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 their own handbells (3 octave set) 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.

NO! Any ringer can participate.

YES! 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 your own bells.

Yes! You are encouraged to bring your own bells. We even offer a tuition discount for bringing your own bells.

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

Maybe. If you, and your friend, are signed up for the same level of ringing you may be placed in the same ensemble.

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 have knowledgeable staff on hand who are able to make minor repairs. We recommend you thoroughly check, and, if possible, service your bells before coming. Carrying a couple of extra springs in your bag is always a good idea. We also recommend a Sunshine cloth for wiping off your bells between rehearsals and performances.

You will need to bring a bell binder, mallets and gloves if you are playing bells that are not your own.

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 (828) 669-3761. 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.

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