The Art of Handbell

Yesterday we were given a copy of the book of this name
written by an American lady called Nancy Poore Tufts. I have only started
dipping into it but already have found a number of words of wisdom which I can
see myself quoting in a number of articles over the next few months.

Although the book was published in 1962 (before the birth of
our chairperson) many of the words still ring true.

In Chapter VI (Management and Policies of Handbell-Ringing Groups)
it suggests that the average handbell leader is a busy person. We are fortunate
to have found Clair who joined us only early last year and has taken on this
role under the new title of musical director.

The book suggests that she should be ably assisted and
relieved of the mechanics of operating the group by a dependable slate of officers.

These include a president or manager (in our case Jane, our
chair) who should check on the proper functioning of the other officers (I can
vouch for that!) and the care and maintenance of the bells.

There should also be a treasurer who collects our dues and makes collections
for special needs of the group. He should keep accounts of all the funds and
make regular reports to the membership. This is Roger who until 18 months ago
was the only gentlemen in our group. He is very efficient in carrying out all
his duties.

Beyond this it is suggested we should have a publicity
manager to send notices to the press, broadcasters (are we getting ideas above
our station?), fans and sponsors and to maintain a scrap book. I suppose this
is much what I as secretary do.

The librarian should be responsible for having proper music
at rehearsals and readying it for concerts. This is a duty which has been
carried out by various members at different times by different members but now
is really the duty of Anne who also acts as our bookings secretary.

This all goes to prove however that even a small group such
as us does not run itself. However the final suggestion of a costume manager is
a step too far and we do appear to be capable of washing and ironing our own
polo shirts!