I read a quote somewhere during the past two weeks that said this: “What the New Year brings to you will depend a great deal on what you bring to the New Year.” Ooh…let that one sink in for a moment. What will you bring to 2022?

The Area 5 board had its annual winter meeting January 7-8 at Hueston Woods State Park in College Corners, OH and also via Zoom to work on what we are bringing to 2022 and beyond. Yes, we are excited and working hard to bring two fun, rewarding, excellent and SAFE events to Area 5 this spring: the Rock Roll and Ring” 2022 Spring Ring in Cleveland with Alex Guebert as our guest conductor and “A Grand Ringin Mackinac Island with Fred Gramann as our guest conductor. There is still room for you at these events, but space is limited, so it will be important to get your registrations in soon. The Cleveland event is March 18-19th; the Mackinac Island event is April 28-30th.

With the health and safety of our events, the board has established our COVID policy for these events. We want to do everything we can to ensure health and safety for all participants. We are also instituting a new registration check-in procedure to confirm vaccination and/or negative COVID test results for each ringing/director at the festivals. Nametags will be issued only after confirmation by directors/ringers at the registration desk and must be worn throughout the festival to gain entry to classrooms and the massed ringing floor. At this time masks must be worn as well.

We are excited to welcome you in Cleveland and Mackinac Island! Celebrate that we are able to be back together after this long hiatus since our last event in Louisville in 2019. Buy a festival commemorative t-shirt (info forthcoming on the website and in registration confirmation packets), wear matching masks, make/buy some cool tie-dye gloves…have fun! Let’s bring joy, enthusiasm and MUSIC to Cleveland and Mackinac Island in 2022!

Another exciting event coming to Area 5 in the winter of 2023 is a brand new College Ring-In event for college-age and young adults. The Area 5 board recognizes the need to build our artform by offering events close to home and that are economical for this age group of our membership. Please share with your ringers the addition of the College Ring-In on January 14-15, 2023 in Ft. Wayne, IN. More info on how to register, conductor, repertoire, accomodations will be coming SOON!

Spring 2022 will also be the time for elections. It is time to elect a new Chair-Elect, Treasurer and Secretary for Area 5. Watch your email, social media and the website for details on how to cast your vote. These officers will take their place on the board on October 1, 2022 to continue working to bring events, workshops and mentoring to Area 5 and its members.

We are bringing a lot to 2022 and beyond. Make it a great and happy new year by bringing yourself, your choir, your local fellow ringers to an upcoming event in Area 5. We look forward to seeing you and ringing together soon!

Rhonda Blacklock
Area 5 Handbell Musicians of America