Copper B Workshops

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

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

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

Friday, June 2, 2023
10:00 to 11:00 a.m.

Friday, June 2, 2023
4:00 to 5:00 p.m.

Copper B Workshop Descriptions and Clinician Bios

Workshop Description  Clinician Bio 

CB1 Bass Bells - Advanced: Bass Bells F4 and below. Mind moving Matter and Figuring out What to Do

This workshop looks at bass bell techniques and choreography to assist bass ringers to develop even greater skills and capacity for ringing bass bells. Topics will include ideas for efficiency in movements and balance, using gravity to your advantage, healthy ergonomic practises and musicality strategies for those who ring bass bells, those who want to ring bass bells, and those wanting to help those who are ringing them right now. As part of that, we will look at how to best assign the bass bells, or alter the common assignments to assist bass bell ringers for effective playing.
Justin Wooten 

CB2 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 . 
CB3 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.
Lloyd Winfield 
CB4 Four-in-Hand – Advanced Treble Bell Techniques
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.
Emily Li

 CB5 Ensemble Ringing – Tools from the Solo & Ensemble Ringers’ Toolbox

Ringing alone or in a small ensemble is both physically and mentally different from ringing in a larger choir. Considerations such as ringing and damping styles, bell placement, and adding movement and choreography are just a few of the challenges that need to be addressed when ringing by yourself or with one or two of your closest friends. As an added bonus, many of these techniques and tools can be used to make large choir ringing more efficient as well. Join us to learn how you can use these tools to up your “plays well with others” score.
heather nicholson 

CB6 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 

CB7 Mastering Mixed Meter

Let’s explore the enticing world of mixed meter! We will strengthen our mixed meter muscles through simple, progressive exercises - then explore and ring through some iconic pieces. You might just amaze yourself! Please note that this session is open to both Copper B and Bronze ringers.

 Kathleen Wissinger

CB8 Personal Practice Tips and Strategies...

How to practice your position individually...techniques, how to approach it mentally, and then what to focus on beyond pitches/rhythms/bell switches.

Dominique Moreau 

CB9 Read and Ring

For the Copper B ringer who just wants to ring. Read and ring through a variety of Level 2+ to Level 3 music. Bell positions are not assigned and ringers should come prepared to ring whatever position is open.

Janet McDonald 

CB10 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.

Dynamics- include?

John-Charles (J.-C.) Coolen

CB11 Sight Ringing

Tips and approaches for improving sight reading. We will explore sight ringing strategies by reading through L2 and L2+ music.

 Mark Matterson

CB12 Staccato

Staccato - not just a short note, but an important tool for the handbell musician's toolbox. This session is a hands-on exploration of techniques for executing staccato notes at the right time and the right dynamic, at any ringing level. Bring your gloves and an open mind.

 Ian Costinak

CB13 Weaving - Dream Weaving: don’t get weft out

Make bell switches smoothly and quickly using one of five basic weaving patterns and their variations. Ring accidentals effortlessly and navigate difficult passages without dropping bells, crossing arms or leaving notes out. Learn how to damp while weaving and how to pass a bell smoothly to another ringer when you need a helping hand. Bring 3 consecutive bells from the ringing floor with you.

Sandra Jean Bedford 

CB14 What? Watch the Conductor?!

We’re often told to “Watch the Conductor” but how do you do that and not lose your place in the music? What does all the hand waving mean anyway? Watching the conductor is a learned skill and you can master it with a few handy tips and a little practice. Discover exactly what a conductor’s hand gestures mean and how watching the conductor can help your bell choir make better music together. Massed rehearsal at Festival is an excellent opportunity to practice your newly acquired skills.

Dominique Moreau 

D1 Adapting Music

Learn how to arrange, rearrange or adapt published music to suit your choir.

Brittany McCorriston

D2 Bell Assignments:

What are the options when you are a few ringers short of a bell choir? This workshop will explore alternate ways to assign bells so that we can still ring the pieces we love but with a few less people. We will also cover assignment issues like how to decide who rings which bells in a given piece. Directors - bring your questions!

 Dr. Debbie Fingas

G1 Bell Trees: 101 Uses for Bell Trees… Some assembly required…

Bell trees are visually mesmerizing and beautiful. They can be added as an accompaniment to larger musical groups, rung as processionals or recessionals, and they can be played as a solo or duet instrument. We will explore the basics of bell trees, including how to build them, mallet selection, finding repertoire, rehearsal techniques, and creative ways to use them. Ringers are asked to bring 4 bells from C6 up and two appropriate treble mallets.

heather nicholson 

G2 Boomwhackers

Boomwhackers are colourful plastic tubes each tuned to different notes of a scale. They are played as percussion instruments, and together they make music – a little like bells but way simpler. Playing boomwhackers develops your sense of rhythm and you get to bang things, which is a lot of fun. To see boomwhackers in action, google: Harvard boomwhackers Pink panther

Elizabeth Winfield 

G8 History of Kingston, The Limestone City

Kingston celebrated its 300th anniversary in 1973! Taken over by the British in 1760 Kingston surged in importance and became the first capital of Canada West and Canada East. It is home to Queen’s University, the Royal Military College, DuPont, Alcan, CFB Kingston, and of course, many prisons. Come learn about Kingston from one of Kingston’s renowned historians.

Paul Van Nest 

G9 Laugh, Move, Sing

This workshop will guide you to get in touch with your inner joy through laughter exercises, dance, song and general frivolity. Get ready to release inhibitions that often keep us stuck in our heads and not connected to our bodies. Prepare to have fun, build connections with one another, with the intent of fostering feelings of well-being, happiness and appreciation. The session will end with a short guided meditation. Come and play! Open to everyone. 

Janice Moncrieff 

G11 Processionals

Ringing bells while moving in a processional is not only a fun experience for ringers, but they have an impressive impact visually to those watching. Many groups are intimidated from trying processionals or feel they are too challenging. Not so! In this workshop, you will learn a step by step approach to learning how to process and how the movement will enhance the music. Ringers will have the opportunity to experiment with their choreographing.

Dr. Debbie Fingas 

G13 Rhythm: What is it? What does it sound like? What does it look like? How do we do it?

In this workshop we will explore the elements of rhythm such as beat, groove, syncopation, and polyrhythms through listening to examples in music and ways to perform them accurately and with confidence. The level of complexity can be easily adjusted to accommodate all levels of experience.

Ron Parker 

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

Fung Loy Kok 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

G17 Line Dancing - Beginners Level

New to Line Dancing? Learn some of the basic required steps and some easy beginner dances to a variety of music; and "it's not all country!" Wear comfortable shoes that will move on the floor without being too slippery. Step out for an hour of fun and maybe even a bit of exercise while you're at it! 
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. For many years she has been ringing with Bronze Foundation and has been the director of the handbell choir at Wellington Square United Church in Burlington.

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.
 Ian Costinak began ringing handbells in Toronto when he was 11 years old, and has recently returned to Ontario after nine years in the prairies. He's a member of the Limestone Ringers in Kingston, and when he isn't ringing, you can find him writing, indoor rock climbing, and playing with his cats.
 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.
 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.
 Emily Li has a master's degree in music composition. She is a handbell soloist, composer, and conductor. She completed the Graduate Program in Handbells at Concordia University, Wisconsin, studied under many handbell experts. Emily founded the HK Handbell Academy and the Handbell Association of HK (HAHK). She is the Chairperson of HAHK, the Artistic Director of the Academy, the HK Youth Handbell Ensemble, and the principal guest conductor for Ministry of Bellz in Singapore. She is the faculty of the National Seminars in the United States and served as the massed ringing conductors in the 15th, 16th, 17th & 20th International Handbell Symposia.
 Mark Matterson 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.
 Paul Van Nest moved to Kingston in 1965 and is an active volunteer at his church and the community He is an avid historian (he has led 62 tours of American Civil War battlefields) and a member of the Kingston Historical Society. He and Sharon have a family of 4 children and 8 grandchildren.
 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.
 Elizabeth Winfield
 Lloyd Winfield
 Kathleen Wissinger is OGEHR’s 2023 Festival Guest Conductor for Massed, Copper B and Bronze Choirs Known for her clear directing, creative teaching style and engaging compositions, she is a ringer, educator, director, educator and clinician. She has directed and taught at events across the US, in Canada and Japan. Kath chairs the CHIME Loan program for Area 3 (HMA) and served on the Area 3 Board for 8 years. She is often called on to mentor new groups, new ringers and new events. Kath also teaches piano in her home studio in the beautiful Shenandoah Valley of Virginia.
 Justin Wooten 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.

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