Greetings members of Area 5!

I am so pleased to be once again acting as the Chair for our five-state area! I know of so many wonderful programs and musicians in Area 5 and I am certain that we will help create more over the next two years. I would like to thank my predecessor, Susan Oxley, for her guidance with the Board for the last two years. Our departing Board members, Jane Charnock, Mary Lou Fast, Lindsey Horty, April Murphy, and Sue Scott will be leaving with our gratitude for their hard work in the last several years. Some familiar Board faces will move to different seats on the Board, but will still be helping us out, along with new Board members Rhonda Blacklock, Kelly Johns, Judy Phillips, Susan Stephenson, and Linda VanDenBerg. Welcome everyone!

I hope that everyone is aware that the Handbell Musicians of America National Seminar will be in Grand Rapids, Michigan in July 2018. This is a great opportunity for our ringers and directors to attend some fantastic sessions and concerts, right here at home! If you are a director, please encourage your ringers to plan to attend.

We have some very exciting festivals planned for the next two years. In Spring of 2018 we will have a traditional festival in Charleston, West Virginia and a destination-style festival at Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island, Michigan. In 2019 we will return to Dayton, Ohio. A Director’s weekend is in the works for summer of 2019.

Attendance at our Fall Workshops is falling off, so your Board will be brainstorming for new and exciting plans for fall 2018, in addition to the Traveling Workshops that are being offered by several states.

The Board and I are here to serve our membership – did you know we have 3-octave sets of handchimes that you can apply to use FREE for a year? Did you know that we can arrange for a mentor in your area to visit your group for a rehearsal if you wish? Did you know that your HMA membership allows you to register and attend events in other Areas? The Area 5 Board is ready to help you and your group to begin accomplishing goals that you have set. Whether you are an individual member, a church group, a community group, or some other type of handbell enthusiast, we are here to help. Go ‘meet’ the Board members, and while you’re here, look at all of the great things going on in Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, and West Virginia. Make plans to attend one of our events, where you can meet lots of other handbell-loving folks, hear lots of great handbell music, and have lots of fun!

I hope to meet and talk with many of you over the next two years.

Denise Holmes
Chair, Area 5
Handbell Musicians of America