Malmark Newsletter
Malmark Newsletter - Summer 2017

Greetings from Bucks County, PA! We hope you enjoy reading this issue as much as we enjoy sharing fun and interesting news of handbells from around the world. When Inna Lai, Campanelli Handbell Ensemble director, invited U.S. musician and composer, Susan Nelson, to travel to Estonia to hear a concert that was entirely of Susan's music she was "both humbled and elated." This collaboration between musicians who had never met outside of Facebook grew to be much more. The Resonance Group Spotlight and Video will focus on Campanelli and their U.S. tour, plus the announcement of a poignant concert at Washington Crossing Park.

Also, in this issue is an opportunity to meet Christine Anderson and learn about her idea for making one set of Cymbells® even more useful. We also share some easy, fast and fun ringing ideas for any group in this issue's Technique Tip plus considerations of how, when and why to add-on to your set of handbells. We hope you will find information of value in this issue and will share it with someone. Happy ringing!

And as always, please feel free to comment and to share your musical experiences with Malmark products at We look forward to hearing from you!

Product Highlight - Enhance Your Effect with Add-Ons!

Why add-on to my set?
Adding-on more notes to your range will create more sound but it will also bring additional colors and timbres to your music. The lower bells add to the foundational sound of chords and to the warmth of the sound, like low brass in a band. You can expect the upper register to add color and flourish much as woodwinds do. And both upper and lower ranges increase the possibilities for enhanced melody and musical elements currently unavailable. Last, and perhaps most importantly, adding-on may allow you to incorporate new ringers into your ensemble.

How much should I add-on?
Malmark's Add-On Sets move your group up to the next octave with notes both above and below your current range. Adding a set is the easiest way to add-on and have standard repertoire choices. Complete 12 note sets are perfect if you're ready for more ringers, plus they offer cost savings over individual bell pricing but... it's completely up to you! We realize adding-on is a big investment so many customers choose to add on one or two bells at a time after 3 or 4 octaves.

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Technique Tip - Kickstart Your Ringing

No music reading? No problem! Kickstart ideas enable ringers to immediately experience music that is simple, yet satisfying. These ideas work great for a short-term event (VBS, Camp, learn to ring class) or as a jumping off point for a new group or for a one-time ringing experience for kids, teens or adults. You can even invite non-ringers to join you for a one-time easy performance as a recruitment tool.

Ring First, Damp Later
Focusing first on the ringing stroke gives ringers a chance to develop the stroke, from the grip, then lift or preparation of the clapper strike, to the strike and follow through, without the complication of damping. So, start with music that doesn't require damping and focus on the ringing stroke. Later, introduce the damp concept by itself as an isolated skill. Learning to ring, damp and read music takes TIME so it's helpful to use simple activities while ringers are developing skills.

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Meet the Crew - Christine Anderson

The solo handbell artistry of Christine D. Anderson is world-renowned. With finesse, grace and dexterity, Christine's solo handbell artistry has thrilled audiences in concert halls across the country and around the world. Christine is an exceptional and dynamic musician in every respect. Christine maintains a standard of excellence that is worthy of any concert venue and worship experience. Christine feels that her music is a tool for her tremendous witness for Christ and her deep love for the Lord.

Christine is a phenomenal musical leader with special insight into "what could be". She doesn't let difficulties stop her, and not only solves the technical problems before her, but also makes the solutions artistic and beautiful. It is a joy to work with her because she is simultaneously professional and accessible, and helps others to improve their skills while she demonstrates the wonderful ministry abilities that God has given her to share with the world.

Christine is honored to represent Malmark as a salesperson in California. Read more about Christine here and feel free to contact her at

Wonderful Cymbells! - by Christine D. Anderson

When Cymbells® first came out, I couldn't wait to get my own octave! I was given C6-C7 early on, and started experimenting with different ways of using this new instrument. I'm so glad I chose this particular range - not too high, not too big - just right!

I had recently joined the Worship Team at my small church but not using a table full of bells in the "normal" way. I was asked to do "improv." Yikes, I never learned how to read guitar chords or follow a chart - I ring the melody! And then there are all the key changes. I started ringing on my multi-pronged bell tree, but the Sunday I had 7 strings of bells for all the key changes, I thought, "That's it! I have to find a better solution."

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Video Spotlight - Campanelli Handbell Ensemble

Campanelli Handbell Ensemble from Estonia plays a wide variety of repertoire including classical selections, Estonian folk songs and modern, original works for handbells. Libertango is a composition by Argentinian composer, Astor Piazolla, published in 1974 and arranged by Inna Lai, Campanelli's director. The title is a portmanteau merging "Libertad" (Spanish for liberty) and "Tango" expressing Piazolla's move from Classical Tango to Tango Nuevo

Libertango is performed not only with Malmark handbells, Choirchimes, and Cymbells but also with maracas and accordion. Be warned - this preview of Campanelli's concerts may have you up and dancing your own tango!

Watch The Video Here:

Group Spotlight - Campanelli Concert at Washington Crossing Park

Campanelli Handbell Ensemble is a group of 14 handbell musicians from Tallinn, Estonia. The ensemble, led by Inna Lai, traveled to the U.S. for a concert tour as the result of an online collaboration between Inna and Susan Nelson, a musician and composer from Hamilton, NJ.

After Susan received the first message on Facebook from Inna Lai saying, "Greetings from Estonia!" she learned that Campanelli had performed and recorded much of Susan's music – even for a TV commercial. "I was both humbled and elated..." Susan said, when she learned that Campanelli was planning to perform an entire concert of her music. Later, when Ms. Lai invited the composer to attend the 2013 concert in Estonia, Susan not only made the trip, she also used this performance as part of her masters thesis and recital – the first international graduate handbell composition recital.

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