SnagASub in 2022

Back in September, I collected up the material for SnagASub from Cindy McLean-Greeley as she wanted to retire as the coordinator. Cindy and Gail Granum  first organized the Area 1 SnagASub program in 2015. For anyone not familiar with SnagASub or how it works, please visit:

Two years of COVID has dramatically reduced the need for substitute ringers and our online bulletin board has been pretty quiet, but we’re still here!

In November, I emailed the members of SnagASub and asked for suggestions on how we might improve the program and received several constructive responses including the following:

  • “A template should be created for use by whoever is making a request.  Some of the info needed is typically left out such as what bell position(s) are needed, date, time, length of rehearsal, specific directions not just to the church, but to where the bells rehearsal is in the building, name of director and name of person you are ringing for, level of music being rehearsed or played.”
  • It’s important to know ahead of time if the church, ringing location or choir loft is handicapped accessible. Many of the older churches may have steep, narrow stairs and substitute ringers who might do well in a more modern building may suddenly find themselves in a difficult position.
  • Provide a way to let a handbell choir inform a sub that they prefer not to have them come back in the future and where improvements could be made.  This is a tough one.  Let’s say a ringer is a terrible sub.  That choir may never want them back.  Then what if they put another request and get the same ringer?  Well, they probably won’t use SnagASub ever again.

I think the take home message here is the importance of quality control. It’s important that both the directors and substitute ringers have a positive experience and that begins with communication. I also wonder if some choirs hesitate to take full advantage of SnagASub because it sets up a situation where the outcome can be unpredictable. Generally speaking, someone who joins SnagASub as a substitute ringer has the experience and self-confidence to provide a positive outcome.

COVID seems to be loosening its grip, Easter isn’t far off and my goal here is to put SnagASub back into everyone’s mind. It would be nice to grow the program and make it more effective. Maybe in the near future we can set up a Zoom meeting to discuss specifics on how this might be done. In my own mind, I would like to see ringers and directors come to appreciate the program not only a practical solution for absent ringers and an educational opportunity but also as a bit of an adventure!

Please feel free to contact me at [email protected] with any questions or concerns you may have about the SnagASub program.

Thank you,

Steve Mazeau
SnagASub Coordinator