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Volume 17  •  Issue 3  •  Summer 2024

Notes from the Chair

Area 11 Festival in Salt Lake City is just around the corner. In fact, it is twelve days away as I am writing.

Please introduce yourself to members of the board and make new friends. Then keep in touch. Festivals are for ringing and improving skills, but they are as much about networking. A shout out to Anne Kleve and her many helpers and committee members for putting together a fabulous mix of ringing, workshops, activities, concerts, and fun.

Enjoy beautiful Salt Lake City. And plan on attending next time if you can’t be with us.

During May, I have had the opportunity to attend three bell concerts and see the fabulous work being done by my colleagues in Utah and hear the joyful ringing. All ages have been represented in these concerts from age 7 to age 80. What a wonderful activity to be involved in to keep a person learning through the ages. Please keep going and thinking of ways to bring new ringers into our handbell world.

All our states have had Spring Rings this spring giving so many opportunities to participate. Thank you to those that work so hard to make these events happen. Our last Spring Ring took place just this last weekend in Wyoming.

Thanks to all for your contributions in making Area 11 great.

Keep Ringing.

LeAnna Willmore, Area 11 Chair

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Arizona and Wyoming Spring Ring

Festival Updates

A full list of class descriptions are now available on the Festival Webpage.

Here are a few highlights!

Shelli Boynton Basic Change Ringing We will learn a basic cross and switch change ring: no music reading required. This is a great focus exercise and fun addition to any performance.
LeAnna Willmore Conducting and Rehearsal Strategies Participants will use baton or hands to conduct regular and mixed meters. Ideas to keep your rehearsal interesting will be presented with discussion from participants
Alexandra “Nikki” Evans Dream Weaver Looking for a way to handle all those bell changes? Want to try ringing a solo? Start with weaving! Recommended for bell hogs
Libbie Randals Ring til You’re 100 Learn how to ring ergonomically as we work on strokes, stance, damping, marts, malleting and all the extras used in ringing handbells.
Anne Kleve Squeaky Bells – Squeaky Ringers Problem solving roundtable. Bring your questions, problems, and expertise! These questions can be about music, personel, or ensembles (building teamwork). Almost anything goes!


Ensemble Spotlight

Ring in Grace, or RING, is the youth handbell choir at University United Methodist Church in Las Cruces, New Mexico. University UMC currently has two choirs, an adult choir and RING youth choir directed by Eileen Gilbert. University UMC has had handbell choirs since 1983 and ring on 4½ octaves of Whitechapel Handbells.

Read more

Election Results

We are excited to have some returning and new faces join the Area 11 Board in September! Thank you to everyone who voted in our most recent election! The updates to the By-Laws were also accepted.

Lynne Storms – 2024 Chair-Elect





Jill Persichetti – returning as 2024 Secretary-Treasurer





Sara Oedekoven – 2024 Mountain Sub-Area Chair

CHIME Loan Program

NO JOKE, we have chimes to loan.  If you know someone that is interested in starting a chime choir, or maybe you’d like to try that yourself, we can help!  Area 11 has several sets of handchimes to loan.  Just head over to our CHIME Loan Program page and fill out an application!

Happy Summer!

This summer is going to be very exciting, as we have our upcoming Area 11 Festival in Salt Lake City, UT. Our Events Planner and festival team has been working hard for the past year to curate an exciting festival with two wonderful clinicians and some exquisite repertoire. We have a wonderful schedule with over 30 classes for educators, directors, conductors, and ringers of all different levels and types! No matter your background, there is something for everyone! 

One of my favorite parts of the festival is getting to ring with people from across our area and connecting with people of all different ages. This opportunity to connect is what makes our art form and membership so wonderful. I’ve been a member of many different organizations, but HMA is different in the opportunities and resources that are consistently shared with its members. From Overtones, area festivals, repertoire suggestions, etc. you get a lot for your membership! 

My other favorite part of the festival is the Ring of Fame event where all participants gather to enjoy a wonderful meal and honor the accomplishments and dedication of our Ring of Fame recipient. There is no one more deserving of the Ring of Fame this year than Claudette Rothwell. Claudette was featured in our last newsletter, but her accomplishments are so remarkable that she deserves a second recognition. I’m looking forward to presenting her with the Ring of Fame and spending an evening honoring her contributions to the art of handbell ringing. 

My first festival was two years ago in Tempe, Arizona. I attended shortly after I was voted as Chair-Elect by our membership. Prior to this, my only festival experience was the 2021 National Seminar in Glendale, Arizona. Both of these experiences were wonderful as it provided opportunities to meet people I had idolized and dreamed of meeting. I learned so much from my experience in the National Conducting Masterclass and from all of the different workshops offered. It truly changed my life and it’s the reason why I’m on this board and serving our Area today. As we head into the festival season, I encourage you to embrace it with open arms and an open mind. Talk to everyone, attend all types of classes, and get out of your comfort zone. You never know what conversation, connection, or idea could change your life. If you’re nervous and want a guide to help you through the experience, feel free to reach out and I am more than happy to help! For all of those attending our Area Festival or National Seminar, I’m excited to connect with you and I can’t wait to meet you! See you soon! 

Love and Bells,

Anne Kelley

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Area 11 Bulletin Board

If you would like to have your concert, sale, or position posting included here, fill out the submission form.

ISO: Director for Community Handbell Director - Denver, CO

Smithtonians Handbell Ensemble is in search of a new Director beginning fall of 2024, for our group of 13+ dedicated ringers, playing five octaves. The ensemble, composed of auditioned ringers with multiple years of experience, was founded 40 years ago and has performed primarily in the south Denver Metro area to a wide range of audiences. We have concert seasons in early December and early May, with weekly rehearsals excluding the summer months. We play a variety of pieces from our extensive library, from the classics to contemporary to the eclectic. Education of the audience, in not only the techniques of ringing handbells, but also imparting the traditions and love of ringing, is a meaningful part of our mission.  Contact Maribeth McKenna at [email protected].

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

News from National

A nonprofit organization reaching its 70th anniversary is no small feat; especially an arts organization. Handbell Musicians of America is proud to be celebrating this milestone in 2024!

And, while we are planning celebrations at National Seminar this summer, we are also using this anniversary as a launchpad to help strengthen our financial footing. Over the past year, we have seen strong momentum in membership and event attendance. We have also had many members return to HMA after an absence. We are very grateful for all of these positive steps.

Now, we are looking to get to 100% participation by our members and handbell supporters with fundraising. This is no small goal, and to achieve it, we need you. This is not a request for donations simply to receive funds in the immediate, though of course, that is helpful for our many initiatives.

A high participation rate by our constituents better positions our organization for future grant support from foundations, corporations, and government entities. Institutional donors like these look at participation as one of the barometers for choosing where to allocate their funds.

Whether $7, $70, or $700, a contribution to Handbell Musicians of America will help now and in the future.

Please take a moment to support Handbell Musicians of America with a contribution. And if you have already given this year, perhaps you will consider another donation.

Thank you for your support of Handbell Musicians of America, and your enthusiasm and love for handbells.


Linda Onorevole
Executive Director

Upcoming Board Meetings

July TBD – 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.