A letter from our chair about Magnolia Ring!

Dear Fellow Handbell Musicians,

Magnolia Ring

Greetings on behalf of your Area 6 board of the Handbell Musicians of America! We are excited to share our plans for the Magnolia Ring to be held in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, June 20-22, 2013. The festival will provide a variety of opportunities for you to ring with folks from Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Tennessee, and beyond. Classes will be offered in bell trees, change ringing, bass bell technique, ensemble ringing, four-in-hand, yoga, percussion, and many more.

We are pleased to welcome Fred Gramann, Director of Music at the American Church in Paris, France, as our festival clinician. Mr. Gramann has been at ACP since 1976 where he is the organist and conducts the Adult Choir, the ACP Bronze Ringers, and the Celebration Ringers. He has numerous choral and handbell works published in the United States and is the Honorary Associate Director of the Raleigh Ringers of North Carolina as well as co-conductor for the yearly European Handbell Festival. We are confident that you will be eager to take advantage of this opportunity to work with such a fine musician.

The First Presbyterian Church of Hattiesburg will be our site for the festival. The sizeable facility will provide plenty of space for mass rehearsal, convenient and spacious classrooms, and a wonderful sanctuary that will enhance our opening concert and worship time. There is also a great area for snacking and shopping at a variety of vendors. Additionally, you will appreciate the close proximity of the free parking lot and loading dock.

The festival banquet will take place in the beautiful banquet hall at the University of Southern Mississippi. Entertainment will be provided by Dr. John Wooton, percussion faculty of USM, who will sing and play the steel drums. Dr. Wooton will also teach percussion classes at the festival.

Our music selection committee has chosen an outstanding repertoire list for the festival. Sessions will be divided into Coppers, Bronze and Massed Ringing. The Copper group will ring primarily level 2 music and one level 3-. The Bronze group will ring levels 3 and up. A music list is currently published on our area6bells.wordpress.com website.

Additionally, we offer an Advanced Ringers’ track that will be directed by Andrew Duncan, Director of Music and Worship at First United Methodist Church of Oak Ridge, TN. Andrew is a gifted composer and conductor and is the chair-elect for Area 6 Handbell Musicians of America. Advanced ringers will be selected by application only.

Hotel accommodations for the Magnolia Ring will be convenient and reasonable. There are several nice hotels within a few blocks of the church with rates below $100 per night. USM dormitory suites are available for a very reasonable rate that includes linens but no maid service. USM is an easy 4-mile drive (or jog if you need the exercise) to the church.

You will want to take advantage of the Early Bird registration for only $179 (per person) that includes three days of ringing fun, informative classes, great fellowship with fellow handbell musicians, a fabulous banquet, t-shirt, notebook, and so much more. After March 1 the registration fee will increase to $199 per person.

Make your plans now to join us in Hattiesburg for what promises to be an exciting event! If you are interested in an excursion before or after the festival, New Orleans is only 111 miles southwest of Hattiesburg.

Please contact me via email (dlawhon@bcoc.net) with any questions,

Looking forward to ringing with you in Hattiesburg!

Dan Lawhon, Chair — Area 6
Handbell Musicians of America
2117 University Boulevard
Birmingham, AL 35233

(See also the music list and the registration form which were previously posted.)

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