Spring 2018 Festival: Charleston, West Virginia

2018SpringFestivalsApril 13-14, 2018
Charleston Civic Center
Charleston, West Virginia

Brenda E. Austin, Guest Conductor


Join ringers from around Area 5 for a weekend of handbell music, education, fellowship and fun! Please read below for more detailed information for our event in Charleston, including the repertoire list and the guest choir.

Interested in attending our second festival on Mackinac Island? Please click here.

Please see below for more information:

Event Location
Event Hotel
Opening Concert: Charlotte Bronze Handbell Ensemble
Class Sessions
Bronze Track
Guest Conductor
Associate Conductor Program

Event Location

Charleston Civic CenterCharleston Civic Center
200 Civic Center Dr
Charleston, WV 25301

The Charleston Civic Center has undergone a multi-million dollar renovation in the last 18 months. There are many restaurants available in close proximity to the Civic Center; many are located in the Town Center Mall, located across the street from the Civic Center.

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Event Hotel

Charleston Marriott Town Center
200 Lee St E
Charleston, WV 25301

Our discounted room rate is $99 per night, plus taxes. Registrants can make their own reservations directly with Marriott at: 1 (800) 228-9290 or (304) 345-6500. Please identify yourself as part of the group Handbell Musicians of America, Area 5 Spring Festival.

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Early Registration – $80 per person, received by February 16, 2018
Regular Registration – $90 per person, received by March 16, 2018
Late Registration – $100 per person, received after March 16, 2018

Registration is online only; the link will go live October 16, 2017 at 8:00 AM Eastern.

For members offering the use of their bell or chime sets we will offer 1 free registration for a future Area 5 event good for two years.

Scholarship requests need to be postmarked or emailed no later than six weeks before the event. The scholarship deadline for the Spring 2018 Festival in Charleston, West Virginia is: February 16, 2018. Please see the Scholarships section of the Area 5 website for more details and to download an application.

Have questions about the registration process, payment options, or orphan ringers? Click here to read our Frequently Asked Questions.

Cancellation policy: Full registration amount less $15 per person will be refunded if notification is received by the late registration date. No refunds will be given for cancellations received after this date.

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Festival Repertoire

Dayton 10Massed:
Jubilation – Fred Gramann, Choristers Guild, CGB833
3-6 octaves, Level 2+

What Child is This – Brenda E. Austin, Beckenhorst, HB539
3-5 octaves, Optional 3-5 octaves Handchimes, Level 3-

Acclamation in G Minor – Karen Thompson, AGEHR, AG23046 or
AG46030, 2-3 OR 4-6 octaves, Level 2+

Within the Darkest Night – Derek K. Hakes, AGEHR, AG36028
3-6 octaves, Optional 3 octaves Handchimes, Level 2

Hosanna – Jason W. Krug, Lorenz, 20/1646L or 20/1647L
2-3 OR 3-6 octaves, Level 2

Wade in the Water – Benjamin Tucker, Alfred, AP45230
3-5 octaves, Optional 3 octaves Handchimes, Level 3+

Toccata on King’s Weston – Matthew Compton, Agape, 2767
3-6 octaves, Optional 2 octaves Handchimes, Level 3+

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Opening Concert: Charlotte Bronze Handbell Ensemble

More information coming soon!

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Festival Schedule

Schedule is tentative and subject to change.

Friday, April 13, 2018

1:00 – 5:00 PM Registration check-in
3:30 – 4:30 PM Early Bird Classes
5:00 – 6:45 PM Dinner (on your own)
6:45 – 8:30 PM Opening announcements and Massed Rehearsal
8:45 – 9:45 PM Opening concert, Charlotte Bronze Handbell Ensemble

Saturday, April 14, 2018

8:00 – 9:00 AM Massed Rehearsal
9:15 – 10:15 AM Coppers Classes, Tins Rehearsal
10:30–11:30 AM Tins Classes, Coppers Rehearsal
11:30-1:00 PM Lunch (on your own)
1:00 – 2:00 PM Coppers Classes, Tins Rehearsal
2:15 – 3:15 PM Tins Classes, Coppers Rehearsal
3:30 – 4:30 PM Massed Rehearsal
5:00 PM Final Concert – open to public
6:00 PM Pack up and begin planning for Dayton 2019

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Class Sessions

Class list is tentative and subject to change.

Early Bird Classes may include:

  • Body Movement with Brenda Austin
  • Basic Techniques
  • Secular Repertoire
  • Bronze Track Session 1

Saturday classes may include:

  • Safe and Healthy Ringing with Rob Meyer
  • Basic Techniques
  • High Bell Techniques including 4-in-hand and Shelley ringing
  • Bass Bell Techniques
  • Level 1-2 repertoire
  • Level 3-4 Repertoire
  • Bronze Track Sessions 2 and 3
  • Battle of the Bells
  • Rhythm for Handbell Ringers and Directors

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Bronze Track

We have added a class to the Charleston Festival: a Bronze Track that will meet during all of the class sessions. Participants in this Track will ring with their choir during massed rehearsals and on the concert, but will spend the rest of their time in Bronze rehearsal and will perform two selections on the final concert.

Click here to apply for the Bronze Track. Applicants will be expected to purchase and prepare their music ahead of time so the track may be spent creating a musical experience for the participants and for the audience. There is no additional charge for this track. Registration for this track will close on February 16, 2018. Those selected as Bronze participants will be notified by email no later than February 23, 2018 to allow adequate preparation time.

Bronze Track Conductor:
Raymond Lowther, handbell composer; wrote one of the first grants for a set of handbells for the Warren Local school system in Washington County, Ohio. He is currently with the West Virginia Department of Education.

Bronze Track Repertoire:
Festive Toccata on Old Hundreth by Cathy Moklebust; Choristers Guild CGB958; L4

Fancye by Timothy Waugh; Jeffers JHS9336; L4+

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Guest Conductor: Brenda E. Austin

BrendaAustinBrenda E. Austin serves as the Artistic Director for the Detroit Handbell Ensemble. Additionally, she has served First United Methodist Church in Eaton Rapids, MI, as Director of Worship and Music since 2003. She is active in the community directing Children’s musical theatre and handbell choirs in schools. Each year, in partnership with Chelsea United Methodist Church, the church hosts an annual handbell festival where Brenda has served as conductor and clinician.

Brenda graduated with degrees in Vocal Performance from Western Michigan University and a Master of Music in Choral Conducting at the University of Missouri – Kansas City. She has studied with Craig Arnold, Steve Zegree and Eph Ehly. Brenda received many accolades for her conducting, including semi-finalist in the ACDA National Undergraduate Conducting Competition and finalist as a Graduate student.

Brenda is a freelance handbell composer, arranger and clinician. She loves helping other choirs as a private clinician, or leading a festival or workshop. Her high-energy and musicianship keep ringers engaged and motivated as they build solid skills in the art of handbells.

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Associate Conductor Program

Are you a conductor interested in working with massed handbell ensembles? Please take a moment and consider our Associate Conductor Program. Our goal for this program is to identify, train, and nurture potential new conductors for massed ringing events throughout Area 5. Our Associate Conductor at the Spring 2016 Festival, Joe Galyon, thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity, and our 2017 Associate Conductor, Brenda E. Austin said that the program was “an incredible experience”.

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For questions about the Spring 2018 Festival Conference please contact Denise Holmes at chair.area5@handbellmusicians.org

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