Area 5 Associate Conductor Program

Submissions for the Associate Conductor Program are currently closed.

Area 5 is pleased to announce that the Associate Conductor Program will be offered again for our 2020 festival season. The Area 5 Associate Conductor Program is a great opportunity for those who wish to work with massed handbell ensembles. Our goal for this program is to identify, train, and nurture potential new conductors for massed ringing events throughout Area 5.

Through an extensive application process, this program will select an Associate Conductor for the festival in Louisville, Kentucky. The selected associate will work closely with Michael Glasgow in a mentoring relationship that provides training in massed conducting and the opportunity to conduct one selection on the Area 5 Festival program in Louisville.

The application for this program is available here. Please note that it is two pages long. See below for the deadline and submission instructions.

The individual selected will receive paid travel expenses up to $400, lodging at the event hotel during the days of their festival weekend, as well as all items included in the event registration. The Associate Conductor will NOT ring during the event, but will instead focus their time on observing and working with the guest conductor to improve and develop their massed conducting skills.

Mail or email completed applications to:

Dave Baker, Selection Committee Chair
1917 S. Centennial Ave.
New Palestine, IN 46163

Download the Associate Conductor Program application

The Associate Conductor Program supported and stretched my abilities as a director and I walked away from the weekend with a toolbox useful in rehearsal planning and execution, conducting clarity, and artistic expression.

Patty Saunders

2019 Area 5 Associate Conductor

Applicant Criteria
  • Must be a member of Handbell Musicians of America.
  • Applicants must either have a minimum of a bachelor’s degree in music, or equivalent training or experience in conducting. The determination of what constitutes “equivalent training or experience” will be at the sole discretion of the selection committee based on information provided during the application process.
  • Applicants will be required to provide a minimum of two references from individuals including those who have observed the candidate conducting and observed their work with handbells. References must be completed and returned before the application is considered complete. The reference form is available here.
  • Applicants will be required to provide a private YouTube link to a video showing them conducting two full selections of music of contrasting styles. The video must show a full-body view of the conductor facing the camera while conducting a handbell choir. Conducting to a recording or a non-handbell group is not acceptable.
  • Some experience with ringing handbells is preferred as is familiarity with massed ringing events/settings.

All decisions of the committee are final.

  • Deadline for submitting an application and all accompanying references is Nov. 15, 2019.
  • Applicant review and final selection by Dec. 12, 2019.*
  • The associate conductor will be announced Dec. 27, 2019.
  • The Area 5 2020 Festival is March 6-7, 2020. The event will be held in Louisville, Kentucky.

* The selection committee reserves the right to select no winner in the event no qualified entries are received.

Application Checklist

Area 5 Associate Conductors

2016 Joe Galyon
2017 Brenda E. Austin
2018 Kyle Webber
2019 Patty Saunders
2020 Pearl Marshall


Conductor Kevin McChesney, Area 5 Chair Susan Oxley, Associate Conductor Joe Galyon.

Area 5 Chair Susan Oxley introduces Associate Conductor Brenda E. Austin with Conductor David Weck.

Area 5 Chair Rhonda Blackclock, Associate Conductor Pearl Marshall, Conductor Michael Glasgow.