Ringer ReunionRinger Reunion

Virtual Recording Event – May 15, 2021 9 AM – 2 PM EST
“Watch Party” – June 6, 2021 4 – 5 PM

Guest Conductor Marylin Becker
Associate Director of Music of Hancock United
Church of Christ


Through the magic of technology, Area 1 presents a joyful return to the music-making that unites us.  Join in remotely for a handbell family reunion that brings us back to the tables to celebrate the artistry of massed ringing!

You are invited to participate in the Area 1’s Virtual Massed Ring Event including a Virtual Massed Ring (workshop) on Saturday, May 15, 2021, and a Watch Party on Sunday, June 6, 2021.



  • So, how will this work?

Just like in Spring Rings, participants will be expected to purchase the music ahead of time and “learn” their parts. At registration, you will be asked to designate what part you intend to play. Then on May 15th, we will hold the virtual workshop with our clinician, Marilyn Becker. This day will include multiple pre-recorded rehearsal segments that participants can ring along with. The segments are from the ringer’s perspective, just like if you were at a Spring Ring.

Once the workshop is over, you will be asked to record your part for both of the pieces and submit your video(s).  A video of the rehearsal and an audio track will be provided to assist with your recording.

These submissions are then compiled together. We will gather once again on Sunday, June 6th for a short “Watch Party”.  During that event, we will view the virtual ensemble pieces, and celebrate this unique effort.

  • How much does it cost?

Each participant will need to purchase the music and there is a nominal $15 participation fee for HMA members until April 30, 2021.  From May 1-May14, the fee is $25. There are some scholarships available, so don’t let cost be a deterrent to your participation.  Use the registration link/button below to sign up

  • Where can I find more information?

Below are to the Frequently Asked Question, as well as information on the music needed, each day’s schedule, our clinician, recording guidelines and any director notes that are available.


We look forward to having you join us!

To register for Ringer Reunion, please click this link:  Register Now.

Scholarships are available, deadline is April 30, 2021. To apply, fill out the application in the Financial Assistance Scholarship section at: http://area1.handbellmusicians.org/scholarships/


Ringer Reunion Schedule

9:00 – 9:10 Welcome, opening remarks
9:10 – 9:20 Stretching with Phil Brown
9:20 – 10:00 Rehearsal 1 – Canticle of Praise
10:00 – 10:15 Panel discussion – What have you been doing with handbells since the pandemic started?
10:15 – 10:20 Break – Presentation / performance by Shoreline Ringers
10:20 – 10:50 Rehearsal 2 – Quiescence
10:50 – 11:00 Games with Joy Toll-Chandler
11:00 – 11:05 Break – Presentation / performance by Merrimack Valley Ringers
11:05 – 11:20 Panel discussion – Meet the composer, Michael Mazzatenta
11:20 – 11:42 Rehearsal 3 – Quiescence
11:42 – 11:47 Break – Presentation / performance by Granite State Ringers
11:47 – 12:05 Lunch break – stay tuned for Festival / Conference 2022!
12:05 – 12:20 Panel discussion – How to submit a recording for the performance video with Brian Seemann
12:20 – 1:05 Rehearsal 4 – Canticle of Praise
1:05 – 1:15 Games with Joy Toll-Chandler
1:15 – 1:30 Meet the Area 1 Board Candidates
1:30 – 1:35 Break – Presentation / performance by the Back Bay Ringers
1:35 – 1:45 Performance run-through – Quiescence
1:45 – 1:55 Performance run-through – Canticle of Praise
1:55 – 2:00 Final thanks, games winners
2:00 – 2:15 Leave YouTube – take a break
2:15 – 3:30 Zoom call – ask Brian your questions in person about how to make your video



  • Canticle of Praise – Kevin McChesney, Easy, 3-5 Octaves, Lorenz Corp, Jeffers: DLCHB342
  • Quiescence – Michael Mazzatenta, Level 2, 3-5 Octaves, Lorenz Corp, Jeffers: DLC202026L

Single copy digital purchases and hard copy form are available for both pieces.  Each participant is required to have their own copy of the music.

Click Tracks

Please download the click track in the format of your choice (mp3 or mp4) for each selection.  You will need this when you record.  Download from this Microsoft One Drive link:


Director’s Notes

The Director’s notes can be found in Director’s Notes (Click the Link)

Recording Guidelines

Video Guide to Recording Handbells at Home

MOST IMPORTANT STEP – Watch and listen to your recordings before submitting them. There might have been something in the background (or a loud page turn) you missed while recording because your focus was on playing bells.

Equipment needed

At minimum, you will need two devices and a pair of earbud/headphones; one device to play the click track in your ear and one to do the recording.  These can be two smartphones, a smartphone and a laptop, etc.

Audio recording options

■ Smartphone – Pros: Many people already have one. Cons: Microphone is designed with human voice in mind, not the frequency range of bells.

■ USB microphone ($100-150) – Pros: A more natural microphone that will replicate all frequencies. Can plug directly into a computer and most cell phones Cons: Additional expense.

 Video recording options

■ Most smartphones have a pretty good camera built in as many manufacturers have made photo and video a priority. Short of having a separate DSLR camera or camcorder, phones will usually give you the best quality.

■ Computer webcams, either built-in or external, are an option as well.  Since the main goal of a webcam is to send video as quickly as possible over the internet, the actual image quality is usually lower than even a cell phone camera

Recording considerations

■ Record the video in a well-lit location. You will want as much front lighting, and as little backlighting as possible. Avoid recording in front of windows when possible.

■ Minimize external noise when recording audio. Especially using USB mics and up, even subtle noises like pet collars, fans, and people talking in another room will be picked up.

  • A steady, consistent background noise (such as an air conditioner or appliance hum) can be more easily edited out later, but try to minimize as much as possible.

■ Record in landscape orientation and have the camera in a steady location (table, tripod, etc.)

■ The microphone should be 8-10 feet from the bells if possible.

■ At the start of the recording, either clap (in camera shot) or click your bell handles together along with the clap sound in your click track (this will help the editor line everything up later!)

■ After the last cutoff, count silently and slowly to 5 before relaxing your bells and moving to end the recording.

■ Name the file with the name of the piece (either Canticle or Quiescence), your name and bell part (e.g. Canticle_BellRinger_C4D4.mov)

■ To upload the file, open the following link (https://www.dropbox.com/request/mzzU1q1lyhxabsKjLMsh ) in your web browser and either drag the video file onto the page or use the file picker to upload it.

MOST IMPORTANT STEP – Watch and listen to your recordings before submitting them. There might have been something in the background (or a loud page turn) you missed while recording because your focus was on playing bells.

Guest Conductor

Marilyn is the Associate Director of Music at Hancock United Church of Christ in Lexington. Hancock has a long established and vital bell program that welcomes community participation. Marilyn brings her background as a choral conductor, teacher, and organist to the bell program, and will commonly sneak in some music theory lessons to bell rehearsals. She has a degree from New England Conservatory in piano performance, and a Masters of Sacred Music from Westminster Choir College in Princeton, NJ. She has taught private lessons as well, and in addition to her long career as a church musician, has taught in a performing arts high school, and worked as an accompanist for community choirs. Her daughters are both string players, so she has been able to learn all the major repertoire for violin and cello! Marilyn loves to work with musicians of all ages and abilities, and finds bell ringing to be a great first instrument. She is excited to be leading a virtual choir.


Area 1 Ringer Reunion 2021 Frequently Asked Questions 

  • Will the director or other participants be able to hear what I am ringing on May 15th?

No, no one else will be able to hear what you are ringing on the 15th. You will be able to hear the full pre-recorded massed ring choir through your computer speakers, so you can hear yourself in the context of the piece.

  • How should I set up to get the most out of the experience on May 15th?

We recommend that you place your computer monitor so that you can see it above your music stand and/or book. Then place your music and bells as you normally would. See an example set up in the picture below. Make sure to have your keyboard handy so you can ask questions in the chat


  • Can I participate as an individual ringer, without my bell choir?

Yes, you can be by yourself in your home on the 15th and ring along with the videos; your whole  bell choir does not need to participate. You just need your computer and some way to hear the  sound (computer speakers or external speakers).

If your group wants to do the experience together, gather in a place with access to a big screen TV  that can access (or can be hooked up to access) YouTube.

  • What time is each of the events?

The Virtual Massed Ring will take place on Sat May 15, 2021 from 9 AM – 2 PM EST. The day will  be a mix of rehearsal times, games and fellowship. A full schedule of the days’ event will be made  available on the website closer to the date.

The watch party will take place on Sunday June 6, 2021 from 4 – 5 PM

  • How can we have a massed ring rehearsal without all the parts?

On the day of the event, we highly encourage having your bells at the ready so that when the first  downbeat happens, you’ll be ringing along with our pre-recorded 5-octave choir as if you are  ringing your part on the massed ringing floor in person

After the event, our event video will be available until your video submissions are due. This will  give you time to practice with the full prerecorded massed ring choir.

  • I cannot participate on May 15th at the specified time. May I still submit a video?

Yes, as long as you have registered and paid the fee, you can submit a video. The event video will be available after that day, and remain available until video submissions are due, so you can experience the event and practice with the full pre-recorded massed ring choir.

  • Is the fee per person or per choir?

Until April 30th, the fee is $15 per person. From May 1st to May 14th, the price is $25. Financial  Assistance Scholarships are available, see the scholarship page for more information. Scholarship applications are due on April 30, 2021.

  • Can group members attend if the group is a member of HMA?

Yes, your group members can pay the $15/$25 rate. Each participant will need to add the membership number on their registration form.

  • When is the deadline to pay the fee?

The deadline to pay is May 14th. Videos submitted by people that have not paid (or do not have a  scholarship) will not be included in the Virtual Ensemble video.

  • Will there be directions for recording our video submissions?

Yes, event-specific recording guidance will be made available on our event webpage. If you want  some general information on how to record yourself, you can view a video at Brian Seemann’s  vlog.

Please note that you DO NOT need fancy audio or video equipment to submit something for  Ringer Reunion, the video/audio from most cell phones is sufficient.

  • Do I need a fancy video camera or recording equipment?

No, you do not need anything fancy. For the recording, you will need two devices and earphones.  One device will be used to record your video and audio, while the other device will be used to  listen (via earphones) to the reference click + music track.

  • Can we record more than one ringer in each video that we submit?

Yes! However, every ringer will need to hear the click track via their own headphones or earbuds, but ringers can share the same audio by using a headphone splitter.

  • What should I wear? Is there a dress code?

For the May 15th workshop, you can wear anything you want; only those in the same room with  you will see. When recording for the Virtual Ensemble, dress as you would for a Spring Ring for  Festival Conference Performance. For many, this is your group’s Polo.

  • Can I show the final video during one of my church’s services?

The final product can only be viewed in a private setting. If a church wants to use it for their own services, they need to obtain their own permission to do so. Contact Lorenz Company through musicservices.org for more information.

If you have any additional questions – please contact Carlene Ruesenberg at