Area 5 Scholarships

Festivals, workshops, and other events are a vital aspect of the handbell community. The Area 5 scholarship fund provides support for qualified first-time attendees for Area 5 Youth/Adult Festival/Conferences, Area 5 Directors Workshops/Seminars, and the Handbell Musicians of America National Seminar. For more information see the awards policy below.

The Area 5 scholarship fund was created over time by the Area 5 Board of Directors to recognize and honor three individuals: For Ellen Jane Lorenz Porter in 1997, as a tribute to Ellen Jane’s early, ground breaking work with handbells; for former Chair Barbara Kane in 2000, as a tribute to Barbara’s tireless support of Area 5 and handbells in general; and for David R. Davidson in 2011, as a tribute to David’s immense contributions to Handbell Musicians of America, Area 5, and the art of handbell ringing, especially for encouraging young ringers as a way of strengthening and securing the future of handbells.

Scholarship Awards Policy

  • The Area 5 Scholarship Committee may award scholarships to those applicants who:
    • Are current members of Handbell Musicians of America and/or reside in Area 5. Either a personal or organizational membership qualifies.
    • Submit their application postmarked no later than 6 weeks before the event.
    • Are first-time attendees at the chosen event.
    • Show some background in handbells.
  • Applicants will be notified within two weeks of the application deadline.
  • The Scholarship Committee will award scholarships up to the certified available dollar amount at their sole discretion, and has the right to award fewer or no scholarships.
  • The maximum amount of any scholarship shall be the published base registration fee.
  • Recipients are responsible for their own travel, lodging, meals, incidental expenses, and any additional fees for the event not covered by the base registration fee.
  • Recipients are expected to submit a brief follow-up report of their experience at their chosen event. This report may be used by Area 5 to promote the scholarship program.
  • Funds for awards will be forwarded directly to the event registrar, on the recipient’s behalf. No funds will be paid directly to the recipient.
  • Members of the Area 5 Board of Directors, the Scholarship Committee, and their immediate family members shall be ineligible for scholarship awards during their term of office.
  • Scholarships will not be awarded for premier events, such as the event on Mackinac Island, Michigan.


Submit your application for an Area 5 Scholarship.

“The National Seminar event … was far beyond anything I’d experienced, so I intentionally signed up for classes, etc. that would push out my horizons: I took the Advanced Track, I auditioned for the All-Stars, and took classes about diverse topics such as technology and touring. I had a fantastic time, learned tons that I can share with my choir, and met ringers from all corners of the country. I’m charged up and ready to try new things … I thank Area 5 for supporting me!”

Sally Klassen, scholarship recipient