Maine Spring Ring 2024

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 choirs, and complete choirs are all welcome.


Saturday, April 27, 2024


Auburn Middle School
Auburn, ME

Event Schedule

8:00 Check In
8:45 Welcome
9:00 Massed Rehearsal
10:00 Coppers Rehearsal / Workshop #1
11:00 Tins Rehearsal / Workshop #2
12:00 Lunch / Rehearsals for solo choirs
12:45 Coppers / Workshop #3
1:45 Tins / Workshop #4
2:45 Massed Rehearsal
3:35 Prepare for Concert
4:00 Concert


Dana Humphreys
ME State Chair
Handbell Musicians of America, Area 1
[email protected]

Susan Schultz
Event Registrar
Handbell Musicians of America, Area 1
[email protected]

Event Details

Maine Spring Ring will be on Saturday, April 27, 2024, at the Auburn Middle School in Auburn, Maine. Our Coppers Director is Mike Joy, a nationally known handbell director, composer and arranger. Tins Director is Joy Toll-Chandler, a long-time ringer, director and composer who currently directs the handbell choir at Cumberland (Maine) Congregational Church. Mike and Joy will share direction of the Massed pieces.

Check-in and set-up will begin at 8:00 am, welcome and opening bell at 8:45, and the ringing will begin at 9:00. We’ll have two rehearsals each for Massed, Tins and Coppers, all ending at 3:35 in preparation for a public concert at 4:00. We will also be offering workshops again this year. See schedule for full details.

Many more details to come on registration, fees, food, lodging, etc. And we’ll make sure you all get those details through emails, Fundamental Tone, and the HMA Area 1 website. But most importantly, here are the music selections for the day.


Michael Joy is a nationally known and award-winning handbell composer and arranger, and has been directing handbell choirs for over 40 years. He has taught at Area II and III festivals, PMEA district and state conferences, Handbell Exploration and the AGEHR National Seminar. He was named Composer of the Year for 2004 by Jeffers Publishing Company for his composition Dorian Dance. Michael studied handbells with Donald Allured and handbell composition with Arnold Sherman. Michael is currently the middle school music teacher at The Shipley School in Bryn Mawr, PA where he conducts 15 different handbell groups. Michael served two terms as the Secretary for AGEHR Area II. He is also a
ringer and Composer-In-Residence for the Philadelphia Handbell Ensemble. Michael is very excited about directing at our Maine Spring
Ring – he says Maine is his “happy place!


Joy Toll-Chandler has been playing and directing handbells since 2000. She has a Bachelor of Music degree from the Crane School of Music and a Masters in Church Music (handbell emphasis) from Concordia University. She has two pieces published by AGEHR. She is also accredited as a faculty instructor for Level 1 Handbell Certification Theory and Conducting.

Joy is currently the director of the handbell choir of the Congregational Church in Cumberland (Maine) and is excited to conduct for the first time at a Maine Spring Ring!


Ringing Repertoire

We have selected the following pieces for the event. Please purchase and begin rehearsing the music before the Spring Ring. In accordance with the Handbell Musicians of America guidelines, all music used must be original purchased copies. No photocopies will be allowed.


Bells of Freedom, Chris Peck (3-6 oct, L3), From the Top Publishing, 20409

Amen Siakudumisa, Cathy Moklebust (3-6 oct, L2), Choristers Guild, CGB1037

Clarion Call, Michael Joy (3-5 oct, L2+), Jeffers Publishing, MCGB864


Prayer for the Innocents, Michael Helman (3-6 oct, L2+), Lorenz, 20/1964L

And Can it Be, Bill Ingram (3-5 oct, L2), Hope Publishing, 2663


Change Ring Prelude on Divinum Mysterium, Fred Gramann (3-6 oct, L3+), Jeffers Publishing, MLC201239L

Festivity on Cwm Rhondda, Michael Joy (3-6 oct, Level 3+), Jeffers Publishing, MCGB1247


My handbells are all bronze, what's this about tins and coppers?

Handbells are made of bronze, which is an alloy about 20% tin and 80% copper.  Handbell Musicians of America uses 'tins', 'coppers', and 'bronze' to group ensembles or ringers into approximate ringing proficiency levels. The group difficulty is generally self-selected by the group as opposed to assigned from the outside. Tins are typically beginning ringers and groups, just getting started on their handbell journey.  They may feel most comfortable playing music at a difficulty of level 1 or 2. A group progressing in skill will begin using the term coppers to indicate that they are an intermediate level group.  They may feel most comfortable playing level 2-4 music. Bronze level is the term used when referring to groups performing music at a higher difficulty level with strong musicality.  Bronze group most often perform music at difficulty levels 3-6 and beyond.


Registrants will receive an email from the event registrar to sign up for the workshops. Space is limited and will be filled on a first-come-first-served basis.  These are the workshops that will be offered.

  • Workshop #1 – 10:00 am (TINS)
    Folding a German Bell (Debbie Hillman)

    Take a break from the ringing, enjoy some relaxing social time with your fellow ringers, and learn the art of folding a German bell. German bells are holiday ornaments made from one piece of paper and folded into shape. We’ll have several sizes, colors and patterns of paper available to create the bells you can take home with you. No experience needed!


  • Workshop #2 – 11:00 am (COPPERS)
    Developing Rhythmic Feeling (Michael Joy)

    Ringers and directors seem to focus on the right notes and rhythms (which ARE important), but many skip a very important part of the process: developing rhythmic feeling. Understanding how different rhythms feel and how one rhythm flows into another is a crucial step in the learning process and helps to make a more musical performance. 


  • Workshop #3 – 12:45 pm (TINS)
    Stop That Bell (Laura Begenwald)

    Part of the musicality of ringing bells is knowing when NOT to ring them. Composers and arrangers add notations to the music to tell ringers when to let a bell ring, when to stop it ringing, and specifically how to stop it. Learning and practicing these notations are some of the most powerful ways to add dynamics and interest to an arrangement. During this workshop, we review these symbols and practice on bells how to do them effectively.


  • Workshop #4 – 1:45 pm (COPPERS)
    African Drumming (Kim Visbaras)

    This workshop will introduce participants to a variety of African rhythms using several different percussion instruments, including djembes, congas, agogos, cowbells, wood block, claves, and others. 

Solo Choir or Ensemble Performances

We will include up to four choirs to perform solo selections during the concert. If your choir is interested in playing a solo piece, contact Dana Humphreys, Maine State Chair, at [email protected].

Partial Choirs and “Orphan Ringers”

All ringers are encouraged to attend, either as individual “orphan” ringers or with a partial choir of any size. All are welcome! We will match you up with a host ensemble as best we can.


Provided: Breakfast Burritos, Fresh Fruit, Pastries, Coffee/Tea/Water
The Church Ladies Cookies

Please bring your own bag lunch, a filled reusable water bottle (water for refills will be available), and additional snacks if you wish.

What to Bring

Each choir and/or ringer should bring the following:

  • Bells, mallets, chimes
  • Tables, foam pads, table covers, music and music stands
  • Gloves and comfortable shoes
  • Dress is casual!

Registration Information

Registration is open January 8 – March 15

Each ensemble should designate one person, the Group Registrar, to register the entire group. The Handbell Musicians of America membership name and number for the group will be required and should be used by all members of the ensemble. The Group Registrar should note if your group is able to host any orphan ringers. Individuals who are attending without their group (“orphans”), please let us know whether you would like to be hosted by another group, and what your preferred bell positions are.

Registrant Type Registration Fees
Ringing Participant $30
Non-Ringing Chaperone $0


We have secured a block of rooms at the Hilton Garden Inn in Auburn for Friday and/or Saturday nights. The rate is $119 per room plus taxes. This is a $46 savings off their regular rate. Below are the methods to reserve a room with this special rate:

  • Book directly online at the Hilton Garden Inn personalized booking link.
  • By dialing 207-784-4433 option 1 and informing the agent of your group code: 910 or providing the name of the block: Handbell Musicians of America Room Block
  • By dialing 877-STAY-HGI (877-7829-444) and informing the agent of your group code: 910

Cancellation Policy

Cancellations may be made by contacting the Area 1 Registrar via email at [email protected]. Refunds will be issued for cancellations submitted before March 15 in the amount charged less a $2 processing fee. No refunds will be issued after that date.

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.



(Updated 1/26/2023)


Area 1 no longer requires masking for our events for participants or audience members.

All participants and audience members at Area 1 events are strongly encouraged to wear a mask in indoor venues, regardless of their vaccination status. 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.