Two DHE musicians enjoyed participating at the Handbell Musicians of America 2020 Distinctly Bronze East festival February 27 through March 1.
Brenda Austin, DHE artistic director, and Nancy Kindraka joined 114 other handbell ringers from across the country in New Bern, North Carolina, at the four-day, audition-only, massed ringing event for advanced handbell musicians. Stephanie Rhoades from Texas directed the festival.
“This is a premier handbell ringing event,” Austin said, “and I wanted to connect with other intense, high-level bellringers. I had a great time.”
In her first year at the event, Austin rang at position four (B4, C5 bells) throughout the four days. “It was challenging,” she said, “and it helped me grow as a musician and a ringer.”
Kindraka is a veteran DB participant having rung in the festival 11 times since 2007. “I enjoy the challenge of advanced ringing and learning with many clinicians over the years,” she said. “I love to connect with other ringers from across the country.” Kindraka rang position nine (E6/7, F6/7 bells) this year.
Nancy Kindraka (third from left) and Brenda Austin (far right) perform at Distinctly Bronze East 2020 in New Bern, North Carolina. Photo credit: YouTube.
Another of the six DB ringers from Michigan is very familiar to Kindraka. Her mother, Penny Kindraka, from Grand Rapids, Michigan, has been ringing at the festival for many years as well. “I love sharing these experiences with my mom.”
An additional DHE highlight in the closing concert, which featured music composed or arranged by women, was a composition by former DHE ringer Judy Phillips, “Roundelay.” The full concert is available on YouTube. Roundelay begins at 33:15.