Born and raised in Canton, OH, Michael Joy has lived in Philadelphia, PA since 1974. He has been directing handbell choirs in churches since 1978 and in schools since 1983. He studied handbells with Donald Allured and handbell composition with Arnold Sherman. Michael is currently the handbell director at The Shipley School in Bryn Mawr, PA where he conducts middle school and high school handbell ensembles. For the last 39 years he has also been the Music Director at First Presbyterian Church in Ambler, PA. Michael is the Executive Editor for the new GIA Foundations Series, designed specifically for developing handbell ensembles in schools.
He is a published composer and has taught at Hand bell Musicians of America Area festivals, PMEA district and state conferences, HMA National Seminars and the 2008 International Handbell Symposium. Jeffers Publishing Company named him Composer of the Year for 2004 for his composition Dorian Dance. Michael received the Donald E. Allured Original Composition Award for 2011. The piece, Pavane and Galliard, received its premiere at Bay View Week of Handbells in August of 2011. Michael also served two terms as the Secretary for HMA Area 2.
2016 Breakout Sessions
Glide and Dab Your Way to Better Musicianship
Whether you are a ringer or a director, everyone can benefit by finding new ways to improve their musicianship. Using ideas from Kim Strepka’s book "Handbell Artistry from the Inside Out," this session will present some new ideas to help ringers at any level improve what they do. Using examples from handbell repertoire, you will find out how to “glide” and “dab” your way to more musical performances.
WYSIWYG is an acronym for “What you see is what you get.” David Davidson said that audiences and congregations often hear what they see. This hands on class examines the visual impact of various musical elements of a handbell performance. How can you look like a melody or any accompaniment? What does a crescendo look like? Come and explore some strategies to improve the visual impact of your ringing so that you “look like the music.”
Handbell Reading Session
This handbell reading session will explore new and proven music for general worship and special services throughout the liturgical year. Level 1 to Level 3 music will be used to explore a variety of styles and handbell techniques. Tips for teaching and rehearsing the music will also be a part of this session.
Developing Rhythmic Feeling
Many ringers and directors spend too much time trying to decipher notation. Instead, as author Stanley Schleuter suggests, they need to be developing rhythmic feeling. This session will explore several ways in which one can develop rhythmic feeling so that both directors and ringers can bring a new understanding and a more polished musicianship to performances.
Moving Right Along
Ringing handbells while moving in a processional can be a wonderful visual and musical experience. Many groups move with little regard to what is happening in the music with no uniformity of movement. This class explores a step-by-step approach to learning how to process so that the movement enhances the music.