Welcome to the home page of the Handbell Musicians of America, Area 2
("The Guild, Area 2",) website! We have a lot of information for you and
hope that you will enjoy your stay. If you have any questions or find that links
or resources are not performing as you anticipate, please let us know so that
corrections can be made. We also are on facebook!
2013 Festival & Young Ringers Conferences
Young Ringers Festival
Tuesday, June 25th, 11:00 - YR On-site Registration Opens
Oswego, NY, June 25-27, 2013
Margi Zearley, Director
Tuesday, June 25th, 3:30 - YR First Rehearsal
Thursday, June 25th, 2:00 - Young Ringers Concert
Festival Conference June 27-30, 2013
Thursday, June 27th, 11:00 - FC On-site Registration Opens
David Weck, Director
Bill Alexander, Performance Class Clinician
Thursday, June 27th, 2:00 - Young Ringers Concert
Thursday, June 27th, 3:30 - FC First Rehearsal and Class Period
Sunday, June 30th, 4:00 - Festival Conference Concert
~ ~ ~ Important Documents - Please Read ~ ~ ~
To see FC Class Descriptions being Offered, click
To open the FC Class Pre-Registration Form, click
Check out the music lists and get your orders in early to take advantage of seasonal
publication savings. Then check back periodically for announcements on availability of the registration
packages. Mark your calendars NOW and get that music
purchased! Nothing like using your spring concerts to perpare for this
Oswego Area Hotel List
Do We Make a Difference? You Bet We Do!
Sometime, after spending so much of our personal time, effort and yes – money, we wonder
whether the work we have done has had any impact at all. Certainly, that is one
factor that causes each of us to hesitate when asked to contribute to
Area 2 Board positions and activities. But if you think that way, that there
is little return for the effort, that no one really cares, then we challenge you to think again.
For the past six years, Area 2 has been sponsoring efforts to make use of handchimes in Romania.
Now, we want to share with you another endeavor that is also taking place in Area 2 and having
positive effects both at home and abroad. We present the THE SOUTHMINSTER RINGERS, what they are doing
directly for others, and what they are doing for themselves. The Southminster Ringers are a "team" of
High Schoolers who annually crank up the program once again even though every year they have lost their
leaders to graduation. They are blessed with a caring congregation, but more than that, they have learned
to work diligently to fund the program that they have developed, wish to retain, and pass on to those that follow.
As a measure of pride, youth bell ringers often want to look distinctive. A classy look binds them together
and gives them something to defend through personal responsibility. We, as adults, so often forget that building
young persons requires us to give up authority and grant them accountablility. So as this group has fun together,
they work, and work hard, to make sure that the fun is rightfully earned.
Thirty six years ago. the Southminster Ringers proudly adopted the Royal Candian Air Force Tartan kilt as
their uniform, accenting the Scottish Heritage of the Presbyterian Church. Look into the eyes of these ringers,
and you will see pride in how they carry and comport themselves with others of all ages.
Ha! We got it connected to the Brinks Truck! Pull hard!
But the distinctive outfit is only one item that sets this group apart. Locally, the ringers are active in the
Pittsburgh area. The ringers begin each year with fun together at the Ligonier Highland Games (and the annual
tug-of-war, generally, won by the girls, with the assistance of some local competitors – see photo). Then they get to work.
The heritage the carry is one of sharing. The repertoire is varied and challenging. As a result of their
musical product, many original compositions have been written for them. Like most of our bell choirs, they
play at all kinds of venues, both inside and outside, and they travel extensively and love to share their
music and their enthusiasm with everyone they meet!
Ligonier Games Benefit Concert|
Quality is what they are after. By Christmas time, they are ready and are fairly busy with demand for concerts.
Nevertheless, one special venue stands out each December: the Allegheny County Jail. Have you and your choirs moved beyond
the safe havens of the church and visited hospitals and jails? The ringers look forward to this event
each year and they rarely play for a more appreciative audience. They see, they hear, they learn and they care.
Then its back to more work for the real fun is yet to be had.
The Southminster Ringers will be leaving for The Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary and Romania in a few
weeks as they begin their 23rd International Tour. Over the years they have taken handbells to
ringers these countries and have regularly returned to re-visit those ensembles
to help them in their ringing journeys. Last summer, five Southminster Alumni took a 4˝ octave set of bells
to the Czech Republic and spent a week teaching handbells and English to 20 eager young students. When
Southminster arrives in Europe this summer, they will begin their tour this year working with
those same ringers and helping them progress even further in their ringing knowledge.
As the movie "field of Dreams" so aptly put it, if you build it, they will come! So the next time you
have an opportunity to work with young ringers, think about this story and say "Yes”. Believe us, the experience
is worth more than double the energy!