Spring Festival Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Area 5 Spring Festival?

Area 5 Spring Festivals are two-day massed ringing events open to all Handbell Musicians of America members, held annually in March or April. Attendees rehearse together under the baton of the Guest Conductor, culminating in a final concert at the end of the event. It’s an opportunity to learn from and fellowship with other members of the handbell community.

In addition to massed rehearsals, a Spring Festival may also include classes and seminars, Handbell Industry Council vendors, and an opening concert by a well-known choir, soloist, or small ensemble. Each Spring Festival will vary. Please visit the Events Calendar for upcoming festival dates and details.

What is the schedule for the Spring Festival?
In general, a Spring Festival starts on Friday afternoon and continues through Saturday early-evening, concluding with the closing concert. The specific schedule will be published online closer to the event and will be available in the program booklet provided to all attendees.
Are any meals provided at the Spring Festival?
Unless otherwise stated, all meals during the Spring Festival are on your own.
Repertoire is listed for the Spring Festival. Do I need to purchase it?
You are responsible for purchasing and rehearsing the music prior to the event. All choirs must learn the massed repertoire. Coppers and Tins choirs need only learn the repertoire for their level.

All attendees should have legally purchased paper copies of all music on hand at the event. Photocopies are not allowed without proof of license or proof of purchase.

I’m an orphan ringer. Do I need to purchase the repertoire?
Orphan ringers should communicate with the director of their assigned choir and/or the event Registrar to work out whether the repertoire will be provided for them or if they will need to purchase it. You can contact the Registrar at treasurer.area5@handbellmusicians.org.
Are there any notes or corrections for the repertoire?
Repertoire notes from the Guest Conductor regarding problem solving, corrections, and other items may be sent at various times before the event. Check with your director to see if they received any notes, or check the Area 5 website.
What forms of payment are accepted for registration?
We only accept credit card payments. If it is not possible for you to pay your registration fees via credit card, please contact the event Registrar at treasurer.area5@handbellmusicians.org.
Can I use an Area 5 scholarship to attend a festival?
Yes, you can! First-time attendees are welcome to apply for a scholarship to attend this festival. Scholarship requests need to be postmarked or emailed no later than six weeks before the event.
Can I used loaned equipment vouchers to attend a festival?
Yes, you can! Please contact the Registrar at treasurer.area5@handbellmusicians.org prior to registering. You will receive a discount code to use during the online registration process.
Should our choir register as a group or individually?
Your choir should register as a group. Typically, a choir director will register their entire handbell choir on a single registration. During the online registration process, you will have the option of purchasing multiple registrations. You should purchase a registration for yourself and each musician from your choir who will be attending the festival. We do not collect the names of each individual attending. At the festival you will receive blank nametags in your registration packet for each choir member attending.
How do I know if my choir is a Copper or a Tin? What’s the difference?
Coppers and Tins refer to the general proficiency level of the choir, with Coppers being more proficient than Tins. In general, a Tins choir may ring level 1-2 music and stretch themselves with level 3. A coppers choir may ring level 3-4 music and stretch themselves with level 4+ or 5. And proficiency is not related to the age of the choir. A choir just starting out may be a Copper, while a choir that’s been ringing for decades may be a Tin. Of course, this is very subjective and varies from choir to choir.

As a side note, copper and tin are the two metals that make up the alloy bronze, which is what handbells are made of.

How will I receive updates and communications for the Spring Festival?
General event information will be posted to the Area 5 website. Specific information and updates will be emailed to the individual who registered for the event using the email address provided during the registration process. This is typically the choir director. We are unable to email all members of a choir, only the individual who registered. This individual is responsible for forwarding any updates or communications about the event to the rest of the choir members as needed.
Some of my musicians are not coming. Can I host orphan ringers?
Yes! During the registration process you can indicate your interest in hosting orphan ringers. You can also designate which ringing positions are open, if you know them, which will assist in the assignment of orphan ringers to your choir. Prior to the start of the festival, we will let you know what orphan ringers have been assigned to ring in your choir.
I am the only one from my handbell choir interested in attending. Can I still come?
Yes! You should register yourself as an orphan ringer using our online registration. Let us know the ringing positions you would like to be assigned if you have a preference. We will assign you to a handbell choir on the massed ringing floor and notify you as to the details of your assignment prior to the start of the festival.
Can I rent tables or do I need to bring my own?
You can choose to either bring your own tables or rent tables from us. You will pay for table rental as part of your registration if you choose to rent. Be sure to indicate the number of linear feet you need for your choir, regardless of whether you rent or bring tables. If you rent tables, they will be set up for you in your ringing spot when you arrive at the festival.
I’d like my choir to be in a certain spot on the ringing floor. Can you do that?
We are unable to accommodate specific placement requests unless the request is related to the medical needs of one or more of your attendees.
Who do I contact if I have registration issues?
Dave Baker is our festival Registrar and he can help you with the registration process. You can contact Dave via email at treasurer.area5@handbellmusicans.org or call him at (317) 427-3859.
HMA Tablet Policy
Handbell Musicians of America is committed to upholding the copyright laws of the United States and protecting the rights of our publishers, arrangers and composers. If you wish to use a tablet computer to hold your music in place of standard paper copies on a music stand, you must contact the publisher of each piece of music to first obtain permission to convert a purchased piece of music to the format required for the tablet you are using. Copies of the written permission received from publishers must be presented on request from the event organizer, event chair, or Handbell Musicians of America staff. Permission from a publisher for one piece does not imply permission for other songs from the same publisher. The title of each song used in this format must be included in the written permission received. Attendee should also have legally purchased copies of all music with them for verification. Titles originally purchased in a digital format do not require permission from the publisher, however, please have a copy of your purchase receipt available.