National Solo & Ensemble Conference


Our primary clinicians are Danny Lyons, Christine Anderson, Michael Kastner, Kevin McChesney, Ron Bellamy, and Sue Garton. They are supported by our Peer Performance Coaches Jad Johnson, Nikki Evans, Linda Krantz, Beth Mays, and Rachel Cerullo.

Ringer/Performer Registration is $295. There is a $45 discount for registrants who provide handbells for use in classes and training. Your fee can be paid upfront or in installments. Complete breakdown of costs and what is included is available on Eventbrite where you can purchase your tickets and other amenities.

Both individuals and pre-existing ensembles can participate. All participants register individually. Duets, trios, and quartets requesting to be placed intact will be accommodated if at all possible. Larger ensembles will form quartets based on your self assessed ability and experience level.

You can come as an ensemble or as an individual.

Bell set ups will be provided but you can get a tuition reduction for bringing bells for use in classes and training.

Yes. We encourage any participants to bring a 3-octave (or more) bell set to be used in classes and instruction. You will likely be ringing on bells loaned by others. Feel free to label your bells and cases to assist getting everything back to the correct owner. We will also add labels to the bells you bring to ensure they get back to you. If you don't want us to lable the bells you bring you will have to sign a release stating that you will be responsible.

Malmark and Schulmerich bells are all wonderful and we love them all. Because of tuning issues and handle design, we are not able to accommodate other handbell brands.

Maybe. Requests will be considered and honored if at all possible. Based on your self-assessment, requested grouping will be placed in a team based on similiar self-assessments.

No. All parts must be performed on bells

All your rehearsal space, rehearsal instruction from our Nationally recognized faculty, private coaching from our peer performance coaches, access to all of the concerts and share times, use of our accompanists and much more.

You will get your music on the first day of the conference. You will be grouped according to your self assessment and then assigned repertoire. We want to work with you from the very beginning of the process all the way to performance. If you find that you made a mistake in your self assessment there will be opportunities to place you in the appropriate ensemble early in the process.

We will handle any maintenance issues during the event. Please do not make adjustments or repairs on borrowed equipment. We will have knowledgeable staff on hand who are able to make minor repairs. We also recommend a Sunshine cloth for wiping off the bells between rehearsals and performances.

You will need to bring a bell binder, mallets and gloves.

YES! We will follow all local guidelines for masking and social distancing throughout the event. Capacities at the venues are limited by current health guidelines.

Every attendee will have the opportunity to indicate dietary preferences and needs when they register.

Ridgecrest Conference Center is fully accessible for all disabilities. Please communicate with our staff so we can ensure your needs are met.

Dress comfortably for rehearsals. We will be in intensive rehearsals for long periods so wear good shoes. There is no dress code for performances.

The event lodging at Ridgecrest Conference Center is in Rhododendrum They have given us a deeply discounted rate of $119/night -- 2 queen beds, up to quad occupancy, free parking, free wi-fi. If you plan to share a room, one person is responsible for the charges of the room to Ridgecrest and you can work out the shared cost on your own. Ridgecrest will not split the hotel bill. To make room reservations at this rate, you may call Ridgecrest directly at (800) 588-7222. and tell them you are with The National Solo and Ensemble Festival.

Registration begins on Thursday at 12:30 - 3:00, Orientation at 3 p.m. with the first session starting at 4 p.m. Dinner break at 5:30, Staff Feature Concert at 6:45 followed by the Second Session at 8 p.m. Friday starts with optional forum at 6:45 a.m., Breakfast at 7:15, Session 3 at 8:15, DT Concert at 9:40, Session 4 at 10:45, Lunch 12 noon, Showcase Concert (You can be the star) 1 p.m., Session 5 at 2:30 p.m., Session 6 at 4 p.m., Dinner at 5:30 p.m., Session 7 at 6:30 p.m., Session 8 at 8 p.m., Saturday starts with optional forum at 6:45 a.m., Breakfast at 7:15, Session 9 at 8:15, Showcase Concert (You can be the star) 9:40, Session 10 at 10:45, Lunch 12 noon, Session 11 at 1 p.m., Session 12 at 2:45 p.m., Sharing Time 4 p.m., Dinner at 5:30 p.m., Sharing Time part 2 at 7:30 p.m., Sunday starts with Breakfast at 7:15 a.m., Worship Time at 8:30, Check Out at 9:15, Feature Concert at 10:15

You will be placed into quartet groups according to your self assessment. Each quartet will rotate through learning modules of: A. Synchronous Ensemble Instruction (SEI) - here you will work with other ensembles and one of our clinicians on group performance skills and repertoire. B. Individual Ensemble Rehearsal (IER) - here you with work as a single group with one of our peer performance coaches and clinicians to hone your skills and mastery. C. Electives (E) - This is an opportunity for you to explore new techniques and solo and ensemble developments. D. Master Class (MC) - Work one on one with our faculty to improve your skills and techniques. In addition there are is also free time that you can utilize for enjoying the beautiful scenery, fellowshipping with your fellow ringers and time for private coaching opportunities as available.

Attendees can purchase a meal plan from Ridgecrest total cost for 8 meals is $104 dollars. A la carte meals are not available. All attendees must either purchase the meal package or make arrangements to leave campus for meals. If you will be sharing a room you can purchase the meal plan seperately.

Keys to Making an Accurate Self Assessment

One of the questions we are often asked by our attendees is how can they make the proper decision when it comes to self assessment.  Below are some areas that you can consider in order to make the right choice.  If for some reason you get to the conference and you find yourself in over your head, we will work with you to help you get moved to the proper level.

Rate Your Skills In The Following Areas

Novice Level - 1 point

I'm Okay - 2 points

I'm Confident - 3 points

I'm a Beast - 4 points

If your score is between 21 and 35 you may want to self evaluate as a Novice or Beginner

If your score is between 36 and 50 you may want to self evaluate as Intermediate Level 1

If your score is between 51 and 65 you may want to self evaluate as Intermediate Level 2

If you score is between 66 and 84 you may want to self evaluate as Advanced

Click Here to Calculate Your Score

In addition to the rating scale above you may also want to look at some examples of possible repertoire each level might be required to perform.  This is not a complete list. Click on a title to be taken to another site where you can preview and hear a recording.

Beginning Level

Intermediate Level 1

Intermediate Level 2

Advanced Level

We hope this is helpful in assisting you in making a decision as to what self assessment level you need to choose.

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