Connecticut Spring Ring 2020

Spring Ring provides an opportunity for ringers to meet, share experiences, have fun, and develop musicianship and ringing skills. This event is sponsored by the Handbell Musicians of America for the benefit of its members. Registration is available only for current members of the Handbell Musicians of America, or members of any ensemble they represent. Individuals, small groups, partial, and complete choirs are all welcome.


Saturday, March 28, 2020


Haddam-Killingworth Middle School
451 CT Rt. 81
Killingworth, CT

Event Schedule

 8:00-9:00 AM Set up and check in
 9:00-9:15 AM Opening bell
Welcome; announcements
 9:15-10:30 AM Massed-ring Rehearsal
10:40-11:50 AM Morning Workshops
11:50-12:30 PM Lunch
12:35-1:45 PM Afternoon Workshops
 2:00-3:00 PM Massed ring rehearsal
 3:15-4:00 PM Sharing concert
 4:00 PM Closing Bell
Pack and clean up



Gina Williams
CT State Chair
Handbell Musicians of America, Area 1

Susan Schultz
Event Registrar
Handbell Musicians of America, Area 1

Event Details

The day will include participation in workshops, as well as instructional rehearsals of three massed-rung pieces with Area 1 clinician Jane Nolan, Director of the Shoreline Ringers. We will conclude with a concert presentation of the massed-rung pieces, along with solo performances by those individual choirs, small ensembles, or solo ringers who choose to share their talents.

Meet Our Clinician

Jane Nolan of Gales Ferry, CT is a graduate of Skidmore College with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Music Education. Jane taught music in the Ledyard, CT school system and was a music director in local churches for a number of years. Until 1990, when her church purchased a 3 octave set of handbells, Jane had never seen a handbell. She attended numerous AGEHR workshops and seminars and took a summer graduate course with Don Allured at the Hartt School of Music. From that time, she was hooked.
In addition to directing Shoreline Ringers, Jane directs Bell of Fire, a community handbell choir which rehearses in Gales Ferry, CT and teaches piano from her home. She serves as the Handbell Musicians of America Area 1 membership chairperson. She has been a clinician and a director at a number of Area 1 events throughout New England. Under her direction, choirs have presented the opening concert at the AGEHR Area 1 Festival/Conference in Burlington, VT, performed on tour in the U.S. and England, presented concerts with the U.S. Coast Guard Band in New London, CT and at Carnegie Hall in New York City as well as many other locations throughout New England.

Massed Ringing Repertoire

The massed-rung repertoire is listed below. In accordance with the Handbell Musicians of America guidelines, all music used must be original purchased copies. No photocopies will be allowed.


    • Crown Him Lord of All, Derek Hakes, Level 2, Hope Publishing Co., MHP2777 (3-5 octaves)
    • Melody of Hope, Sondra Tucker, Level 2+; Choristers Guild; MCGB725 (3-5 Octaves)
    • Come, Christians, Join to Sing, Jason Krug, L2+, Agape, MHP2581 (3-5 octaves)


Two 70-minute workshop sessions will be held before and after the lunch break. During registration all registered ringers may choose from four workshops offered in each session. Participants in the Coppers Workshop are required to sign-up for both AM and PM workshop sessions.

Coppers Workshop with Kristen Russo

Do you want to work on your sight-reading skills? This is your chance! You will receive a piece of music chosen by our Clinician when you arrive to read through it and work on making music from the start. The piece will be performed at the afternoon open concert. This is a two-part class. If you have signed up for the Copper Workshop, more information will be sent to you regarding the piece chosen.  If you do not have access to this music, it will be available for purchase for $4.50 on the day of the event.  Please contact Gina Williams at for more information.

Weaving with Larry Berdensey

Here’s your chance to learn how to dance around those crazy chromatics! We’ll cover the basics of weaving 3 and 4 (or more) bells. Bring 3-4 bells & gloves to this class. Offered in both AM and PM Workshop sessions. Each class limited to 10-12 ringers.

Making Music Mindfully with Ellen Dickinson

This class is about changing our mindset and getting out of our own way. Reducing the things that get in our way (generally ourselves!), focusing on the music and not our self-evaluation can alleviate performance anxiety. Learn ways to accomplish this with Ellen. Offered in both AM and PM Workshop sessions.

Ringing with Six (or fewer) with Jane Nolan

What can you do without a full bell choir? Plenty! Come and let Jane help you with ideas. Offered in the AM Workshop session.

What’s All This Stuff on the Page with Jean Degan

There are so many “black” marks on the pages and what do they all mean? This will be a review of all the markings on your music besides the title, tempo markings and we will explore all the other “stuff” to the final bar. Bring your music from the massed reading. Offered in the AM Workshop session.

Boomwhackers are not just a kid’s toy! with Gina Williams

Boomwhackers have many uses in today’s bell choirs. Used as a fun tool to teach young ringers rhythm, they also can be used to enhance a bass line in many handbell pieces. Offered in the PM Workshop session.

Rhythm with Jane Nolan

Sure 4/4 is easy, or even 6/8. But what do you do when the rhythm is syncopated, or the notes are tied, or when you have 3 against 2? You can count on Jane to help you figure it all out! Offered in the PM Workshop session.

Partial Choirs and “Orphan” Ringers

All ringers are encouraged to attend alone or with a partial choir of any size. Ringers without a group are welcome! You may come with your own tables and equipment, or asked to be placed as “orphan” ringers with another choir. You may specify to be placed with a group with whom you have arranged to ring, or have us find a spot for you. We will match you up as best we can.

Solo Choir or Ensemble Performances

We invite your choir/ensemble to share a “solo” selection during the final concert. Please fill out the appropriate information on the registration form if you wish to perform a solo piece. Solo performances will be limited to the first five requests. You will be assigned a short time during lunch to run through your piece once in the performance area. Please be prompt and courteous to other groups.

Music Swap Table

Clean out your file cabinets before you come and bring any handbell music that you are not going to use again. We will have a free music swap table. Leave the music you don’t want any more and take home something new to try.


In order to save on registration costs, and with the many dietary concerns, lunch will be “bring-your-own”. That way you can bring exactly what you want or need. Coffee and water will be provided. ONLY closed water bottles will be allowed on the ringing floor.

What to Bring

Each Ringer should bring gloves and comfortable shoes. Each choir (partial or whole) should bring bells, mallets, foam, tables, table covers, music, and music stands. If your choir has a uniform or concert attire, you are encouraged to wear it for the performance.

Final Concert

Kindly encourage your family and friends to join us for the 3:15 pm concert, which is open to the public at no cost. An opportunity for a free-will donation will be offered for those who wish to help with expenses.

Registration Information

Each ensemble should designate one person, the Group Registrar, to register the group and, if they will be attending, themselves as well,. Participating ringers may register individually, or may register more than one ringer if they choose. The membership number of the ensemble director or sponsoring organization will be required during registration, and should be used by all members of the ensemble. The Group Registrar should indicate if your group is able to host any orphan ringers. Individuals who are attending without their group (“orphans”), please let us know if you would like to be hosted by another group, and indicate your preferred bell positions.


Registration available until March 23
Registrant Type Registration Fees
Ringing Participant $20
Non-ringing Chaperone $0








Youth ringers are welcome! Please register at least one Adult as a chaperone for every ten registered ringers under the age of 18.




Scholarships Available

Scholarships are available on a variety of levels for members of the Handbell Musicians of America and the ensembles they direct. If you are in need of financial assistance in order to attend this event, please review the scholarship information and application directions on the scholarships page of the Area 1 website.

In addition, the Shoreline Ringers is sponsoring $300 in scholarships to support the purchase of music to be used at the CT Spring Ring. Full or partial bell choirs may apply. The maximum scholarship amount per choir will be $100. Bell choirs who wish to apply should do so by March 15. Please contact Gina Williams at to apply.