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Spring 2008: Special Thanks
I had occasion to be in Pensacola, Florida, not long ago where I had the privilege of spending some time with Don Allured. Don is truly the grandfather of it all, of everything we do in handbells. I have always been struck by his generosity and enthusiasm, still directing and mentoring well into his 80’s.
I consider Don Allured one of my mentors. He has been an inspiration to me in my writing, teaching, and directing, and whenever we have crossed paths I have felt refreshed with a new spirit of enthusiasm for our wonderful instrument.
I encourage you to make time to be with those who have inspired, mentored, and taught you. One of the wonderful aspects to being a part of handbells at this time, in what is still its childhood, is that most of the teachers, composers, clinicians, and leaders are alive and well and active. And accessible - handbells is based on a spirit of community and mutual encouragement that is rare in other musical endeavors.
Refresh yourself by having lunch or making some discussion time with one of your mentors. Or write a card or email of appreciation to a teacher or writer who has helped you in your development. And be on the lookout for opportunities to help and mentor others. There is no more cooperative instrument than handbells, and we are privileged in that it is also one of the most positive and encouraging of musical communities.
Thank you, Don! And thank you all!
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