Copper A Workshops

There are three workshop sessions for each ringing level. Below are the workshop codes, titles, and clinicians for each workshop.

Click on the workshop  or clinician name to be taken to the descriptions and bios.

Here is a legend for the codes:
CA – Copper A
D – Directors
G – General and non-ringing

Copper A Schedules

Friday, June 2, 2023 1:30 to 2:30 p.m.

Saturday, June 3, 2023 9:45 to 10:45 a.m.

Saturday, June 3, 2023 3:00 to 4:00 p.m.

Copper A Workshop Descriptions

Workshop Description Clinician Bio 

CA2 Battery Bells G4-B5: Overcoming Technical Glitches in the Engine
Ringers in the battery are challenged with balancing the melodic, harmonic and rhythmic elements of handbell music. This workshop focuses on the battery being able to move between different dynamic levels and ringing multiple techniques quickly – sometimes from one note to the next and back again! It also focuses on defining the harmony, playing chords precisely and other tools needed to make the ensemble's engine purr.

Lloyd Winfield
CA4 Chime After Chime
Hand chimes have a unique and captivating sound all their own. Their mellow tone adds colour and texture to music and provides an attractive contrast to the open sound of the handbell. Hand chimes are not just skinny handbells and bell ringing techniques are not always appropriate for playing chimes. This workshop will describe what hand chimes can and cannot do, demonstrate proper technique, and include suggestions on how to incorporate chimes into your handbell program.
Nathalie Poirier-Cox 
CA5 Intro to Four-in-Hand – Two bells in each hand are worth four on the table . . .
Have you ever run out of hands before you run out of assigned bells? Do you agonize over what to do with that ONE stray F# in measure 24 when your hands are already full? Have you ever needed to “add the upper octave”? Is your choir short of ringers and needs help to fill all the positions? The not-so-magical art of Four-In-Hand Ringing can help in each of these situations and many more. Useful to choir ringers as well as solo and ensemble ringers, the techniques of Four-In-Hand ringing can add playability and musicality in a wide variety of situations. Ringers are asked to bring 4 bells from C6 and higher.
heather nicholson
CA6 Getting Started with a New Piece of Music
Starting a new piece of music is like heading out on a road trip. This workshop will give you some guidelines on interpreting that new score and identifying the elements you may want to note when you mark your part.
 Helen Coxon
CA7 Mallet Mania
This practical workshop will cover the basics of how to grip mallets, which mallets to use, and where to strike the bell. You will learn how to mallet evenly and smoothly using single and multiple bells, how to transition back and forth between bells and mallets, and how to play suspended mallets with precision. Additional techniques will include mallet rolls, suspended malleting with multiple bells, and tips on maintaining a steady tempo in lengthy malleted passages.
 John-Charles (J.-C.) Coolen
CA10 Read and Ring
For the Copper A ringer who just wants to ring. Read and ring through a variety of Level 1+ to Level 2 music. Bell positions are not assigned and ringers should come prepared to ring whatever position is open.
 Janet McDonald
CA11 Rhythmic Ensemble in Bell Choirs – getting it together
The bell choir has many moving parts and yet in performance the goal is to sound like a single instrument. This is accomplished through “rhythmic ensemble” or playing together precisely. Come and explore techniques that can help ringers achieve a cleaner more unified sound.
 John-Charles (J.-C.) Coolen
CA12 Sight Ringing
Learn tips and strategies that will enhance your ability to sight read comfortably. Then work on your sight ringing skills as you play through L1 to L1+ music. Bell positions are not assigned and ringers should come prepared to ring whatever position is open.
 Shirley Reinders
CA14 Weaving – Fringe Benefits: Ringers Who Can Weave
This introductory workshop will demonstrate how to make bell switches smoothly and quickly so you can ring accidentals with ease. Using one of five basic weaving patterns and their variations, you will learn how to move your body to avoid crossing hands, how to damp while weaving, and how to pass a bell to another ringer when navigating a difficult passage.
 Sandra Jean Bedford
D3 Directors' Roundtable
Join together for a roundtable discussion. Bring your questions. Share ideas that have worked well with your groups: rehearsal techniques, fundraising events, group management, etc. Anyone who has been or expects to be in a leadership position one day is welcome to participate in this session.
 John-Charles (J.-C.) Coolen
D4 Directors' Workshop on Interpretation
As a director, what are the things to look at when analyzing your score. Beyond the basics of looking at black spots on the page, how do we interpret the lines? What about suggested tempo markings? How can we help our ringers interpret notations like a ritardando or fermata in the music? How do we, as directors then take our interpretations and make them come alive through our gestures as seen by our ringers.
 Brittany McCorriston
D5 Getting the Most Bang for Your Buck – Using your rehearsal time efficiently
Do you ever worry your ensemble won’t be ready in time for your next performance? How do we plan an entire season of music and make sure our ringers are prepared and confident each time they ring for an audience? We all have limited rehearsal time and we need to think carefully about how to use that time efficiently. This workshop will cover strategies for conductors on how to prepare for rehearsals and how to make the most of the time you have. Ringers are also welcome to attend this workshop as many of these strategies will be applicable to you.
 Lisa Kyriakides
D6 Liturgical Year – Creating Ringing Through the Year
Missing a few ringers? Want to add something different to a Sunday worship service. This workshop will feature ways that you can add handbells effectively to worship services without having to have the full choir present. As well, these ideas often need only a couple of ringers and can add drama or life to hymn singing and other aspects of the liturgy.
 Dr. Debbie Fingas
G4 Conducting for Amateur Musicians
This class is of special interest to amateur bell choir directors who want to communicate more effectively with their ringers. You will learn about clarity in basic conducting patterns, how to initiate and finish cleanly, techniques for conducting fermata, and gestures for signalling changes in tempo and dynamics. These are just some of the things a ringer will need in his/her arsenal cross over to the other side.
 Janet McDonald
G5 Dumbbells, Barbells, and Handbells! Oh My!
Should ringers consider themselves athletes? Yes! Should ringers train similarly to athletes? Absolutely! This class is geared toward ringers of all levels who are novices at strength training. We will explore proper weight training techniques for increasing strength, endurance and conditioning safely and effectively while ringing.
 Justin Wooten
G6 Handbell and Handchimes Maintenance
Come learn or refresh your memory on how to keep your handbells and handchimes in optimal ringing form, from how to clean them to making adjustments so they are free from ringing problems. This workshop will review basic maintenance techniques and procedures. Feel free to bring a misbehaving bell or chime to the class to have addressed.
 Barbara Peaker
G7 Heritage Bells
Come ring 120-year-old handbells purchased by RC Braund of Peterborough in 1908 for use at The Salvation Army Peterborough Temple. Peterborough-born Aileen Braund Richardson and Ardyth Richardson Bolam continued the family and church tradition, and also played these bells in Massey Hall, Toronto in the 1930s. These bells were made by the John Taylor Foundry and are very similar in style to the Whitechapel bells still used in England today.
 Joan Bolam
G10 Music: Connection, Attraction, and Reflection of Life
The history of music of all genres is filled with works by people who sought to express some part of what makes us human. Music is an art form that attracts us through its connections to, and reflections of our place in this world. In this time together, we will listen to and explore music of many styles and periods and how as individuals and groups we connect to a world of feelings and ideas. There is no experience or prerequisite required other than a sincere interest in music.
 Ron Parker
G14 Simple Self Defense
Everyone should know a few simple moves of self-defence. Even if you never need them, the knowledge that you are not helpless may give you confidence in a threatening situation. If you can point your finger or stomp your foot and wave hello you can learn these simple techniques. This class is open to anyone. Learn how and where to strike for best effect. (It’s not where you think!).
 Naomi Kelly

G15 Spirituality and Drumming
Drumming has been a part of rituals in many cultures throughout history, celebrations of birth, marriage, even death - many sacred ceremonies. Drumming provides us with a spiritual path to places we are meant to be.

 Michelle Adams
G16 Tai Chi
Taoist Tai Chi® arts offer a gentle exercise that lubricates the body, ideal for the shoulder and arm issues that some Handbell Ringers experience, as well as other health issues that can strike us all as we age. Come sample this moving meditation – we’ll guide you through some of the moves and discuss the physical, mental and spiritual benefits that can occur.
 Terry Kirham

G18 Line Dancing - Improver Level

Do you have some dance experience? Even Zumba helps. A vine, is a vine; a box, is a box; no matter what style of dance you've done before! Use your knowledge of basic steps to try some more elaborate dances at a reasonable pace. Improve your memory by challenging your mind and your body (but not too much)!

Linda Chapman 

Workshop Clinician Bios

Michelle Adams is a retired dental assistant living in Nestleton. She was married to her husband David in 1976. They have 2 grown children and 3 grandchildren. During an event United Church Women, a workshop sparked an interest in drumming. She now facilitates a drum circle at her church in Blackstock and gives workshops when requested.
Sandra Jean Bedford is a retired elementary school teacher living in Brantford. She is the organist and choir director at St. George United Church in St. George. Sandra began ringing bells in 2007 with the Queensway Ringers in Brantford.
Joan Bolam is the Director of Ring Salvation! at the Salvation Army London Citadel Church and has been ringing Handbells for almost 20 years. Joan has rung at 3 International Symposia, many OGEHR Festivals and Ringing Links across Canada, and The International Music Camp on the border of North Dakota and Manitoba. Joan is the OGEHR Area Representatives Chairperson.

Linda Chapman started Line Dancing 15 years ago in Amherst, Nova Scotia, and finally found a form of exercise she loved because it was so much fun! After returning to Kingston, she took classes and in 2011, started teaching. She has taught four levels: Introductory, Beginner, Improver and Intermediate; and up to 11 classes per week. Several of her choreographed dances are posted on Copperknob, a worldwide website for line dances. Last year, Sugar Sugar, one of her Beginner dances, was posted on YouTube by dance groups around the globe! Once she started, she was hooked - and she has never looked back!

John-Charles (J.-C.) Coolen, an active participant and leader in the Greater Toronto handbell community, has been ringing since 1989 and directing since 1998. One of the founding members of The Bronze Foundation, he has served as its Director since 2005. Since 2018, he has also directed Bronze Foundation Academy. This year marks his 25th year directing Bells of Bowmanville at the Bowmanville Seventh-day Adventist Church. For 13 years, he served as a member of the Board of Directors and Membership Secretary for OGEHR, including time as President. He has also served as Ontario District Coordinator for Area 2 of the HMA.
Helen Coxon has been a ringer with Royal York Road United Church Jubellation handbell choir in Toronto since its inception in 1999, and has directed the group since 2008. Helen works at the Royal Ontario Museum. Her spare time is used volunteering as Administrator for the Orpheus Choir of Toronto, feeding her menfolk, and caring for two mini-schnauzers. She is also into making beaded jewelry, and is currently on the OGEHR Board of Directors.
Dr. Debbie Fingas is the Minister of Music at Trinity United Church in Cobourg, where she accompanies weekly services and conducts a children choir, the Chancel Choir and the Jubilate Handbell Choir. She conducts workshops in handbell ringing and has been faculty for the Ontario Guild of English Handbell Ringers Festivals, Handbell Musicians of America National Seminar and the Summer Institute of Church Music. Debbie has completed a Doctorate of Ministry from the University of Toronto examining how participating in church choir or handbell choir nurtures a participant’s spiritual life.
Naomi Kelly lives in Niagara Falls. She joined the Rainbow Ringers under Marjorie Slinn, 15 years ago and was thrilled to be able to join despite not being able to read music!! Naomi got her black belt when she was 19. She feels privileged to know so many amazing martial artists, and to have learned so many new and different disciplines. She has an 18 year old son and a blind, one eyed shih tzu.
Terry Kirham, Fung Loy Kok Taoist Tai Chi@ began in Toronto in 1972, brought to Canada from China by Moy Lin-Shin. It has since spread across Canada – there are branches in most Canadian centres – as well as in 26 other countries. Taoist Tai Chi® practice is a moving meditation that reduces stress and helps you find joy. It can be done by people of all ages. Physically it will make you energetic, balanced, strong and supple. All instructors are volunteers, happy to share their knowledge with others.
Lisa Kyriakides is an experienced soloist, educator, musical director, conductor and adjudicator. She is the director of the handbell program at Aurora United Church, which includes conducting 2 three-octave choirs, Faith-A-Peal and Bellissimo, and being a member of the EmBellished handbell quartet. Lisa has rung in The Bronze Foundation, since 2015. She has given handbell workshops at OGEHR Festivals, and was a guest conductor at the 2019 OGEHR Festival. Lisa was chosen to be a Canadian Conductor at the 2022 International Handbell Symposium in Nashville, August 2022.
Mark Matterson (B.Mus, B.Ed.) has 35 years of experience as a church musician. He obtained his first organist role at the age of 13 and has worked as a choir director (handbells and vocal) or as a tenor section lead ever since. A graduate of UBC School of Music majoring in Music Theory, Mark has been involved in the music program at St Peter’s Erindale since arriving in Mississauga in 2003 and has directed the St Peter's Handbell Ringers since 2007. Mark has contributed many arrangements and original compositions presented by the St Peter’s choirs over the years.
 Brittany McCorriston has been playing handbells for over ten years and holds a Bachelors of Music in Contemporary Writing and Production from Berklee College of Music. Brittany specializes in music editing and arranging and currently works as a Music Publication Editor for Hal Leonard. Brittany has a passion for teaching and believes that fluency in music technology is beneficial to all music learners. In 2021, Brittany coordinated OGEHR’s Virtual Handbell project.
Janet McDonald has been a Director of the Limestone Ringers in Kingston since 1995. She has a BA with a major in Music, a BA in Music Education, and a MA in Choral Conducting. Janet was the Director of Kindermusik for 15 years and the Conductor of the Pro Arte Singers of Kingston. She enjoys singing and has been in many choirs from 9 years of age, until the present.
Janice Moncrieff is a retired teacher who used her innate talent of fostering a love of learning, creativity, music, community and joy in her classrooms. In retirement she is sharing that gift with adults. adults. Janice has sung in choirs, participated in handbell, ukulele, recorder, improv, clowning, drum and guitar workshops, and performed in musicals. She has recently become a certified Laughter Yoga instructor. Janice understands the connection we all have to music and is excited to offer workshops that help people connect to their inner child, find joy in being in community and share ways to release inhibitions.
Dominique Moreau is a percussionist and music teacher in Ottawa. He plays with the Ottawa Symphony Orchestra and various other ensembles, teaches at Gisèle-Lalonde High School and the Ottawa Youth Orchestra and currently directs the St. Andrew's Ringers.
heather nicholson has been ringing since 1992. She has been a founding member of The Bells of St. Andrew’s (Scarborough), The Bronze Foundation (Toronto), Alloy Fusion (Cobourg), and Quintessence Handbell Ensemble (Scarborough). She has performed and taught at local, regional, national and international handbell events across North America. heather was Editor of OGEHR’s “Clapper Chatter” for more than 10 years, and served on numerous event committees. She is currently OGEHR’s Central East Area Representative. heather performs bell solos and has three solo handbell arrangements in publication with Sonology Music, AGEHR Publishing, and From the Top Music.
Ron Parker retired from thirty-six years of teaching music as Head of Music and Fine Arts at Trinity College School, Port Hope. He also taught in Toronto and Bowmanville. Ron studied at The Royal Conservatory, University of Toronto, University of Western Ontario, the Banff School of Fine Arts and the Lincoln Center. He is an active performer in several orchestras, bands, quintets and jazz groups. Ron has conducted school ensembles throughout North America and led tours of European cities. He has many hobbies and interests but his wife, children, and grandchildren remain a source of joy and pride in his life.
Barbara Peaker has been ringing and directing handbells for close to 15 years. She has rung with and directed both children's and adult choirs in the Alliston and Orangeville areas. She is the owner of Hear Them Ring, a handbell accessory and maintenance company based near Barrie, Ontario. When she’s not spending time with her two young daughters, she enjoys solo handbell ringing at Westminster United Church in Orangeville, Ontario.
Nathalie Poirier-Cox is a retired teacher who is currently the director of two hand bell choirs at St. John’s Anglican in Peterborough, the Note-A-Bells as well as a beginner group. She is the author of teaching guides to teach French and music in the classroom. Nathalie’s retirement activities include volunteering, singing and playing guitar at a local community centre, supply teaching, gardening, cooking, scrapbooking, playing sports, learning Spanish and staying healthy and active. Nathalie has three beautiful adult children who lives in Buckhorn with her husband and beagle, Roxy.
Shirley Reinders has rung handbells for over 30 years with Knox Bells of Praise at Knox Presbyterian Church, Meaford. She also enjoys playing piano, singing in choirs and, along with her husband, hosting their four children and their families.
Lloyd Winfield 
Justin Wooten grew up in North Carolina where he began playing handbells at the ripe old age of 8 years old. Even when he was pursuing sports and music theater, he continued to play handbells. After college, he moved to Los Angeles where he became a fitness trainer for 10 years. While there he played handbells for LA Bronze. Immediately after moving back to North Carolina, he joined Charlotte Bronze where he continues to play. Justin is thrilled to be attending OGEHR’s It’s About Time Festival and visiting Canada for the first time ever!

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