About Masterclass 2024

A masterclass is a live demonstration event in which a student performs and receives individual instruction from an advanced educator (the “master”). The audience typically comprises other students who are invited to be part of the educational process through observation.

Area 5’s Masterclass 2024 is aimed at community handbell ensembles of all skill levels. Our master clinician, Dean Wagner, will work with each ensemble on repertoire that they have prepared in advance. While Dean works with each ensemble, the other ensembles and their directors will form the audience, observing and offering feedback or asking questions as invited by Dean. The event will also include a director’s roundtable and social time for the groups to get to know each other and interact outside of ringing. All activities will take place onsite.

Please note: This is not a massed ringing event. Each ensemble will perform their own prepared repertoire, and there will not be a public concert.


Online registration is now closed.

Clinician: Dean Wagner

Dean Wagner holds a Master of Music degree in organ performance from the University of Akron and a Bachelor of Music education degree from Cedarville University. His organ teachers include Barbara MacGregor and Karl Stahl. Besides being awarded the John E. Kohl Music Scholarship and Trophy while attending Cedarville, Mr. Wagner also won two statewide competitions in 1987: The Frentz Organ Scholarship for organ performance and the Marguerite Imhoff Church Musician Scholarship for Church Music Studies, both awarded by the Tuesday Musical Club of Akron. His master class studies include performances for organ virtuosi such as Simon Preston, Peter Hurford, and Gillian Weir from England; Gottfried Preller from Germany; and Robert Delcamp and Bruce Neswick from the U.S.

Mr. Wagner is the full-time director of music and organist for the First United Methodist Church of Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio, where he has served for the last 35 years. He directs the adult Chancel Choir, and the Epworth Youth Choir, which makes annual multi-state tours each year. In addition to directing the upper-elementary age children, he also gives leadership to the children’s choir program ranging from preschool to sixth grade, and a handbell program of multiple choirs. As an organ recitalist, he distinguished himself by performing the complete organ works of Bach at First Methodist, and his concert engagements have included the National Cathedral in Washington. Mr. Wagner has recorded a solo organ recording, “Four Centuries of Organ Music.”

In the realm of handbells, Mr. Wagner is known nationally for his work as a handbell composer, arranger, and clinician. He serves as a clinician and conductor around the country, and has led two European tours with his own ringing choirs from church.

Event Location

Stonybrook Church
485 Cherry Bottom Road
Gahanna, Ohio 43230

Event Meals

A catered box lunch is included in the cost of registration. View the menu options here. The registration form has a page to indicate lunch selection for each attendee. Please don’t forget to note any dietary needs you may have (e.g. gluten free, food allergies, etc.), and we will do our best to accommodate your requests.

Event Repertoire
Each ensemble will perform their own prepared repertoire. We anticipate having time for each group to play 3-4 pieces. The final schedule will be shared with the director of each ensemble after registration closes on March 1, 2024.

Tables, foams, and two five-octave sets of bells (one Malmark, one Schulmerich) will be provided.

Choirs are responsible for bringing any additional equipment they may need, including bells beyond the five-octave range, chimes, mallets, singing sticks, music risers, etc.


More information to come. Schedule is subject to change.

Saturday, April 13

8:30 a.m. – 9:25 a.m. Arrival, check-in, social time
9:30 a.m. – Noon Masterclass morning activities
Noon – 12:45 p.m. Lunch
1 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. Masterclass afternoon activities


Photography Policy

The Area 5 Photography Policy can be found here.

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.

Cancellation Policy

Full registration amount less $10 per person will be refunded if notification is received by April 1. No refunds will be given for cancellations received after this date.


For any questions about Masterclass 2024, please contact Jarod Ogier at [email protected].