Much has changed over the 14 years that I have worked for AGEHR and now Handbell Musicians of America. Back in “the day,” all event information had to be sent by mail in thick packets. News about the Guild and the handbell world was found only in Overtones and printed Area newsletters or traveled by word of mouth.

But over the years, we have become accustomed to instant and more dynamic information through the internet by means of websites, e-newsletters, and most recently, social media. But while so much can be handled online, the print edition of Overtones remains a majority of our members’ most valued resource.

Some people have asked from time to time if we’ve ever thought of making Overtones an exclusively online publication. The simple answer is “no.” Even with all that is possible though the internet, there is still a large audience that prefers a printed magazine. Many people still do not rely on the internet for news and information, and nothing beats the tangible, sensory qualities of a well-crafted print publication.

A number of our members have also asked if we have thought about offering memberships without the printed magazine for those who do prefer to have everything in a digital format. But ours being a very specific niche sort of an art form, our membership is not large enough to command cost-effective printing at lower quantities.

Our membership rates are among the lowest nationally for our type of organization, and in order to continue keeping dues as low as possible, we have decided to combine both our printed magazine and our ability to provide content digitally. Beginning with this issue, Overtones will now be published on a quarterly schedule, but each issue will be accompanied by an e-mail containing additional online-exclusive content, including extra articles and more Tips & Tools materials. This, combined with our recently added MemberNotes and MemberChats will provide a constant stream of valuable resource material to our members, while continuing to maintain affordable dues.

Many thanks to you all for your continued support of our organization and art form, and I hope you continue to enjoy Overtones.

J.R. Smith

J.R. Smith


Message from the Board of Directors

New year – new vitality – new opportunities – new changes.  One of the changes coming with the new year is related to the Handbell Musicians of America journal, Overtones. Beginning in 2017, Overtones will move to publication on a quarterly basis.  At the suggestion of our executive director and our publications director, the board of directors has fully supported this wise and forward thinking move to change from six Overtones per year to four per year.  The change was recommended for several reasons including; the opportunity to enhance the content of each journal, the desire to increase the size and scope of each edition, and to provide a cost savings while still enhancing the Overtones.  Another change which has already happened, is that all editions of the Overtones are now available on our website. We think you will appreciate the changes coming and enjoy an even better publication.