Margaret H. Shurcliff Leadership Award

Margaret H. Shurcliff Leadership Award

Click here to download the Nomination Form PDF

Click here to download the Award Procedure PDF


Note, there will be no award at Festival/Conference 2022.  The next award may be presented at Festival/Conference 2024

The membership and Board of HANDBELL MUSICIANS OF AMERICA AREA 1 may present this Award every two years, at the Area 1 Biennial Meeting, to a present, former, or deceased member, in recognition of noteworthy and lasting contributions to Area 1, including:

  • …teaching effectively
  • …promoting healthy handbell ringing practices
  • …organizing and promoting local, statewide or Area 1 ringing events
  • …mentoring new choirs and ringers
  • …upholding The Guild motto — “Uniting people through a musical art.”

Is there someone special you know who tirelessly promotes handbells and The Guild for Area 1? Is there a teacher or director who had the patience and took the extra time to get you and your handbell group up to speed? Just how much do they love and promote handbells? Area 1 wants to know about and reward them.

The level of some of our Area 1 talent rises above all others. And those are the people we will honor with the Area 1 Leadership Award, named for Margaret Shurcliff, who began the history of handbells in America right here in New England. Beginning with ten handbells and ringing with her children on Christmas 1926 at Beacon Hill in Boston then later inviting friends and their friends to her kitchen table to ring with other adults; arranging for others to get sets of bells and setting up massed rings; continuing with the formation of the New England Guild then expanding to the American Guild of English Handbell Ringers in 1954, Margaret worked tirelessly for over 30 years to promote handbells. Although we may not match Margaret’s level of dedication again for some time, many individuals continue to work hard to make the art of handbell ringing easy and enjoyable. The Award is modeled after the national Handbell Musicians of America Honorary Life Membership Award. The Board of Area 1 will present the Shurcliff Award at the next Area 1 Festival/Conference. But first, we need nominees. You may download a Nomination Form and Proceure at the top of this page. As defined in the procedure for the award, all nominations should be sent the The Guild’s Area 1 secretary. Area 1 Chair delegates an ad hoc, anonymous committee of three Area 1 members who will receive and evaluate all nominations for eligibility. This committee will present the qualifying nominations to the Board for vote. More than one award may be given in cases of tie votes, or none awarded if no nominees qualify or a majority of the Board vote is not carried. Please download your Nomination Form, enlist friends and fellow ringers to help complete the form, and return to Area 1’s secretary by the last December 31 before the next Festival/Conference. (Note: Form must be received by Dec. 31.)

Sponsored by the Handbell Musicians of America Area 1 Board

Award Recipients:

2021 – Jane Nolan

2019 — Ed Henderson

2013 — Daniel K. Moore

2011 — Philip H. Brown