Patty HighlandThis article written by Patty Highland, Area 9 Chair

As December rolls around, I find myself in the midst of concerts, worship services, and events celebrating the season. I also find myself frantically trying to write that yearly “Christmas Letter” to send to friends and family. As I consider this (and try to carve out time to actually WRITE the letter AND send it), I always take time for personal reflection, both about what has been, and what is to come in the new year.

This year, I am also taking time to reflect on Area 9, as the current board is just past mid-term for their term of service. What have we done thus far, and what is still to come?

Let’s start with What is Still to Come – as there is MUCH on the horizon!

This March, Area 9 is offering Hoops & Handbells – the opportunity for you to ring handbells at the Dallas Mavericks basketball game on March 10. Hoops & Handbells registration is open – sign up now to come ring on the court! Your friends and family are encouraged to attend the game with you, and watch you as you ring the national anthem from the court! *Sign up today – spaces are limited! MORE INFO HERE

Our annual Spring Ring events are scheduled for April – in Oklahoma on April 7 and in Central Texas (Kerrville) April 14. The repertoire is already selected, so you can purchase and rehearse the music before the event. Then join with other ringers for a one-day massed ring event, rehearsing the music with a clinician, and presenting an informal concert of the songs at the end of the event. MORE INFO HERE

Summit 2018: Ringin’ Rodeo Roundup is coming June 8 – 10, in Mesquite, Texas. Our featured clinician will be Carolynn Mathis. This biennial event is offered for ringers and directors. The festival is a combination of massed ringing, a variety of classes to help further your music and ringing skills, concerts featuring top-notch ensembles, and an All-Star Ensemble for those who are ready to ring more challenging music. Summit 2018: Ringin’ Rodeo Roundup will end with a final performance of the massed ringers and the All-Star Ensemble. MORE INFO HERE

Scholarships – Area 9 offers scholarships to Area and national events. With both Summit 2018 and National Seminar coming this summer, our scholarships will be well used! Interested? APPLY TODAY

OK – The Flip Side: What have we been doing this past year?

In March and April, we offered three locations for Spring Rings throughout the Area.

In July, over 150 of us gathered at Globe Life Park in Arlington for the 2nd annual Ringing with the Rangers, ringing the national anthem prior to the Texas Rangers baseball game (this time, ringing on the actual field, just behind second base!)

Progressive Ring workshops were created by your Area 9 Board and offered in 3 locations this past October. The vision of the workshop was to help ringers progress from basic techniques to more advanced ringing, using music and resources available to HMA members.

Each year, Area 9 loans 2 sets of chimes via our Chime Loan Program to organizations wanting to learn and grow their ringing and music program. This year’s recipients are almost half-way done, and they are excited to keep handchimes in their classrooms!

Area 9 granted scholarships to several national events. See the articles written by the recipients, to see how they have benefitted from attending events.

As you can see, your Area 9 Board is committed to offering a variety of events for YOU to both grow your skills and to make music with others who also love to ring. I hope to see you at our next event! Invite a friend to join you and join HMA – together, let’s keep growing the art of handbell ringing and the handbell community!