Festival Conference

Why should I go to Festival Conference at Area 1?

…to learn new things! Everyone, even the most advanced ringers can learn something new. Maybe it will be in a massed rehearsal, at a class for basic ringing, advanced techniques, an open discussion, or origami, yoga, steel or african drums, or even while chatting at mealtime.

…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

…because if you have never experienced it before, you’re in for an unforgettable weekend with some of the nicest people, and the best bell ringing in New England.

Festival Conference 2017 Information

Where and When?

UMASS Amherst
June 29 – July 2, 2017

Opening Concert

Columbia Handbell Ensemble, directed by Ed Rollins.

Closing Concert

The closing concert takes place on the last day of Festival Conference, and the public is welcome to attend!

Repertoire for 2017:

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.


Psalm of Celebration,  McChesney L3 3-5 oct  Jeffers MJHS95383-5, MJHS9538BBrass Parts–2 Bb or C trumpets, Horn in F, Trombone, Tuba, Timpani
MJHS9538FS, Full Score/Organ Score

A New Gloria, Cathy Moklebust L3  3-5 oct MCGB213 (PLEASE SEE NOTE BELOW)

America the Beautiful, Arnold Sherman 3-6 oct L3 MRRHB0002,  MRRFS0002 Full Score, MRRBP0002 Brass parts

Soon and Very Soon by Hart Morris L3+ 3-6 oct. MHP2274 (MHP2274P=bass and drum part)


Tuya Es La Gloria, Susan (Nelson) Sylvester L2 3-5 oct. MAG35251

Danza, McChesney L1 2-3 oct MJHS9228 bells, MJHS9228B brass (brass part–2 Bb trumpets, Horn in F, Trombone, Tuba, Timpani), MJHS9228K Keyboard

We Three Kings, Kinyon L1+ 2-3 oct MAP23152


Toccata for a Joyous Day, Paul McKlveen L3, 3-5 oct. MJHS9280 (also digital direct DJHS9280

King of Kings, arr. Ward – AGEHR – AG36046

Carol of the Birds, Deb Carr L4 4-6 oct. MAG45054


Visions of Peace, Karen Buckwalter, L4+ MBEHB438 with flute 3-6 oct

Allegro from Concerto in a minor, Bach/ Vivaldi/Gramann L5 5-7 oct MAG57021

Waltz from Masquerade Suite, Griffin L4+, 5-7 oct.  MBEHB369=full score, MBEH369A=Choir 1, MBEH369B=Choir 2, MBEHB369C= Alternate Piano part for Choir 2

And All That Jazz, Nick Hanson L5 4-6 oct. MFM20492

Note regarding A New Gloria, massed ring selection:

Festival/Conference 2017 Important Notice!!

“A New Gloria”

In an attempt to save choirs money, we decided to select some pieces for this years’ Festival/Conference used at past festivals. Among those chosen is “A New Gloria” by Cathy Moklebust, previously used as a massed piece at F/C 2001 in Burlington, VT.

If you have a copy of this piece from that Festival/Conference, it quite possibly has no difficulty level printed on the cover. Promotional materials for that F/C listed it as a level 4. More recently, Jeffers had it listed as a level 3.  If you have received a new copy of “A New Gloria” for F/C 2017, you will notice that the publisher, Choristers Guild, has put the difficulty level on the cover as level 5. We have contacted Choristers Guild, and they agree it should not be a level 5 and assure us all future publications will reflect the change.

The “Handbell Notation Guide & Difficulty Levels” put out by AGEHR lists the criteria necessary for each level of difficulty. “A New Gloria” is much closer to a level 3. There are time changes but only from 3/4 to 4/4 and back. There are no sixteenth notes. There are no key changes and no hand chimes. Techniques are limited to LV, 2 shakes and 1 RT, and it has very little syncopation. The tempo varies and some are fast, but, in a massed setting, the director will only go as fast as we can play it correctly.

There are 4 opportunities throughout New England in October to attend a workshop to go over all the massed music for Festival/Conference 2017. I strongly encourage you to register online for one of these events to see for yourself how much fun ringing this music can be.

If you have any questions, please contact Jane Nolan at janesjazz@comcast.net


Please Click here to download special information regarding the Bronze division

Additional details regarding how to submit your audition video for the Bronze division will be in the November Fundamental Tone, and will be posted here when available.

Conference Fees and Housing

Commuter                                           $TBD

Chaperone (Double Occupancy)     $TBD

Attendee (Double Occupany)           $TBD

Attendee (Single Occupancy)           $TBD

About our Conductors

Ed Rollins

Debora Carr

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