Dear Area 8 Members,

Because of health concerns due to COVID-19, the Area 8 Festival, “More Than Meets the Eye,” scheduled for June 18-20, 2020, has been cancelled as of Friday, April 24, 2020. Because of this unfortunate turn of events, we will not be together in June.  We look forward to future handbell events when we can again gather and make music. Please stay tuned for more information. Check the website, subscribe to Area 8 and state Facebook pages, and read the Quavers, our Area 8 newsletter for more information.

Beth Ann Edwards, Chair
Area 8 Handbell Musicians of America

Click HERE for the Festival Flyer

2020 Festival: More Than Meets the Eye

Location: Sheraton Hotel, Overland Park, Kansas
Dates: June 18-19-20
Registration opens January 1, 2020

Plans are underway for the Area 8 biennial 2020 Festival: More Than Meets the Eye! What’s more, you ask? Listen to the beautiful, soul-stirring sounds of concerts and massed ringing. Meet with others who love handbells as much as you. Be inspired by concerts, and take back new methods and techniques for ringing and directing handbells. Shop with vendors and sample new music to take back to your choirs. Set aside the busyness of everyday life as you focus on all things handbell related, while we expand our handbell community and circle of friends.

What’s new in 2020? Massed ringing and classes will take place over a two-day period, Friday and Saturday, June 19 and 20. Additional opportunities will take place on Thursday, June 18: Worship Seminar with Lauran Delancy, Gwen Gepford, and Beth Ann Edwards, Directors Seminar with John Behnke and Alex Guebert, and a jump-start rehearsal for those who want to look at the music one more time before Opening Bell on Friday morning. YouthFest, designed for youth in middle school and high school, will be led by Nick Hanson and begin on Thursday evening. BronzeFest, our Area 8 choir of advanced ringers, will be conducted by Lauran Delancy and also begin rehearsals on Thursday evening.

Overland Park, Kansas is the perfect spot for 2020. Kansas boasts a very active handbell community, and they can’t wait to show off their gracious hospitality. The hotel’s proximity to Kansas City, both on the Missouri and Kansas sides, provides an opportunity to stay an extra day or so and enjoy Royals baseball games, shopping on the Plaza and throughout the Metro, art museums, cultural events, Worlds of Fun amusement park, and more! All Area 8 events will take place in the Overland Park Sheraton, which is easily accessible via major interstate highways.

Mark your calendars, and keep watching for more information. Please contact me if you have questions about this event, and talk to friends and fellow ringers who might be interested in attending the Festival.

Beth Ann Edwards, Area 8 Chair