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Area 9 Hosted Events

Summit 2016 - The Ocean Journey
June 26 to July 3, 2016
Galveston, Cozumel, Grand Cayman, Jamaica
Stephanie Rhodes, Clinician


Bell Boot Camp – Central Oklahoma
Saturday, September 12, 2015
St. Stephen’s United Methodist Church
1801 W. Brooks, Norman, OK

Bell Boot Camp – South Texas
Saturday, September 19, 2015
Lakewood United Methodist Church
11330 Louetta Rd., Houston, TX

Bell Boot Camp ­– West Texas
Saturday, September 19, 2015
Bacon Heights Baptist Church
5110 54th Street, Lubbock, TX

Bell Boot Camp – Central Texas
Saturday, September 19, 2015
Central United Methodist Church
5740 Bagby Ave., Waco, TX


Back to Bells – Texas
Saturday, September 12, 2015
Lake Travis United Methodist Church
1502 Ranch Rd 620 N, Austin, TX
8:00 am to Noon

Back to Bells – Oklahoma
Saturday, September 19, 2015
First United Methodist Church
420 N. Weigle Ave., Watonga, OK
8:00 am to Noon

To have your event listed in Ringing News and on the Area’s website, please visit today!

Events in Area 9

October 17th, 2015 @ 3:00p
Round Top Festival Institute
248 Jaster Road, Round Top, TX

Christmas Traditions
December 4, 2015 @ 7:30p
The Church of Jesus Christ
of Latter-Day Saints
12915 N Santa Fe Ave, OKC, OK

Christmas POPS – OCHE Special Guest
December 5, 2015 @ 2:00p and 8:00p
Civic Center Music Hall
201 North Walker Ave. OKC, OK

Christmas Traditions
December 11, 2015 @ 7:30p
Venue Being Confirmed

The Twelve Days of Christmas
and Other Bad Ideas
December 11, 2015 @ 7:30p
Cypress Creek Christian Church
& Community Center
6823 Cypresswood Dr, Spring, Texas

Christmas Traditions
December 12, 2015 @ 4:00p
First United Methodist Church of Hobart
201 S Washington, Hobart, OK

Getting Social

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September 2015 Ringing News

Summer is going, going, almost gone….

I can hardly believe the summer break is almost over. Although officially fall doesn’t begin until September 23, most of our choirs and ensembles are back in session and summer is basically over. September in Area 9 is a busy time. There are 8 events in September! These include 3 Bell Boot Camps, 3 Read and Rings and 2 Back to Bells events. The Area 9 board can breathe for a minute in October!

In addition to the fall events, Spring Rings are mostly planned and will soon be ready for your perusal. These will be in the March-April time frame. Keep on the watch for specifics!

The really BIG upcoming event is the Area 9 bi-annual event, Summit 2016: the ocean journey, which will set sail on June 26, 2016, and be back in port July 3, 2016. We will sail the western Caribbean leaving and returning to Galveston, TX, with clinician Stephanie Rhoades and ports of call in Cozumel, Georgetown, and Falmouth. You will have time to do any excursion you choose while in ports as well as to enjoy the luxuries of Royal Caribbean’s Liberty of the Seas. Yes, there are ringing opportunities but also plenty of time to enjoy cruising! I’ve registered. Have you? I hope you will be among our group as we rest, relax, and ring our way through the Caribbean!

See you soon!

Ruth Seiwell
Area 9 Chair
Handbell Musicians of America

Ahoy, Area 9! Boarding has begun!


Learn about the next Area 9 Summit and our floating venue!

The Opportunities Just Keep Coming!

Area 9 has worked diligently to bring our membership opportunities that are just too good to pass up! September brings sessions to learn, sharpen, and renew ringing skills. The Bell Boot Camps are offered in four – count them four – locations throughout Texas and Oklahoma in mid-September.

Bell Boot Camp is for everyone! Ringing skills will be covered, including the ringing stroke, LV technique, mallets, marts, and a variety of other techniques. Who doesn’t need to be taught or reminded of proper technique to avoid injuries as well as to protect the bells and to make a more musical product? At these classes, rhythm and different time signatures will be covered. It’s the perfect opportunity to advance ringing skills, learn new ways to perform techniques, or maybe to conquer the time signature or rhythm which has always put fear in your heart! Come and join in the fun and learning opportunity!

On the same day as Bell Boot Camp, an afternoon reading session, Read and Ring, will be offered. This is open to ringers and directors alike. Everyone will be reading and ringing the music for the first time. It’s a great chance to do more ringing, to challenge your sight-reading skills, and to select music for the upcoming year (or to suggest it to your director).

Everyone will find things to like and enjoy about both Bell Boot Camp and Read and Ring. These are two separate events, each of which requires registration. However, once you decide it’s a bell day, come and stay for both events!

Pinnacle: From a Performers Perspective

written by Wilson Van Tine (Area 9 Chair Elect)

What an amazing summer for Area 9 with Pinnacle right in our own back yard here in Dallas. I hope everyone had a chance to go to Pinnacle because it was an amazing experience for me. I got to actually perform in front of the crowd as part of Houston Bronze Ensemble's Feature Concert on Saturday night. It is an incredible experience to actually perform for all of your handbell friends from around the country as well as the actual composers who wrote the music you are playing. There is nothing like when the composer comes up to you and tells you how much they enjoyed listening to you play their piece!

What made this Pinnacle really special for Area 9 was that all of the nightly Feature Concerts were actually choirs from Area 9. Houston Chamber Ringers started us off with a really fun concert that actually got you on your feet dancing. Next up was Concert Bells of Fort Worth with an incredibly moving concert dedicated to David Davidson. Houston Bronze Ensemble performed on Saturday night with a concert of new music and handbell classics making full use of their full 7 octaves of handbells. Wrapping the week up was Council Oak Bells which really showed how amazing a church choir can be.

Read the rest of this national event review

Pinnacle: From Scholarship to Education

written by Melissa Birney (Kristopher Anthony Scholarship Winner 2015)

Pinnacle 2015 was two weeks of non-stop handbells somehow magically condensed into four days. It offered classes, certifications, advanced tracks, shopping, and multiple concerts each day. Since this was my first handbell conference, I elected to focus on the classes that were offered. While each class had its own focus, I noticed that they all complemented each other, and they gave me a good foundation for better understanding the music and performance of handbell ringing.

Body awareness and movement was a theme that resonated with me throughout Pinnacle. One of my favorite classes was Michael Joy’s “Speed Skating, Tai Chi, and Handbells.” Michael taught us some tai chi movements that help improve the flow of energy throughout the body, and then related that to how we stand and move while we play.  At the first fall rehearsal for OCHE, each member who attended Pinnacle gave a small presentation on what we learned, and a couple of us spoke about Michael’s class and showed the group some of the tai chi moves. The group loved it so much that we plan to stretch and do some pre-rehearsal tai chi each week. Other classes that dealt with body awareness were Sandy Mullaney’s “Stress Management for Musicians” and Meredith Gains’ “Oh the Drama!” Both instructors gave suggestions for reducing stress and tension that can be used in rehearsal or concerts.

Read the rest of Melissa’s Pinnacle experience

Please contact any of the 2014-2016 Area 9 board members with ideas, suggestions, questions or concerns.

Chair – Ruth Seiwell
Chair Elect – Wilson Van Tine
Treasurer – Marci Corey
Secretary – Patty Highland
Past Chair – Michelle Tejada
Financial Advisor – Wilson Van Tine
Education – Venita Gorman
Publications – Kari Daelke
Social Media/Communications – Jeremy Springer
Oklahoma Representative - Paula Barnes
Texas Representative - Adam Samuels
Texas Representative - Dellinda Ebeling
Membership – Vacant

Our National Organization



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