Area and National Festivals provide a wealth of opportunities to learn new music, learn new skills, and work with talented clinicians. They also provide something else: the chance for an ensemble to bond musically and socially. Read what an Area 5 handbell director has to say about the benefits reaped by her ensemble, and consider registering for one of the Area 5 Ring-re-Treats today!

“Since becoming a director 15 years ago, I made a commitment to continuing education for our bell choir. We’ve attended Area and National festivals, had clinicians from Classical Bells work with us, done eurhythmics with a world class teacher who literally “wrote the book”, even had a change ringing expert visit.

“But what I have learned from all our continuing education activities is that the education is secondary to the primary goal: bonding as a choir. At every out of town festival, it’s an opportunity for us to be together as friends. We bring treats for our very own Bells on High room party Friday night. We eat every meal together. When we can’t leave the festival to get home due to the late hour, we hit a local restaurant, and talk til the wee hours. If it’s a workshop here at home, we have lunch together afterwards. Spending social time together, without the distraction of home duties, significant others and the dog, helps us become better friends, and a better choir. Bonding strengthens commitment.

“Of course, we enjoy the preparation, the repertoire and the clinician very much, but the most important thing we come home with is renewed devotion to each other. Priceless.”

Catherine McMichael
Camellia Music
Saginaw, MI 48638