran Church in Orange, a group directed by Alex Guebert (who has twice directed the SoCal Spring Ring). Carol was kind enough to send me pictures showing how they rehearse outside, on individual tables spaced well apart. When it gets dark, the music book lights and the twinkle lights on the courtyard trees help them see their music -- plus they put a spotlight on Alex! 

My own church group has not yet started meeting in person again, and may not get to do so before Easter, but I am hopeful that we will be together again in the fall of 2021!

Meanwhile, I'd like to share with you a video that I made for the ELCA Pacifica Synod's online service for Dec 27, the first Sunday after Christmas. It features Becky Anderson & I playing a suite of three 8-bell pieces arranged by Larry Sue. We called it Christmas Angels Suite and the three pieces are 'Twas in the Moon of WintertimeAngels We Have Heard on High, and Good Christian Friends, Rejoice

I hope these stories and this video help to raise your spirits and bring hope and joy to all of you. May 2021 be a much brighter and happier year than 2020!

My best,
A full-service handbell store
with music and accessories:

gloves • gifts
maintenance items
mallets • binders
bell tree items
Malmark products

visit us at

6603 Queen Ave S, Suite S
Richfield, MN 55423

Barbara Walsh
For information on Northern Nevada concerts, events, and other opportunities, click here.  
In some of my previous articles I asked people to let me know if they've been doing anything during these times and I actually got two responses! This first one is from Michelle Powers, the handbell director in Carson City, NV:
Hosanna Handbells from the First United Methodist Church in Carson City Nevada, have recorded eight songs over the past few months to contribute to the music in our church services.
We had originally stopped meeting in March due to Covid, but decided to get together again in July to see what we could create and contribute to our community in these unsure times.
Seven of us were willing and able to get together safely, which included constant wearing of masks, spread arms length apart, not sharing bells, and wiping down touch surfaces after practice.
I am very grateful and proud of the dedication of these people to continue some sort of normalcy, although there was nothing normal about our practice or that we were recording, to be used at a later date, rather than playing in person, but the dedication to create something is what warms my heart.
The second response is from Linda Miner, a ringer in Gardnerville, NV:
When everything closed down last spring, Kathy Wicker, the director of the Sierra Ringers at Carson Valley United Methodist Church in Gardnerville, Nevada, was able to arrange for 6 ringers to practice and record at a private home (masked and socially distanced). In that manner, the Sierra Ringers were able to be part of the virtual church services in May, June and July (performing once a month just like always). It was decided to recess for the summer and see what the autumn would bring.

In the meantime, through happenstance and a series of fortunate events, CVUMC was contacted about helping with the filming of a Lifetime Movie: Feliz NaviDad starring Mario Lopez (available on Netflix). The production team was hoping to borrow the church's handbells and choir robes for the movie's high school performing group Las Bocas Locas (they sing, they dance, they ring handbells!). In actuality, the young actors hired to be part of Las Bocas Locas did not sing or ring! So for four days in June, two of the Sierra Ringers accompanied the bells, pads and drapes to Incline Village in the role of bell educators and bell police. We had access to the music that the young actors were supposed to be ringing and did our best to make their ringing look believable (trade secret—if you see the movie, you'll notice that the bells are being held sideways!). Everyone on set had to have a negative Covid test and have their temperature taken daily. Masks were mandatory unless you were on camera. (The film's producer, Paula Hart, was a no-nonsense mask-police!) One of the Sierra Ringers can be seen in her first starring role as "enthusiastic audience member" towards the end of the movie! The Lifetime Movie folks expressed their appreciation for CVUMC's involvement with a generous honorarium.

In late summer, CVUMC started adding in-person services (masked and socially distanced) as well as continuing the virtual services. As of August the Sierra Ringers would be allowed to rehearse and record at the church. There would be no live performances, but the recorded handbell music would be part of the in-person and virtual services. With the aforementioned honorarium and available Sierra Ringer funds, new pads and drapes were obtained in order to socially distance the 12 ringers willing and eager to participate. Sierra Ringers were able to record their music for September through January (including two beautiful Christmas medleys) before CVUMC closed again for in-person activities because of the rising coronavirus numbers in Gardnerville.
I'm going to have to download that movie, Feliz NaviDad, and see if I can figure out who the real handbell ringer is!

Sharon Guilliams
For information on LA Metro's concerts, events,  
and other opportunities, click here.  
Welcome to the New Year. But wait…we have something to celebrate! The Christmas Handbells Virtual Ensemble videos resulting from all the hard work of the participants were fabulous. Combined, the videos have over 2000 views so far and I know that the videos were used in worship by several congregations. Over 40 of the participants were from the LA Metro Region. Way to go. If you have not seen the videos, here they are:
So, what is in the works for Spring you ask? We are working on it. Given the current and anticipated restrictions associated with COVID we are looking into some sort of virtual event. I know another Handbell Musicians of America Area is looking at doing a Virtual Massed Ring Event with Easter in mind. If this comes to fruition, we do not want to dilute the potential participant pool for this event. We'll share that information with you when we have it.

I would encourage directors to consider participating in the March Director’s Workshop, Director a Teacher—The Next Step (see above). Tess and Barb are wonderful instructors and mentors. I would even encourage ringers to consider participating so that you can have a better appreciation of what the director is trying to accomplish. Stay tuned. 

I am definitely looking at having one or multiple Fall events that will help you as a ringer and groups jump start their return to ringing. If your facility might be able to host such an event, please contact me. Host choirs are comp’d their registration fees.

As always if you have any questions or needs, please feel free to contact me.


P.S. At our recent Board meeting, based on the number of Area 12 concerts and events that popped up around Christmas, we decided that if your concert/event has been added to the Area 12 website calendar, then we will give you free promotion once or twice a month on our Area 12 Facebook page. Submittal of your event is simple, just go to Submit Your Event | Handbell Musicians of America Area 12 and provide the information. Note, that you have to include what Region of Area 12 the event is taking place. With events being virtual and accessible to folks outside Area 12, let’s spread the word of all the great ringing that is takes place inside Area 12.
Sandi Walker-Tansley
For information on NorCal concerts, events, and other opportunities, 
click here.  
Karen Carlisle
For information on Hawaii concerts, events, and other opportunities, 
click here.  
Christine Anderson
For information on Central California concerts, events, and other opportunities, click here.  
Nancy Schmitt
For information on Northern California concerts, events, and other opportunities, click here.  
Alison Pruett
For information on Southern Nevada concerts, events, and other opportunities, 
click here.  
Marquise Usher
For information on Bay Area concerts, events, and other opportunities, click here.  
Our National Organization (click logos to get more info!)
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.

For advertising types and rates:
Payment is due before publication. Submission DEADLINE is the 20th of each month. No issue in July.

Please submit your ads via email to:
Looking for a previous issue? We archive the Twelfth Tone on our website:
Teachers, would you like the use of a 3-octave set of handbells or handchimes to add interest and a new dimension to your music class?

Area 12 encourages schools and other educational institutions, both public and private, to develop educational programs using handbells and handchimes.

To support the development of such programs, Area 12 has six 3-octave sets of handbells and three 3-octave sets of handchimes for loan.

To learn more about the responsibilities and procedures for participating in this program, click here.
Area 12 Board
Elected Officers

Chair Elect
Past Chair

Appointed Officers


Social Media

Vendor Liaison
Regional Coordinators

Central California
Far Northern California Liaison
Los Angeles Metro
Northern California
Northern Nevada
San Francisco Bay Area
Southern California
Southern Nevada