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Volume 16  •  Issue 4  •  Back to Bells 2023

Notes from the Chair

Reflecting on this summer season, what a thrill of being at Snow Mountain Ranch for Area 11 Camp. The teaching and ringing of handbells for both youth and adults will be a lasting memory for me. Thank you, Anne Kleve and Nathan Kleve, for putting that together. Thank you, Barb Walsh and Ed Rollins, for your excellent and inspiring work with the ringers.

I am still caught up in how wonderful National Seminar was in Irving Texas. What a grand affair with so many workshops on all things handbell, beautiful performances with new ideas for programming, composers from all over the country to meet, dozens of exhibitors and many new handbell friends.

It was great seeing many Area 11 fellow ringers there. Be sure to make plans so you can attend next time in Hartford, Conneticut.

Check out the information about our Fall Tune-ups in all Area 11 states in this issue and on our website.

Our in-person board meeting in Salt Lake City took place August 4th-6th just in time for this newsletter. We are working on plans for this year’s coming events, especially our Area Festival taking place in Salt Lake City in June of 2024. I hope you will all plan on being there and ringing in one of the choirs that are available for a variety of levels.

We have so many dedicated and service-oriented people in our area. Thank you to all of you for being so willing to help and further the art of handbell ringing.

Mister Rogers said it this way, “It makes me feel good to see people who are doing something they love to do and enjoying the work of it. Isn’t it wonderful to think that each one of us has a different talent, something that we can use to help us and somebody else?”

LeAnna Willmore
Area 11 Chair

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Ringers Camp Highlights

Camp this year was a blast! We explored new areas of handbells while meeting new people. We learned new pieces of music and brand new techniques. We enjoyed games based around music and classes on four in hand and weaving. We also got to explore features of the YMCA. We enjoyed tubing on the summer tubing hill, a waterfall hike, sports, and arts and crafts. Overall, it was amazing! Everyone gained new friends, new memories, and new abilities! I can’t wait to do it all again!

Nathan Kleve
Youth Chair

Photos from Ringers Camp

Ensemble Spotlight

Area 11, Handbell Musicians of America is proud to spotlight ensembles that have made their mark (not mart!) in Area 11.

Thank you to these ensembles for their dedication to advancing the art of handbell ringing throughout Area 11.

Click on the pictures for more information on these great programs.

Religious Ensembles

Dove of the Desert United Methodist Chruch

Area 11 Bulletin Board

Smithtonians Ringer Auditions - Colorado

Ringer Auditions for our Fall ’23-Spring ’24 Season.

9/7/2023 – 7pm

4500 E. Hampden, Cherry Hills Village, CO, 80113. Bethany Lutheran Church

Contact: David Burrows, burrows.david035@gmail.com. ph303-522-6947.

Malmark Chimes for Sale - Arizona
6 Octave Malmark Chimes for Sale in Tucson, AZ – Contact Margi Zearly for more information


Happy August! Can you believe the year is halfway over? Time is flying by and so are the opportunities for collaboration and professional development! Although it doesn’t feel like it with the heat wave, fall is quickly approaching. We have our annual Fall Tune-Up (formally Ringers Roundup) happening throughout our Area in  September. This is a wonderful opportunity to brush up on ringing technique, get ideas for directing/teaching, collaborate with fellow handbell colleagues and catch up with your state handbell friends! This event is open to everyone and it would be wonderful to have a mix of beginning and experienced ringers. Our handbell world is small, but mighty! If you’re attending your local Fall Tune-Up, I challenge you to bring a friend, take a picture and tag Area 11 or email it to me. If you do, it might make an appearance in our next newsletter!

Over the summer, I had an opportunity to attend and present at the annual AzACDA conference in Mesa, Arizona. On the second day of the conference, I gave an hour-long presentation about Handbells and Handchimes to a wonderful audience with a mix of new and familiar faces. My favorite part about conferences, seminars, and professional development events is connecting with my colleagues and like-minded people. Membership is about being part of something extraordinary and staying connected with the members in your organization. Although I only have a small children’s choir at my school, I renew my ACDA membership every year to stay connected with my choral colleagues and be surrounded by people who share the same passion for music. Our area-wide events like Fall Tune-Up are the perfect opportunity to reconnect with others who share our love of handbells. Sometimes it can be difficult to forget our “why” in the bustle of concert season. Most bell choirs take a break over the summer and resume rehearsals in August or September. Fall Tune Up is a wonderful opportunity to get back in the swing of things and remember our “why” before we start rehearsing again with our ensembles.

As you finish out the summer and head into fall, try to remember your “why” and connect with someone who shares your love of music and/or handbell ringing. Remember to send me a picture at Fall Tune-Up! I would love to hear about your experience and share it with our board! As always, if you need membership help or information, I am more than happy to help!

Love and Bells,

Anne Kelley

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Area 11 Inquiry Form

Our Board of Directors have some exciting programs we’d like to create and we want to gage interest in your needs! Please complete the following form to let us know a little about how we can support you!

Joyfully Ring!

by Doug Benton | Area 11 Anthem

News from National

Distinctly Bronze is an event for advanced handbell musicians which provides the opportunity to perform on the largest handbell sets available under the direction of Hart Morris. Four days of rehearsal lead up to a Sunday afternoon concert which is open to the public for a small admission charge.

October 5-8, 2023, Vancouver, Washington
Hart Morris, conductor

Details and Registration

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Upcoming Board Meetings

September 4th  – 7:30pm MDT

Newsletter Archive

Click here to see any of our previous newsletters from 2012-2021.

Articles for Newsletter

Want to share an exciting experience or tips and tricks with our handbell community?

Deadline to add articles for the newsletter is the 25th of the previous  month.  Articles may be submitted  to the Communications Chair in .doc format and with an picture of the author in .jpg format.