As I listened to all the exciting upcoming events Jenny described at the National Seminar opening banquet, I found myself mentally reviewing my personal calendar and thinking about which events I could attend and which ones I couldn’t.
The Salvation Army Kettle Kick-off in November sounded like a lot of fun, so I think I’ll try to attend that event. The College Ring-In? My college days are long gone so I started to tune that one out. Wait a minute—even though I may not be interested in attending, I know some college students who ring handbells. So maybe I should let them know about the College Ring-In. If I don’t tell them about it, who will?
The Back to Bells campaign is a great effort to help inactive bell choirs regain their momentum. My church group is doing fine and I love ringing in my community group. There’s probably nothing I need from Back to Bells. Wait a minute—I used to substitute with a small church group in my neighborhood, and I heard their director recently retired. Maybe I should check in with that group and see if they are interested in a Back to Bells event. If I don’t tell them about it, who will?
I was thrilled about the Distinctly Bronze Japan event planned for August 2017. I’m going to start saving my money, learning about handbell groups in Japan, and budgeting my vacation time at work. This is going to be an awesome trip! Wait a minute—this kind of event is not an individual experience but a group effort. I need to start spreading the word to all my DB friends so everyone knows about this opportunity. If I don’t tell them about it, who will?
Closer to home, my area is sponsoring a Spring Ring for my metropolitan region. My youth choirs are doing a retreat that weekend, so I won’t be able to attend. Wait a minute—maybe my adult ringers would like to know about the event. Maybe I can partner with another church’s bell choir and offer my ringers an opportunity to attend. If I don’t tell them about it, who will?
The recent “Music Theory Level 1” course offered through the Virtual Bell Academy was invaluable in preparing for the Level 1 certification exam. I really enjoyed the informality and the online classroom environment. I hope the Virtual Bell Academy can keep its momentum. There were several slots still available. I’m lucky the Tuesday evening sessions were held during the summer when my own choir takes a break. Why, my whole group could have attended. If I don’t tell them about it, who will?
The national board announced they are seeking nominations for Honorary Life members. My circle of ringers is not that big, so I don’t think I know anyone that might qualify. I’m sure the national board will receive plenty of submissions from other ringers. Wait a minute—each link in my circle of ringers has their own circle of ringers from previous ringing experiences. I could hand out the nomination form at rehearsal. If I don’t tell them about it, who will?
Do any of these scenarios sound familiar? As our Handbell Musicians of America membership becomes more diverse, we are trying to offer a wider range of events with the knowledge that not every event will appeal to every ringer. However, you can help with every event without necessarily attending it. What about offering some fund-raising time? Or providing transportation? Publicity? Encouragement? If you don’t, who will?
As your fall and winter programs start intensifying, time will become a valuable commodity. I hope you will carefully consider all the national and area events with the intent to support as you are able, whether in attendance, planning, outreach, or just telling other ringers about an event. See you at the next one!
Mya Dundzila firstname.lastname@example.org
East Regional Membership Coordinator