Festival Conference

Festival Conference

2015 Registration Information


You can download your registration packet here!


Note: Bronze level is auditioned.  This is the rubric used to judge your video.

Click here for instructions on submitting your Bronze Audition video.

What is a Festival Conference at Area 1?

“It’s a 3-day handbell marathon of rehearsals, massed ringing, skill building workshops and classes, and even classes on things like boomwhackers, origami, or yoga.”

“It’s a chance for you to meet other bell choirs, talk with other ringers and directors, and ring some of the best music available today under the most superb directors.”

“Like nothing you’ve ever experienced before (if you’ve never been to an Area 1 conference.)”

Festival Conference 2015 Information



Where and When?

UMass Amherst
June 25 – 28, 2015

Repertoire for 2015:

It’s never too early to order your music for Festival Conference!  Order it now and program it for the upcoming year.  You’ll be ready and totally prepared to ring with the other 700 people who will be attending on the campus of UMASS in Amherst, MA June 25-28, 2015.

CLICK HERE for 2015 Bronze and Coppers Rehearsal Notes


Bronze–conducted by Debbie Rice:

CLICK HERE for 2015 Bronze Division Audition Rubric

Stoccato– Fred Gramann MCGB812, 5-7 oct., L4+
Remembrance–Cathy Moklebust MLC201131L, 3-5 oct., L5+
Transitions–William Payn MAG57019, 5-7 oct., L5
Valse Brilliante–Karen Buckwalter MBEHB421, 4-7 oct, L4+

Coppers–conducted by Debbie Rice

Allegro con Moto–Jason Krug MGIG8073, 3-5 oct, L3+
We Gather Together–Joel Raney MHP2656, 3-5 oct, L3
Resonances and Alleluias –Cathy Moklebust MCGB516, 3 or 5 oct, L4

CLICK HERE for 2015 Tins and Massed rehearsal procedures

Tins–conducted by Tim Waugh

An Expression of Joy–John Behnke MAG35300, 3-5 oct, L2+
Celebrate with Gladness–Susan Geschke MHP 2668, 2-3 oct, L2
Cadenzato –Tim Waugh MRO3218, 2-3 oct, L2+

Massed–conducted by Tim Waugh

All Things Bright and Beautiful –Sondra Tucker MBEHB418, 3-6 oct, L3-
Be sure to order the arrangement for Beckenhorst! There is another by the same composer with the same title.
Steal Away –Sandra Eithun MCGB775, 3-6 oct, L2+ (Tins and coppers only)
In Celebration –Brian Childers MRW8168, 3-5 oct, L4
An American Tapestry III– Spiritual –Arnold Sherman MAG37007–handbell score, MAG302364AG–full score with instrument parts. 3-7 oct, L3

Watch for more information about our conductors and rehearsal notes in the next Fundamental Tone

The Public is Welcome to Our Closing Concert


Conference Fees and Housing

Commuter                                           $280.00

Traditional Residence Halls  (No Air Conditioning)

Chaperone (Double Occupancy)     $275

Attendee (Double Occupany)           $375

Attendee (Single Occupancy)           $415

Typical residence hall rooms are arranged for double occupancy providing each resident with a twin bed, dresser, desk and chair. Public bathrooms are centrally located on each floor. Coin-operated laundry facilities are available.

While the location(s) of the Traditional Residence Halls have not been determined as yet, all efforts will be made to keep them as close as posssible to the Mullins Center and the Campus Center, where we will be holding the Massed Ringing sessions and classes, respectively.

North Residential Area   (Air Conditioned, Single Occupancy only)

Chaperone        $375.00

Attendee            $490.00

The North Residential Area consists of suite-style apartments. Each apartment includes 4 single bedrooms, each with a desk, dresser and chair. There are wo full baths in each suite, along with a shared kitchen/living room area. Coin-operated laundry facilities are available.

Attendees considering air conditioned accommodations should be aware of the distance from the North Residential Hall to the Mullins Center.

All meals, Linens (2 sheets, pillow w/pillow case, blanket and 2 towels) are included in the rates listed above.

About our Conductors

Tim Waugh (Tins and Massed)

TimWaugh_BlackWhiteHeadshotInternationally acclaimed conductor, composer, and performance arts educator, Tim Waugh is well known in many performance mediums including handbell, choral, church music and musical theatre. Early in his career he became noted for his work in conducting and teaching children and youth, and he is excited to continue those pursuits while working with children of all ages! He is a tireless champion for performance arts in the church, classroom and community.

His continued work in music follows his retirement from a career spanning over 33 years of public school music education with award-winning choral groups in southern West Virginia,  and serving many churches throughout southern WV, and in Charlotte, NC.

Tim currently is the Artistic Director and Founding Conductor of one of the newest community bell choirs, Charlotte Bronze Handbell Ensemble, based in uptown Charlotte, NC.

In 2008 Dean Jensen of THE HANDBELL PODCAST called Tim “the busiest guy in handbells” and it seems he’s tried in the following years to work hard to maintain that title! In a recent season of handbells, he taught and conducted over 70 handbell musicians in 4 evenings who have collectively available a total of 936 ringing bells from six foundries.

Tim still has time to pursue other facets of music-making!  His conducting, workshop, and performance travels have taken him to almost every US state and to Puerto Rico, Venezuela, Hong Kong, Canada, England and Ireland. Some of his most memorable performance venues include Simon Bolivar Hall – Center for Social Action through Music – Caracas,  Riverside Church and Carnegie Hall – New York City, Hampton Court Palace – Surrey, Sheldonian Theatre – University of Oxford, St. Patrick’s Cathedral and Christ Church Cathedral – Dublin, and just about anywhere in Puerto Rico!  He has actively founded community choruses and music festivals and has conducted or chaired many festivals for children’s choir, middle and high school choirs and bell festivals for all ages.  He was most recently the WV ACDA Junior High/Middle R&S Chair for the WV choral festivals in 2012 & 2013.

He is often on the road conducting or teaching at the many festivals and workshops he does each year. He is also an active published composer and author. His compositions of liturgical, choral, organ and handbell music are published in the US by ten publishers. He is often commissioned to write new compositions for events and festivals. Soon, the Timothy H Waugh Festival Series will be available through Morningstar Publications.

Tim has won several composition contests including the 1992 composition contest in Area V with Gioioso, the 2001 Donald E. Allured Composition Commission for LondeLirinen and also won the WV Diocesan competition for Appalachian Folk-Hymn Mass, a mass setting celebrating the 200th anniversary of the Catholic Hierarchy in America.

Early in 2008 his composition CreationEtere was electronically played aboard the International Space Station. The piece for handbells, brass and organ, which memorialized the space shuttle Columbia and her crew, was commissioned by Donna L. Kinsey of Morgantown WV for the dedication of the new St. Francis De Sales Church.

Tim has been and continues to be associated with many organizations supporting music education, church music, choral, handbell and organ performance. He was a Nominee for the 2010 WV Governor’s Arts Award in Education, was named Officer of the Month by the American Guild of Organists in October 1995, Employee of the Month at Mercer County Schools  (110% Club) in March 1997, honored with the Area V Distinguished Service Award in 2005, and was featured in AGEHR’s “Overtones” magazine in March 1997 and in 2008.  He was selected as Teacher of the Year at Bluewell Elementary School in 1986 and at PikeView High School in 1997.

Deb Rice (Bronze and Coppers)

DebRice_BlackWhiteHeadshot(This is shamelessly “borrowed” from the 2011 Area 2 Festival information, so I personally apologize for anything inaccurate due to elapsed time. -Webmaster)  Debbie is the Director of the Handbell Ministry for Becks Baptist Church in Winston-Salem, NC. This ministry includes multicultural and intergenerational choir groups for all ages. Her bronze ensemble, Rejoice Ringers, has released two CD recordings and been featured in concerts for handbell events across the United States. She is in demand as a conductor and clinician throughout the US and internationally that has included Australia, Canada and Great Britain. In June 2009 Debbie is the conductor for an International Handbell Festival in Great Britain.

Her degrees are in music education, opera and musical theatre. She has been a frequent contributor to Overtones, served on and chaired numerous committees at the area and national level as well as held elected offices as an Area III Chair (1997-99), National Secretary (1999-2003) and the National Presidential cycle (2003-2008). Debbie currently serves as the Executive Director for the International Handbell Committee.

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