Featuring – David Harris
Stafford Regional Handbell Society
112 Juliad Ct. #111
Fredericksburg, VA 22406
In-Person and Virtual Options
Click the links on right for more information, to print out a paper registration form, or to register online through Eventbrite. After you register you need to register for classes by downloading the pdf form or by filling in the online form below.
EARLY BIRD DEADLINE EXTENDED TO JULY 22 !!!
After registering please upload your proof of Covid vaccination and register for classes below.
COVID Vaccination Upload Form
AREA 3 DIRECTORS’ SEMINAR 2022 CLASS DESCRIPTIONS
In order to provide the best experience for you, everyone must pre-register for classes after theyhave registered for the seminar. Record
your choices on the form below.
Class Descriptions—Class Session 1
CSI 1 | Q & A—The Raleigh Ringers / Community Groups David Harris
Is there something you’ve always wanted to know about The Raleigh Ringers? Have you always wanted to start a community group but don’t know where to start? Do you have a question on anything regarding community groups? Well, here is your opportunity to ask those
burning questions regarding The Raleigh Ringers and community handbell groups.
CSI 2 | Creating Hearing Accessible Events Wendy Chang
Do you know how to make your concerts, performances, and rehearsals accessible to individuals with hearing loss? In this workshop, we will discuss how to ensure your in-person and virtual events are accessible to individuals with hearing disabilities.
CSI 3 | The Conductor’s Toolbox Laura Blauch
As conductors, our gestures are the tools of communication with our choir. The more tools we
have in our toolbox, the more likely it is that we will get the musical result we want. We will
look at some common conducting challenges and any particular issues you want to tackle.
Class Descriptions—Class Session 2
CSII 1 | Creative Assignments Sarah Sheffield
Have you ever been in the situation where you’ve had less ringers than what you thought was
standard for the number of octaves in your bell set? In this class, we will look at creative assignments to play your full bell set with less than the “standard” number of ringers.
CSII 2 | Keep Them Ringing Marquis Hodgson
Learn how to clean, polish, service, and maintain your organization’s Malmark and / or Schulermich bells.
CSII 3 | How to Teach Treble Techniques to Your Ringers Laura Blauch
This class is for those who wish to teach a class in multiple bell techniques to their ringers but
are not sure how to get started. We will focus on 4-in-hand and Shelley techniques. Bring
Class Descriptions—Class Session 3
CSIII 1 | Children and Youth Ensembles Fran Underwood & Sarah Sheffield
This session will be to discuss anything relating to Children’s and Youth Ensembles you might
have. For example—how to start Children’s and Youth Ensembles, how do you recruit more
ringers, how to tour with your ensembles, what music should you pick, or how to motivate
your ringers. Questions are welcome as well as ideas that have worked for your ensembles!
CSIII 2 | Programming for the Church Year Neesa Hart
Tips on how to think beyond the 5th Sunday and worship services. Learn how you can grow
your bell choir and help them serve your church and / or community with creative solutions
CSIII 3 | Bell Trees In Worship Laura Blauch
Bell trees are a lot of fun and can be a great challenge if you have ringers looking for something new. We will review the basics of how set up and play a simple tree and explore various
ways it can be incorporated into worship.
Meet Your Class Instructors
David M. Harris has been the director of The Raleigh Ringers since January 1990, when he was instrumental in the formation of the group. David is a graduate of The Pennsylvania State University and has studied conducting privately with Dr. William A. Payn at Bucknell University. David was the director of the handbell program at Hudson Memorial Presbyterian Church, and has served Handbell Musicians of America in several capacities: as All-Star Conductor, Ringing Track Conductor, Instructor for the National Seminar, North Carolina State Chairman, and as Area III Treasurer. He chaired the national committee that planned the first Community/Professional Handbell Choir event, Pinnacle 2000, held in Las Vegas, Nevada. In addition, David has led well over 200 handbell festivals and workshops in 36 states as well as in England, Puerto Rico, Canada, and the Caribbean. He has also been the primary handbell clinician for several denominational music events, including Montreat, Lake Junaluska, and Lutheridge (NC); Mo-Ranch (TX); Massanetta (VA); and the National Association of Pastoral Musicians (KY). He has written several articles for Overtones, the national publication of Handbell Musicians of America. After growing up in the Northeast, David moved to Raleigh with his wife, Kristina. Dave and Kris have three grown children and one granddaughter.
Laura Blauch has been directing handbell choirs for 20 years, including church choirs in MD and NC and festivals in VA and NC, working with both children and adults. She is currently the director for Queen City Ringers, an auditioned community ensemble in Charlotte, NC. Laura has a BA in Sacred Music and has studied conducting with William Payn through numerous HMA Masterclass Series, attaining the highest level of conducting certification in 2013. She was a finalist for the Distinctly Bronze Associate Conductor program in 2019 and conducted a solo piece at IHS in Nashville earlier this month. In addition to directing, Laura has been ringing for more than 25 years, participating in several Distinctly Bronze events and Virtuoso 2015, 2019 and 2022. She has served as the Historian and Membership Chair for Area 3 and is currently the HMA Certification Program Coordinator.
Wendy Chang discovered handbells seven years ago, when then-music director at her Catholic parish started a handbell choir. She now directs a community handbell choir called the White Oak Ringers and rings with the handbell choir at Grace Episcopal Church in Silver Spring. Having grown up with a significant hearing loss, she now works as Information Technology Specialist (with a focus on Section 508 and accessibility) for the US Food and Drug Administration. She is also the founder of the group, Association of Adult Musicians with Hearing Loss (AAMHL) – https://www.musicianswithhearingloss.org/wp/.
Neesa Hart has been ringing bells for 45 years. She is the programming director for the Stafford Regional Handbell Society – and bears responsibility for the organization and planning of the Society’s 6 youth ensembles and 5 adult ensembles. She is also the co-creator of The Great Christmas Ring, a collaborative event that brings handbell musicians together to perform in large public spaces—most recently, at Carnegie Hall in 2019 and Walt Disney World in 2021. She has been working with Carnegie Hall for a return of the Great Christmas Ring, and with Global Bronze Productions to bring non-seasonal ringing opportunities to world stages.
Marquis Hodgson began playing bells in 7th grade. Now a College Student, he works as Stafford Handbells’ primary bell technician, cleaning and maintaining their extensive in inventory of bells.
Sarah Sheffield started ringing in 1994 when her church bought a set of handbells. She was quickly recruited since she read music and hasn’t looked back since. Sarah has been with the Queen City Ringers (Charlotte, NC) since 2002 and is currently President. She is also a member of The Raleigh Ringers (since 2017). Sarah has been a part of Area 3 leadership since 2013 as NC State chair, then an At Large Board Member, and is now currently the Coordinator of Events. Sarah directs the adult handbell choir at Weddington UMC, loves subbing in local handbell groups, and also plays in the woodwind ensemble, flute choir, and orchestra at Matthews UMC. Outside of bells, Sarah likes to read, cross stitch, go to the movies, and visit Walt Disney World. Sarah has a degree in Music Education (French Horn and Flute) and works for an insurance agency. She and her husband (and fellow ringer) live near Charlotte, NC.
Fran Underwood has been ringing and directing handbells for over 30 years. She is Associate Director of Worship Arts at Clarendon United Methodist Church in Arlington, VA, where she directs four of the six graded handbell ensembles ranging from 3rd grade through adults. She retired in 2021 from Wakefield School, The Plains where she was the handbell teacher for 10 years and this year from Virginia Bronze where she was a ringer and president for many years. Fran holds a BA in education and a Master of Music/Church Music from Shenandoah University. In her spare time, Fran enjoys playing video and board games and listening to audio books. Fran lives in Burke with her husband, Richard.