We’ve all heard the saying, “The only constant is change”, attributed to Heraclitus, a Greek philosopher. Change comes in many ways and degrees, sometimes very large and world-reaching, sometimes small and only recognized by the person directly affected. Sometimes the things which don’t change are just as important.

Members have seen a big change at Handbell Musicians of America with the wonderful new website which became available in the fall. If you have not taken a peek, make it a New Year’s resolution to spend some time on the website. I think you will be pleased to see how accessible the contents are and how much more is available. Overtones is becoming more interactive and there will be additional content available online only. The website is also now compatible with your mobile devices so the Guild is waiting for you in your pocket! Accessing the Guild resources through the website may be a change for you. If you have not set up login information, or have difficulty logging in, contact your regional membership coordinator at membership@handbellmusicians.org.

Overtones is not only becoming interactive and mobile friendly, with enriched online content, but it will now be available on a quarterly basis. This change will result in more content overall with a savings in printing and shipping. Overtones is one of the favorite benefits of membership. You will continue to receive all the quality content you look for each issue. Have you or your group participated in a unique handbell experience, developed a new program for handbell musicians, or have a related technique which makes you a better handbell musician? Contact Overtones editor J.R. Smith at jrsmith@handbellmusicians.org if you have a suggestion for an upcoming Overtones edition.

This is an election year for Handbell Musicians of America. Guild members at the Retired Handbell Musician level and up will be voting in March for a new president-elect and three members-at-large to join the national board of directors. Their decisions guide the future development of the Guild. Be sure to take advantage of this opportunity to participate in the election. It is easy and quick to do online once you log into your account. Watch E-Notes for more information as we approach election time. Don’t receive E-Notes? Make sure your email address is up to date in your membership account. Your regional membership coordinator can help with this.

Member opportunities to participate in high quality events, which include education and building community with other handbell musicians at both the national and area levels, will not change this year. A new feature of the website will be a clickable map of the Areas with information, such as upcoming events. Watch for this as we move into the new year. Learning from the experts will also continue with a new slate of Member Chats and Member Notes in 2017. If you miss these when they come out, all are archived and available on the website.

Staff and leaders continue to be ready to assist old and new members. All are ready to listen and respond to your questions and concerns. Your input helps shape the benefits offered. Your stories connect us with each other in shared struggles and triumphs as we grow as handbell musicians. Handbell Musicians of America will continue to be dedicated to advancing the musical art of handbell/handchime ringing through education, community, and communication. Here’s to another year of change and to that which remains the same.

Mary Willadsen mwilladsen@handbellmusicians.org

Mary Willadsen

Central Regional Membership Coordinator