Connecticut Spring Ring 2022

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 26, 2022


Wethersfield United Methodist Church
150 Prospect Street
Wethersfield CT 06109

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
10:40-11:45 AM Morning Workshops
11:45-12:25 PM Lunch
12:30-1:35 PM Afternoon Workshops
1:45-2:45 PM Massed ring rehearsal
 3:00-3:30 PM Sharing concert
 3:30 PM Closing Bell
Pack and clean up



Suzanne Neafus
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 Larry Berdensey, Director of the Hockanum Valley 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

LAWRENCE BERDENSEY has been teaching for 37 years and is currently the Band Director at Groton Middle School, in Groton, CT. His bands have won superior ratings at adjudicated festivals, and his symphonic band has been invited to perform annually at the Naval Submarine Base in Groton, CT, for special occasions and events. Lawrence has been directing handbells since 2004 and was the former handbell director at Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church, in Gales Ferry, CT. His music ministry included two youth ensembles, an adult choir, as well as, an adult and teen quartet. In January 2012, Lawrence became the director of the Hockanum Valley Ringers, a five octave community handbell ensemble located in Vernon, CT. Lawrence has been a clinician and guest conductor throughout New England, at many Area 1 events. Lawrence holds a B.S. in Music Education, from UConn and a M.S. in Education, from SCSU.

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.

  • Celebration on Azmon, Brian Childers, Level 2+, Lorenz., 20/1628L (3-6 octaves)
  • Spirit of God, Descend Upon My Heart, arr. Sandra Eithun, Level 2+; Lorenz; 20/1947L (3-5 Octaves)
  • I’m Just a Poor Wayfaring Stranger, arr. Tammy Waldrop, L2-, Agape/Hope Publishing, 2343 (3-5 octaves)



Two 60-minute workshop sessions will be held before and after the lunch break.  There will be a section on the registration form to fill in your workshop choices.

001 – Balls!  – Suzanne Neafus

Following the material developed by Stevie Berryman – take a break from ringing, but not from improving your skills! Using a bucket of tennis balls, come play some games that can be used with your handbell choir to teach rhythm, coordination, ensemble skills, and more.

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

Boomwhackers have many uses in today’s bell choirs.  It is a fun tool to teach young ringers rhythm, but also can be used to enhance a bass line in many handbell pieces.  

003 – Copper Level Workshop –  Lawrence Berdensey
Lawrence Berdensey, our clinician for the massed ringing, will lead a workshop practicing Toccata on King’s Weston, one of the selections which Coppers will be playing at Festival Conference. This will be shared during our afternoon concert. You should purchase and look through the music before you come to Spring Ring.

004 – Handbell Techniques – Kristen Russo

Are you new(ish) to ringing or maybe just want a refresher of the fundamentals?  Starting with the basic ringing stroke, this class will review handbell techniques and skills unique to being a handbell musician.

005 – Practice Smarter: Techniques for Rehearsal and Performance- 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 – can alleviate performance anxiety. Emphasis on healthy ringing, such as: proper ringing form, breathing, and how music reading skills promote healthy ringing.

006 – Ringing with Six (or fewer) – Jane Nolan

What can you do without a full bell choir? Plenty! Come and let Jane help you with ideas.

007 – Rhythm – 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!

008 – Weaving – Kristen Russo

Here’s your chance to learn how to dance around those crazy chromatics! This class will review basic weaving skills and how to execute proper techniques in order to become successful at weaving handbells.

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 3:00 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.


Cancellation Policy

Cancellations may be made by contacting the Area 1 Registrar via email at Refunds will be issued for cancellations submitted before March 23 in the amount charged less a $2 processing fee. No refunds will be issued after March 23.

Scholarship Information

Scholarships are available on a variety of levels. If you are in need of financial assistance in order to attend this event, please review the scholarship information and application directions on our scholarships page.


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 Suzanne Neafus (CT State Chair) at to apply.


(Updated 9/11/2022)


To ensure that Area 1 sponsored events are as safe as possible from the continued spread of the COVID-19 virus, we require all participants to wear a mask at all public indoor venues, regardless of their current vaccination status. Participants will be asked to complete a health evaluation survey within 24 hours of the day of the event.


Audience members will also be strongly encouraged to wear a mask at all indoor venues.

The Area 1 board will revisit this policy and amend it as circumstances change and as required by venue.


By attending/participating, you acknowledge and fully understand the nature and extent of the risk related to the COVID-19 virus and other contagious diseases and agree to attend this event at your own risk. You expressly acknowledge that COVID-19 is highly contagious, and infection can result in death, the risk of infection and transmission are higher in indoor facilities, there are no safety precautions that totally eliminate the risk of contracting COVID-19, and individuals with various underlying medical conditions may experience worse outcomes.

NOTE: Where state, local and/or venue policies vary from the Area 1 policy, the more strict policy will be in effect.