Area 1 Winter Workshop

A chance for ringers and directors to get together and improve skills, share experiences and tips, and learn to be more effective teachers and ringers. A fun-filled weekend of ringing, learning and socializing is in store. You don’t want to miss it!


January 31 – February 1, 2020


UMASS Amherst
Campus Center
1 Campus Center Way
Amherst, MA  01003

Event Schedule

Friday 1/31   
4:00 – 7:00 PM Registration Check-in
5:15 – 6:00 PM Meet and Greet Reception (Cash Bar)
6:00 – 7:00 PM Dinner
7:00 – 9:00 PM Ringing Tracks Rehearsal 1
Saturday 1/1  
7:00 – 8:00 AM Breakfast
8:00 – 9:05 AM Ringing Tracks Rehearsal 2
9:10 – 10:15 AM Ringing Tracks Rehearsal 3
10:20 – 11:25 AM Class Choice Opportunity
11:30 – 12:35 PM Class Choice Opportunity
12:30 – 1:30 PM Lunch
1:35 – 2:40 PM Ringing Tracks Rehearsal 4
3:15 – 4:00 PM Ringing Track Performances


Jane Nolan
Event Chair

Susan Schultz
Event Registrar
Handbell Musicians of America, Area 1

Event Details

The Area 1 Winter Workshop will once again be at UMass Amherst but the format will be slightly different. Last year we offered a ringing track called “Distinctly New England” with Karen James as the clinician, and a workshop track offering a variety of learning experiences with a variety of clinicians. According to the evaluations, the new ringing track was very well received, and many of those in the workshop track indicated that they might be interested in trying something like that if the music weren’t as difficult.

We listened to your comments, and this year are offering two ringing tracks described below. Both tracks will begin rehearsing Friday evening after dinner, so there will not be a Saturday only option at registration this year. Both of these ringing opportunities will allow you to select your ringing preference at registration, and you will receive your assigned ringing position in early January to allow you an opportunity to purchase your music and look at it ahead of time.

There will be a closing performance at 3:15 on Saturday afternoon when both choirs will play. If anyone would like to perform a solo or small ensemble piece at the concert, please indicate that on your registration.

The event will start on Friday evening with a Meet and Greet featuring a cash bar and hors d’oeuvres, followed by dinner. We plan to have a few other classes on Saturday that will be open to all participants for your enjoyment and a break from the ringing. We encourage everyone to bring copies of music they no longer need so that we can, once again, have two Oldies but Goodies repertoire reading sessions on Saturday. Ring through some of these pieces and decide if you might like to take the music home to your choir for FREE!!

Distinctly New England

Back by popular demand is the “Distinctly New England” ringing track, this year led by director Griff Gall of the Back Bay Ringers. Sign up for this track for an intense ringing experience. Under Griff’s direction you will work on bringing three higher level (levels 3-5) pieces to performance with an emphasis on musicality. Choose this option if you are a Coppers level ringer that would like to stretch your ringing skills, or a Bronze level ringer who just can’t get enough!

  •  Resonances and Alleluias by Cathy Moklebust, Choristor’s Guild MCGB516, 3-5 Octaves,  Level 4
  • Jovano Jovanke   by Michael Joy, G.I.A. Publications, Inc.  MGIG8964, Level 3+
  • The Rescue by Marquise Usher, From the Top Music,  available in January

Beyond Basics – Before Bronze

Clinicians Karen Leonard of the Merrimack Valley Ringers and Jane Nolan of Shoreline Ringers will direct participants in our alternate ringing track, reviewing basic ringing and conducting techniques with an emphasis on musicality. For directors who don’t usually ring, this will be an opportunity to see things from the ringers’ viewpoint. For ringers who might always ring the same position, this will give you a chance to try a different position. For everyone this will be a great chance to experience two different teaching styles. Participants in this track will prepare two pieces that they will share at the closing concert on Saturday.


Further Details

The cost for this event will remain the same as the last few years. Early bird registration will be $185, and after December 22nd, the cost will be $205. We encourage you to register early for the best chance of getting your favorite ringing position. People registering after the early bird deadline will be assigned to whatever positions are still open.


Housing will be available at the UMass Amherst Hotel for $145 (plus taxes) per room, per night (including parking for one car) using Discount Code HDS20C, when booked before January 3, 2020. For a reservation, call (877) 822-2110.


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.