Magnolia Ring Class Descriptions

Please use these class descriptions and the schedule from the previous post in order to plan your time at the festival. This information will also be provided in the handouts you receive at registration. Instructor bios will follow in the next post.

Advanced Ringing Track

Andrew Duncan – Instructor

Thursday, 2:30PM; Friday, 10:15AM; Friday, 1:30PM; Saturday, 10:10AM
(conflicts with Gold group rehearsals)

Ringers in this track must have registered in advance. This track is for those ringers who want an extra challenge and a chance to ring some interesting music. This class will prepare two Level 4-5 pieces for a performance in the final concert.

Advanced Techniques

Gary Bynum – Instructor

Friday, 10:15AM (all participants); Friday, 1:30PM (Green group)

Once you have mastered the basic principles of proper ringing, it’s time to start adding more techniques. We will explore the meaning of musical notations including the singing bell, various mallet techniques, the gyro, the echo, and many more, in this hands-on class.

Back to Basics

Larry Smith – Instructor

Friday, 11:15AM (Gold group); Friday, 1:30PM (Green group)

This class will start at the very beginning from holding a bell correctly, ringing and damping correctly, to getting the most sound from your bell. The main goal is to develop a uniformed ringing technique to be used in ensembles and full choirs. Class is good for beginning ringers to advanced ringers. The text for the class will be Michael Keller’s “Developing Coordination Skills”.

Bass Bell Techniques

Michael Sneed – Instructor

Friday, 2:30PM (all participants); Saturday, 9:10AM (Gold group)

Want to learn how to play the big ones? This is your class! Bring gloves.

Bells In Worship

Evy Lamb – Instructor

Saturday, 9:10AM (Gold group); Saturday, 10:10AM (Green group)

We know about ringing preludes and/or offertories in Worship. But what are other ways can we include bells in the worship service? What can I do when the whole bell choir can’t be there? What can I do with just a few? Where can I find resources that will give me some helpful ideas? Bring your gloves. In this hands-on class we will try out some ideas.

Bell Trees

Susan Mayfield – Instructor

Friday, 11:15AM (Gold group); Friday, 2:30PM (all participants)

A very interesting variation on the normal handbell setup is the Belltree, a stack of interlaced handbells supported by a specially designed stand. The stack of bells is rung by one ringer with a mallet and makes a very dramatic visual statement. This skill can be learned with a little practice, and can be used in any number of ways to enhance a handbell selection, a choral arrangement or a hymn in the worship service. Come and learn about this unique technique!

Change Ringing

Kathy Mahloch – Instructor

Friday, 11:15AM (Gold group); Friday, 2:30PM (all participants)

“Look to the Treble; Treble’s going; Treble’s gone!” This is the call of the ringer with the highest pitched bell in a tower at the start of a “ring.” Learn about the English roots of our handbell heritage by trying your hand at a set of “changes.” Some simple change ringing and “stretch and cross” will be experienced by the participants. Bring Gloves!


Evy Lamb – Instructor

Thursday, 2:30PM (Green group); Thursday, 3:30PM (Gold group)

Handchimes are almost magic! Useable with children through senior citizens, they bring smiles of delight to all who ring them. They have great versatility and usefulness for worship, programs, fellowship, and even musical games. We will look at some of their various uses. Come ready to ring!

Color Me Happy

Kathy Milstead – Instructor

Thursday, 2:30PM (Green group); Thursday, 3:30PM (Gold group)

Why do I get along with one person while another just seems to drive me crazy? What makes me tick? Why do I do things a certain way? This class is designed to take a peek into personality assessments and help us answer those questions by giving us insight into why people behave the way they do. In this fast paced and fun class, we will use color analogies to identify who we are, and maybe even learn a little bit about that ‘ding-a-ling’ next to us in bell choir. Come with an open mind, ready to have fun.

Drills, Skills, & Thrills

Phyllis Kirk – Instructor

Thursday, 3:30PM (Gold group); Friday, 2:30PM (all participants)

We will show and use drills to hone our skills and will love the ensuing thrills of making music. Simple drills may be designed to make us better musicians!

Ensemble Ringing

Gary Bynum – Instructor

Saturday, 9:10AM (Gold group); Saturday, 10:10AM (Green group)

An introduction to the techniques your small ensemble will need for a fluid, musical performance. Hands-on introduction to some key techniques that don’t usually apply when ringing in a full choir, such as weaving, passing, and playing “off the table.” Various formations and styles of ensemble ringing will be discussed and demonstrated with class participants.


Nancy McCracken – Instructor

Thursday, 2:30PM (Green group); Thursday, 3:30PM (Gold group)

Have you ever wondered how to hold 2 bells and ring them separately? Or together? This class is for you. Learn various set-ups for ringing two bells in each hand, and have them sound individually or at the same time. You will have the opportunity to try each set-up and decide which is best for you, or which is required by the music. Please bring four bells with you to the class, C6 or higher, and your gloves.


John Wooton – Instructor

Friday, 10:15AM (all participants); Friday, 11:15AM (Gold group)

Did you know that Handbells are classified as Idiophones? What in the world is a Membranophone? Or a Chordophone? Or an Aerophone? Come learn a few new things about the world of Percussion Instruments. Experience the different approaches used to play the tools of the trade. Learn how to refine your handbell mallet technique. Explore how percussion music is written and played. Try your hand at some unusual instruments and work with other classmates to see how complimentary rhythms can enhance the unique melodies of handbells. Come find your beat with us!

Reading Session: Bells Plus Other Instruments

Bill Moats – Instructor

Friday, 10:15AM (all participants)

This reading session will explore a number of mostly recent arrangements for handbells that incorporate wind, string and percussion instruments.

Reading Session: Sacred Repertoire

Tom Jones – Instructor

Saturday, 9:10AM (Gold group)

This repertoire reading class will focus entirely on sacred music newly published in 2012-2013. There will be ten selections for choirs of three to six octaves of handbells and 3-5 octaves of hand chimes. All are suitable for worship services. The difficulty levels (2 to 3+) are aimed at church bell choirs who perform frequently.

Reading Session: Secular/Classical Repertoire

Dan Lawhon – Instructor

Friday, 2:30PM (all participants)

A reading session concentrating on non-hymn based music works for handbells/handchimes only. The session features a mix of transcriptions of classical literature and music composed for handbells/handchimes. The range of difficulty is 2+ to 5, with the majority of the music being level 3.

Unique Techniques

Barbara Broome – Instructor

Thursday, 2:30PM (Green group); Thursday, 3:30PM (Gold group)

Do you know what a Klocken Carta is? Or a muted shake? In this class we will explore some unusual, unpublished techniques which can put some pizzazz into your ringing. We will go beyond the basics and learn the preferred notation and how to execute many useful advanced techniques. We will also discuss some interesting, special effects that can be used to spice up the music. Bring gloves, mallets, and your own unique technique to share.


Ruth Howald – Instructor

Thursday, 2:30PM (Green group); Thursday, 3:30PM (Gold group)

Weaving 101 – Weaving is a fundamental skill for ensemble ringing, and often the solution to tricky passages in a full choir. Come, learn the “rules” and get some hands-on practice.

What Do You Mean 11/8??

Ruth Howald – Instructor

Friday, 10:15AM (all participants); Friday, 1:30PM (Green group)

Formerly, “Demystifying Rhythm”… Are you confused or intimidated by unusual time signatures, or rapid changes? These can be very exciting pieces of music, so come and learn how to reduce the “intimidation factor”. Bring an open mind.


Sandy McKinney – Instructor

Friday, 1:30PM (Green group); Saturday, 9:10AM (Gold group)

Christ Centered Yoga. Based on the Hatha Yoga tradition, where the emphasis is on a steady pace of breathing while moving through the various poses. We will learn basic sequences and stretches, while focusing on a particular scripture. Of course, we will learn some poses particularly helpful for handbell ringers. The class is appropriate for all ages and fitness levels. Participants should wear comfortable, stretchy, but not too loose, clothing. Bring a large beach towel or fitness mat with you.

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