The name Sondra Tucker is very familiar to handbell directors and ringers. She is in demand as a conductor and clinician, has served on the faculty of numerous HMA events, is a working church musician and remains active in Memphis, Tennessee music circles, all while composing not only handbell pieces, but also choral octavos, organ music and flute ensemble arrangements.
Sondra’s music is published by most major church music publishing houses; however, over the years, Sondra has created a lot of innovative handbell compositions that for various reasons would be more difficult for a mainstream publisher to promote and sell. These include original pieces; novelty pieces; extremely difficult, upper level pieces; and pieces that require 5 octaves of handbells and up. She also had some personal favorites for which she wanted to retain the copyrights.
The idea of creating her own handbell publishing division was born from her flutist background. The music that she wrote for flute ensemble and flute choir to play at weddings, parties and holidays was being distributed by a specialty music store and she often thought that she’d like to do the same with her handbell music; however the marketing part of the equation was more than she was able to do as an individual.
A few of the more familiar tunes were a natural fit to sell through Jeffers Handbell Supply and from there it was a logical progression for Jeffers to partner with Sondra to market and distribute her compositions and arrangements. She is now able to include original works and classical transcriptions that otherwise wouldn’t be available to the handbell community and Jeffers is pleased to be the exclusive distributor of the Casa Publications catalog.
When asked about the concept behind her music, Sondra replied, “My hope is that all Casa Publications will be well-crafted, interesting, and expressive compositions that will fill a niche-within-a-niche of upper-level repertoire for performing ensembles. My Casa music is mostly original, classical, or secular right now (2016), because I feel that the sacred market is fairly well represented these days elsewhere.”
Her main goal for the future is to compose and add titles to the catalog that will complement the existing selections. The ultimate goal is to become one of the go-to publishers for directors/clinicians when they are planning concerts or Bronze-level events.
The complete Casa Publications catalog is available for viewing and purchasing on Handbell World. Videos of various groups performing Sondra’s works are found under the media tab on her webpage and you can follow her on Facebook and/or Twitter.