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Crucible: Get Fired Up

Crucible is an intensive handbell festival for the experienced high school ringer. Students will learn handbell technique, expression, and musical artistry from some of the best clinicians in the field. The day is capped by a public concert on a professional stage. Only 42 ringers will be accepted. 

Saturday, January 13, 2024     9am - 5pm     Concert at 7pm

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Heat and Pressure

You will receive your bell assignments in advance, so show up ready to ring! We'll have just six hours to perfect six pieces for a formal concert. Here's the rep:

Firework - arr. Michael Glasgow

Carillon - Dean Wagner

Laudation - Brenda Austin

Grazioso - Arnold Sherman 

Bound for South Australia - arr. Alex Guebert

Under the Sea - arr. Kevin McChesney


Kevin McChesney

Kevin McChesney graduated with highest honors from the University of Colorado at Boulder. A career composer and arranger of handbell music, Kevin has over 1000 handbell titles in print and is one of the very few musicians who has made handbells a full-time vocation.



Lone Star College-Tomball

You will have a professional concert experience. Our public performance will be in the beautiful Performing Arts Center at Lone Star College-Tomball.  Concert dress is formal black: black suit, tux, or concert dress. 


Greig Ashurst, Adjudicator

We don't just want you to ring better, we want to help you be better ringers. Each participant will be evaluated throughout the rehearsals and be given specific, practical feedback from a handbell expert. Ringers will be scored on a variety of skills, and a few Outstanding Performers will be recognized during the concert.

Greig Ashurst is a renowned music educator, conductor, percussionist, clinician, and consultant. He is a pioneer in music assessment and adjudication for handbell ensembles, having adjudicated handbell musicians for more than 30 years.




It's always a treat to get to work with an expert clinician at a festival. At Crucible, you get to work with THREE. McChesney is the headline, but S.B. and S.B. will each direct one piece as well. Both of these skilled women direct with humor and passion, and your rehearsal time with them will fly by!

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Date:  Saturday, January 13, 2024

Location:  Performing Arts Center, Lone Star College-Tomball (northwest of Houston, TX), 30555 Tomball Parkway, Tomball TX 77375

Cost:  $75 per ringer


  • Ringers are in grades 9-12 and are currently active in a handbell choir. Also open to ringers out of high school, though age 20.

  • Ringers should be comfortable ringing Level 3 music.

  • Ringers will purchase their own music before the event.

  • Ringers will learn their notes and rhythms before Crucible begins, and arrive ready to make music with the ensemble. 

Your registration fee covers your event t-shirt, lunch, and dinner. Choose your dinner activity: AMA with Kevin McChesney, or playing Crimes Against Handbells with Stevie Berryman.

BONUS: Visit with representatives from college music programs throughout the day!

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