Ringin’ the Irish: Area 5 Spring Festival 2023

March 17 – 18, 2023

South Bend, Indiana

Stephanie Rhoades, Guest Conductor

Opening Concert: Joyful Sound

Area 5 invites you to a weekend of handbell music, education, fellowship and fun!

Please read below for more detailed information. We look forward to seeing you there!


Online registration is closed.

Early Registration – $80 per person, received by January 15, 2023
Regular Registration – $90 per person, received by February 15, 2023
Late Registration – $100 per person, received after February 15, 2023

Table rentals: $12 per table

Feedback Surveys

We want to hear your thoughts about the South Bend festival. Was it amazing? Is there room for improvement? Do you have ideas for future events? Please take the attendee survey and help us better serve you in the years to come. Thank you!

Were you a clinician at the event? Please take the clinician survey!


We want your feedback!

Let us know your thoughts about the festival.

Guest Conductor: Stephanie Rhoades

Stephanie Rhoades has been the Conductor and Artistic Director of Concert Bells of Fort Worth, an auditioned community handbell ensemble, since 2003. Ms. Rhoades recently joined the staff of Preston Hollow Presbyterian Church (Dallas) as Worship and Music Coordinator and Handbell Director. Over the past twenty-five years she has directed vocal and handbell choirs of all ages in churches across the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

With a reputation as an effective and engaging teacher, she has been a clinician and guest director for numerous workshops and festivals across the US. In the past few years she conducted two events for Handbell Musicians of America: the All-Star choir at National Seminar in 2018 and Distinctly Bronze East in 2020. She is one of two conductors representing the US at the International Handbell Symposium in Nashville, TN, August 2022.

Ms. Rhoades holds a BA degree in music from Yale University and a Master of Sacred Music degree from Southern Methodist University’s Perkins School of Theology. Her non-musical interests include teaching fitness classes, cycling, training for triathlons, and scuba diving.

COVID-19 Policy

We want a safe and healthy environment for everyone who attends an Area 5 event. Therefore, we have established the following guidelines in response to COVID-19. Please click the link to read the full policy.

Event Location

Century Center
120 S. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.
South Bend, IN 46601

A climate-controlled Sky Bridge connects the Century Center to the recently renovated DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel.

Event Lodging

DoubleTree Hotel South Bend
123 N. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.
South Bend, IN 46601

Please use this link to take advantage of the Area 5 group rate of $119 per night. Rooms must be booked by February 23, 2023 to get the group rate.

There is complimentary parking with in and out privileges and complimentary WiFi, plus 30% off at Baker’s Bar & Grille (food only).

A climate-controlled Sky Bridge connects the Century Center to the recently renovated DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel.

Festival Repertoire

Music may be purchased directly from the publishers of any music retailer. Our retailers include: Heitz Handbells & Music, Jeffers Handbell Supply, and J.W. Pepper. All attendees should have legally purchased copies of all music on hand at the event. Photocopies are not allowed without proof of license or proof of purchase.


  • This Joyous Celebration – Meyer; L3, Beckenhorst MBEHB570
  • Jesus Christ Is Risen Today – Galyon; L2+, Hope Publishing MHP2907
  • The Lamb – Eithun; L2+, Concordia MCO977717


  • Be Thou My Vision – Eithun; L2, Choristers Guild MCGB819 or MCGB820
  • Celtic Farewell – Lamb; L3-, AGEHR MAG35210


  • Fantasy on Londonderry Air – Krug; L3+, Beckenhorst Press MBEHB597
  • Celtic Praise – McChesney; L4-, Jeffers MJHS9444

BRONZE TRACK: Joe Galyon, Conductor

  • In Times and Places – Eithun; L4, Alfred Handbell/Jubilate MAP45225
  • Dorian Dance – M. Joy; L4+, Jeffers Publishing MJHS9365
Bronze Track: Joe Galyon, Conductor

The application period is closed, no further entries will be accepted.


Area 5 provides Bronze Track opportunities where advanced handbell ringers gain experience and develop confidence in ringing more complex handbell music. Bronze-level ringers should have ability and experience in ringing advanced music (Level 4 and higher). Ringers should be properly skilled in ringing accidentals, techniques, rhythms, meter changes, damping, and ringing stroke.

Download this PDF for more information on the Bronze Track including the schedule (Revised Jan 2023). Steps to apply for the Bronze Track are fully outlined below. Interested ringers should review all documents to properly prepare and submit application/audition materials.


  • Application (online form)
    • Complete the Bronze Track Application Form Online
    • Include a statement on your reason for auditioning and why you want to be part of this choir.
    • Explain any particular skills that will be useful to a bronze choir. Promote why we should pick you.
    • Rank your top 3 preferred ringing positions.
  • Audition (video upload)
    • Download and learn audition drills and exercises.
    • Video yourself performing drills and exercises at the given tempo.
    • Save and name your video file in this manner: Area 5 2023 Bronze_First Name Last Name
    • Upload video to the Bronze Track Google Drive
  • References
    • Two references are required for your application.
    • References should be from people who can honestly evaluate your abilities to ring bronze-level music.
    • Send the Bronze Track Application Reference form 2023 to your references and alert them to the January 20, 2023 deadline.
  • EXTENDED: Audition materials must be submitted by January 20, 2023. Notification of acceptance/rejection will be sent via email by January 24, 2023.

Joe Galyon engages people from all walks of life in the music ministry at Church of the Saviour United Methodist. With a passion for developing church musicians of any age, he oversees a program of eighteen choral, handbell, and instrumental ensembles that enhance weekly worship and unique liturgical services. The full handbell program at his church includes three graded children’s choirs, two youth choirs, and two adult choirs. He generates ongoing interest in ringing through leadership training, community performance, festival participation, and commission premieres. Joe conducts festivals, masterclasses, and training sessions for area events and individual congregations. His handbell compositions are published by Hope Publishing, Jeffers Publishing, and From the Top. Sacred keyboard arrangements by Joe are available through Word Music, Genevox Music Group, and Sheet Music Plus. Joe earned music degrees in piano at Samford University, the University of Missouri-Kansas City, and the University of Cincinnati. He has performed recitals throughout the eastern United States and in the United Kingdom and previously held teaching positions at Earlham College and Northern Kentucky University. Joe currently lives in Montgomery, Ohio, with his wife Tammy, and they have two daughters, Emma and Sophie.


Schedule is subject to change.

Friday, March 17, 2023

1:00—4:00 PM Registration and Setup
3:30—6:45 PM Vendors Open
3:30—5:00 PM Bronze Track Rehearsal
4:00—5:00 PM Early Bird Classes
5:00—6:45 PM Dinner on Your Own
6:45—8:00 PM Massed Rehearsal
8:15—9:15 PM Joyful Sound Concert

Saturday, March 18, 2023

8:00—9:00 AM Massed Rehearsal
8:30 AM Vendors Open
9:15—10:15 AM Tins Rehearse, Coppers in Class, Bronze Track Rehearsal
10:30—11:30 AM Coppers Rehearse, Tins in Class
11:30 AM—1:00 PM Lunch on Your Own
1:00—2:00 PM Tins Rehearse, Coppers in Class, Bronze Track Rehearsal
2:15—3:15 PM Coppers Rehearse, Tins in Class
3:30 PM Vendors Close
3:30—4:30 PM Final Concert Dress Rehearsal
5:00—6:00 PM Final Concert and Closing Bell
6:00 PM Registrants Pack and Leave
Class Sessions

Classes listed below are tentative and subject to change.

Friday Classes (Early Bird Session)

  • How to Rehearse Effectively – Stephanie Rhoades
  • SightRinging: Reading New Music for Handbells – Jeff Doebler

Saturday Classes

  • SightRinging: Reading New Music for Handbells – Jeff Doebler
  • Battle of the Bells – Abby Wentzel and Jarod Ogier
  • Working with a Wide Range of Abilities Within a Choir – June Hannah
  • Ringing in Unity – Sherri Stoffer
  • Beyond Four-in-Hand and Shelley: Advanced Ringing Techniques for Small Ensembles – Cheryl Onesky
  • The Emerging Composer – Patrick Meyer
  • Malmark Bell Repair – Janet VanValey
  • Weaving and Conundrums – Nancy Kindraka
  • Get on the Rhythm Train! – Jeff Doebler
  • Techniques Class – Check! Now What? – Sherri Stoffer
  • Beginning Bell Techniques – Lora Lee Curren
  • Repertoire for 8-12 Bells – Mary Lou Fast
  • Pick My Brain (Director’s Roundtable) – June Hannah
  • Bells with Friends – Brenda Hayden
  • Schulmerich Bell Repair
Opening Concert: Joyful Sound

Joyful Sound is a community handbell choir in Greenwood and Indianapolis, Indiana that was formed in 1999 under the direction of June Hannah. Our mission is to promote the art of English handbell ringing through performance, education, and community outreach.

In the spirit of joyful song, the Joyful Sound ringers strive to:
• Promote the diverse art of handbell ringing in Central Indiana.
• Develop educational opportunities for youth and adults to learn the
art of handbell ringing.
• Participate in handbell festivals, workshops, and retreats for the
purpose of continually improving our ringing skills and technique.
• Ring a wide variety of sacred and secular music.
• Challenge ourselves to grow musically, spiritually, and
professionally in a creative, caring and nurturing atmosphere.
• Serve our community and choir with professionalism, pride and

Joyful Sound, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.


The Area 5 Board would like to extend an invitation to anyone wishing to share their products or services with Handbell Musicians or educators to be a part of our Spring 2023 Festival in South Bend.

Display Costs

The display area will be located in a high traffic area outside of the ringing site and class rooms. Registration cost is $100 and that includes two un-skirted tables and two chairs. Additional tables can be provided at no cost. Please indicate the number of additional tables needed on the registration. There will be a $100.00 fee for electricity that will cover both Friday and Saturday.

To register for a display booth, please click here. Deadline to register: February 28, 2023.

Exhibit Hours (subject to change)

Friday, March 17
Setup: 9:00 AM-3:00 PM
Open: 3:00 PM-6:55 PM; 9:30 PM-10:00 PM

Saturday, March 18
Open: 8:00 AM-4:00 PM


First-time attendees are invited to apply for a scholarship to attend the Spring Festival. Applications are due by February 3, 2023.

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 $15 per person will be refunded if notification is received by the late registration date. No refunds will be given for cancellations received after this date.


For any questions about the Spring Festival please contact Connie Nicholson at chair.area5@handbellmusicians.org or visit the Spring Festival FAQ.


New to handbell festivals? Confused about registration or logistics? Our FAQ can help!