Don’t Forget

Donate a percentage of your online shopping to the Area 11 Youth Fund when you shop through AmazonSmile.

Advertising Policy

Advertising is accepted from vendors, performance groups and individuals as well as for performance and educational events not directly sponsored by Area 11.

Rates are listed here.

Volume 16  •  Issue 1  •  New Year 2023

Notes from the Chair

New Year, New Life

It’s that time of year to breathe new life into our choirs. January is always the perfect time to find new music and new ideas. This can be a refreshing time for you and your choir. I spent many hours looking and listening to bell music during the holidays. It is surprising how much material is available now from many excellent bell composers. I’m even finding many advanced levels for The Bells at Temple Square to play.

When it comes to advanced music, I recommend selecting pieces of music that is at the level of your advanced ringers, even if some others can only play part of the notes. If you always work at the level of the lowest ringer, they will not have the opportunity to improve and the more advanced ringers will be bored. Work upwards.

Are you looking to improve your conducting? If you didn’t take conducting classes in college, attend a workshop, festival, seminar, or find someone that is a master conductor and ask for private lessons. Conducting tip: The less talking I do during rehearsals, there is more time for choirs to rehearse more and I see more eyes coming off of their music.

It’s not too late to join us on Super Bell Saturday, the Area 11 Read and Ring. Come and bring your ringers to the location nearest you. We will be ringing new music that can purchased without the cost of shipping.

Did you know we have a State Spring Ring in all five of the Area 11 States this year! Take your ensemble to your State Spring Ring for a chance to work with exceptional clinician. From March through May these Spring Rings are happening in each state. Your ringers will be inspired by ringing with the local ringers in your state and will have wonderful social experiences throughout the event.

This newsletter is full of information to help you become more involved. Visit our Area 11 Handbell Musicians of America website for more events and information.

LeAnna Willmore

Chair, Area 11

return to top

Area 11 Camp – Registration Open!

Ringing Through the Ages – June 11-15 2023

Snow Mountain Ranch, Grandby, CO

We’ve COMBINED our Young Ringers Camp AND our Adult Ringers Camp into ONE extraordinary camp for everyone of all ages(10+)!

Registration is now open for this 5-day, 4-night event in the beautiful and refreshing Rocky Mountains of Colorado.  Throughout the week we will be ringing, participating in outdoor activities and have many chances to hang out with an amazing group of handbell musicians!

10 Reasons to Go to Area 11 Camp

1.     Make new friends

2.     Have fun ringing

3.     Two top-notch clinicians

4.     Small group workshops

5.     Improving sight-reading skills

6.     Summer tubing hill

7.     Swimming & hiking

8.     S’mores by the campfire

9.     Mountain views

10.  Colorado sunshine

Get to Know Ed Rollins

Ed will be working alongside Barb Walsh as our clinican for Area 11 Camp.

Handbells have been a huge part of Ed’s life. He started playing in high school, played for four years at William Jewell College in Liberty, MO, and then, from there, he became an AGEHR member.  While he loves ringing and directing, he found a deep desire to help Handbell Musicians of America grow and remain vital in the handbell world.  His leadership in this organization includes: he was Missouri State Treasurer, Missouri Chair, Area 8 Chair (on two occasions), Area 7/8 Representative to the National Board, and from 2011-2017 as the HMA President-Elect and President for the National Board of Directors. In 2020 (at the start of the pandemic) he was asked to act as Interim Executive Director for Handbell Musicians of America, which he did for almost two years.  When a new ED was hired, Ed became the Business Manager for HMA, a position that he now holds. As clinician and conductor, Ed was AGEHR’s second ever coordinator for the Young Ringers Festival in Ames, Iowa in the early 1990’s, he has conducted multiple young ringer events around the country, and he has conducted for festival conferences in Area 1, Area 5, Area 6, Area 8, the advanced ringers track for National Seminar, and he was the HMA conductor for the International Symposium in Vancouver. He has taught classes in over 25 states.

In addition to his work for AGEHR, he co-founded the nationally recognized Columbia Handbell Ensemble back in 1989.  This organization has run continuously since that time except for a Covid break.  The group has been a featured choir for several area conferences, two national festival conferences and two National Seminars. This group has collaborated with an enormous number of musical organizations, most notably, the University of Missouri Concert Series, the Missouri Symphony, the Legion of Black Collegians, the Columbia Chorale, the Whiteman Air Force Base Christmas tree lighting, and the Odyssey Chamber Music Series.

When not working for handbells, Ed served as Associate Pastor for Music and Administration at First Baptist Church of Columbia, MO, where he served for 31 years. At the church, Ed directed the choirs, handbell program, and an instrumental ensemble. Administratively, he had oversight of budgets, personnel, facilities and a 7 million dollar endowment. Aside from that, he created the worship order each week, he preached, performed weddings and often led funerals. In his final ten years, he worked with another staff member to create liturgical art for worship.  They were invited to lead classes on creating liturgical art.   While at the church, he also founded the Odyssey Chamber Music Series, a staple of Missouri arts for 20 years.

Ed is married to Jess Wolfe, a teacher for the Columbia Public Schools program for gifted students (EEE).  He has four step children, Liam, Ophelia, Anya and Odin, and two years ago, Jess and Ed welcomed Iris Mae Wolfe Rollins into the clan. Along with the kids, there is one fluffy dog, George, three cats and a hamster.  Never a dull moment.

A few other things you might want to know about Ed: When not handbelling, Ed was involved for many years as a triathlete.  He completed three half iron-man competitions (1.2 mile swim, 56 mile bike and 13.1 mile run) and was a member of the Columbia Multisport Club that traveled and competed in national USTA club championships, for which they won seven times. He has continued to run and work out on a daily basis.  He has been to Snow Mountain Ranch many times during the ski season  – he is  an avid skier and has spent many a day at Winter Park.  Ed is also a gardener, focusing primarily on perennials.  This past year, his training and gardening and handbells came to a sudden stop due to a surprise racquetball tumor discovered in his brain, but a miraculous recovery is underway, and Ed is looking forward to being back at Snow Mountain Ranch.

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.

Church Handbell Choir

Grace Notes Handbell Choir from Community United Methodist Church in Ogden,Utah

Youth Ensemble

Summit of Peace Lutheran Church Youth Ensembles

NMMEA Gets Their “Hands on Handbells”

On January 5, 2023, Nancy Roberts-Small, chair of the Desert sub- Area, Area 11, Handbell Musicians of America (HMA), presented a workshop at the New Mexico Music Educators Association (NMMEA) All-State In-Service Conference on the University of New Mexico’s campus in Albuquerque.

The workshop session was called, “Hands on Handbells.” Twenty-three general music educators, mostly K-5 teachers from all regions of New Mexico, got to interact with one of the coolest musical instruments in the world.

Nancy began with a brief history of handbells, including how they are constructed. She also talked about using handchimes, with their endless, fun possibilities for music learning in the classroom. Nancy discussed healthy ringing techniques for the ringers, as well as the proper care and feeding of the handbell and handchime instruments.

Throughout the class, Nancy displayed and used several foundational and recently published bell and chime music resources. Strategies to incorporate handchimes with Orff instruments, percussion and recorders were discussed. Several ideas for funding and starting a handbell or chime program at their school were offered, with teachers adding their thoughts.

Nancy also shared information about Area 11’s Chime Loan program, explaining to the teachers that they can have the opportunity to try handchimes in their classroom or church for a year, free of charge. Nancy described her own positive experience with the CHIME loan program; she encouraged interested persons to apply. The teachers were enthusiastic and curious to learn more about the CHIME Loan program. There were many questions and lively discussions throughout the class.

For readers who may not be familiar with the Chime Loan Program:  The Chimes and Handbells in Music Education (CHIME) Loan Program was established in the early 2000’s to get handchimes into the hands of student musicians and to generate excitement for learning and making music with this unique instrument. For those who apply, Area 11 loans – for FREE– a 3-octave set of handchimes, music samples and educational materials to any school or church for a year so they can see how fun and useful handchimes can be as part of any music program.

Find out more about or to apply for the CHIME loan program

After explaining, demonstrating and practicing ringing techniques, class participants were invited up to the table to try ringing for themselves. Participants rang on both handbells and handchimes. Class participants spent the remainder of the workshop time ringing through several fun, short pieces of music, with Nancy directing. Good music was made and a good time appeared to be had by all because the information and activity-packed class was over much too soon.

What a great opportunity to get the word out about handbells and handchimes and how they can be used in the music classroom! Looking forward to next year’s NMMEA All-State In-Service Conference!

Don’t Forget to Register

February 11, 2023 – Super Bell Saturday XI

The 11th Annual Super Bell Saturday is a fun morning of sight reading music with the opportunity to purchase the music without the shipping.

You can still join us! Contact our Sub-Area Chairs for more information.


Super Bell Saturday Event Page

State Spring Rings – March-May, 2023

We are very excited to announce that we will have a Spring Ring in all five Area 11 states this year. Find out more details for your state on our website!

State Spring Rings

return to top

Area 11 Bulletin Board

Malmark Chimes for Sale - Arizona

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

Schulmerich Bells for Sale - Utah

3-octave set of Schulmerich bells in great condition with cases, library of music, and additional accessories available for sale in Centerville, Utah – Contact Peggy Saunders for more information.

New Year, New Anthem

Happy 2023!

Our Area 11 board has been working hard to make sure we have a successful upcoming year. We started this year with our Area 11 Composition Contest. We had 13 amazing submissions from across our 5 states. After narrowing down the top three compositions with a blind vote, our board selected “Joyfully Ring” by Doug Benton as the winning composition. We want to thank everyone who submitted their composition for our anthem. We were impressed with every submission and we appreciated the time and creativity of our composers.

Next weekend, we have our annual Super Bell Saturday. I always look forward to this event as it gives me an opportunity to connect with different ringers in my area. There is something really special about everyone in the Area coming together on the same day to ring music. Super Bell Saturday is the perfect embodiment of our focus for this year: Better Together. Our area and ensembles are better when we work together. That is truly what makes a handbell choir special—multiple individuals working together to make beautiful music. Our area is better when we come together to attend events, grow our ensembles, and connect with others who enjoy the art of handbell ringing.

If you need any help or ideas connecting with people in our area, I am always here to help! I hope everyone has a wonderful start to the new year and a fun Super Bell Saturday!

Love and Bells,
Anne Kelley

return to top

Joyfully Ring!

by Doug Benton | Area 11 Anthem

5 Octave Score
3 Octave Score
2 Octave Score

News from National


National Seminar 2023

Join us at the Westin Irving Convention Center as Los Colinas in Irving, TX (part of DFW metroplex), for National Seminar 2023.

Event dates are Tuesday, July 11 through Saturday, July 15.

return to top

Upcoming Board Meetings

February 6th – 7:30pm MST

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.