Bob Avant is the Director of "The Baylor Bronze", and is a graduate of the University of Texas at Austin with a Bachelors degree in Music Education, a Masters degree in Music (Instrumental Conducting) and a Masters degree in Education (Instructional Technology). He served 13 years as a band director for Killeen ISD and Austin ISD and then worked at the Education Service Center, Region XIII for 17 years as a technology leader and consultant to central Texas school districts.
Mr. Avant first rang a bell in the early 1980's and soon assumed the role of director at First United Methodist Church (Austin), followed by Central Presbyterian Church (Austin) and currently at First Baptist Church (Austin) where he has been their handbell director since 1994. In 1995, Bob co-founded the Austin Handbell Ensemble which is an auditioned community group, and has served as its director since 1996. The AHE has performed for area and national events and has released four CD recordings.
Bob is a long time member of the American Guild of English Handbell Ringers (AGEHR) and has served as Area Chair. He is active as a clinician and also as an arranger with several published pieces for advanced handbell groups.Bob and his wife Louise, who serves as a Minister of Music at First Baptist Church (Austin) have two children - Scott, a trombone performance major and Elizabeth, an elementary music teacher.
2017 Breakout Sessions
Level 1-3 Score Preparation and Problem Solving for Ringers and Directors
Using Level 1-3 Music: As a conductor, what do you need to do before the first rehearsal to prepare to conduct and teach a new piece with your handbell group? How do you identify potential problem ringing spots in the music and how do you develop solutions to teaching for success?
Foundational Level: Conducting Clearly and Musically
Just getting started or need a refresher? This session will help you begin, continue and go the next step in conducting your handbell choir.
Ringing Skills and Techniques for Level 3-5
This session will focus on the skills required to perform music that is more challenging. This will include multiple bell techniques, dealing with “impossible” ringing sections and developing fast note skills. Teaching techniques for all these will be presented and demonstrated.
Handbell Reading Session, Level 1-3
A Ringing Opportunity! With this session we will realize, with bells in hand, some of the music we have been studying and more.
Handbells, A Historical Perspective and a Look Ahead
(or, How We Got Here and Where are We Going?)
This session will be co-presented by both handbell clinicians who represent a combined nearly 70 years of handbell leadership experience. The presenters will share the interesting path that has brought us to the current state of handbells in education, the church and the community. They will also offer their perspectives as to what the near and long term outlook may be for this musical art.