Handbell Musicians of America (HMA) has had to cancel the annual Distinctly Bronze East event due to Hurricane Mathew. The event was set to be held on the coast of North Carolina in the New Bern Riverfront Convention Center. Hurricane Mathew has shifted west and is now headed for the American East Coast, directly at the city of New Bern.
In an email to Distinctly Bronze participants, Jenny Cauhorn, the Executive Director of HMA, wrote:
It is with great regret that I contact you tonight with the news that we must cancel DB East. There is high probability that Hurricane Matthew will negatively impact this region and that the convention center will be forced to close. In addition, many New Bern businesses may also have to close and services such as electric will be unavailable.
After consultation with the national board and the management of the convention center, we decided it is in the best interest of all involved to go ahead and cancel the event now before most of you have started your travel here.
The email was sent as the governor of South Carolina ordered an evacuation of coastal communities in his state, and the governor of North Carolina declared a state of emergency for central and eastern parts of his state, including New Bern.
Participants affected are encouraged to contact their airlines to change reservations and cancel hotel rooms. Many airlines are already making accommodations for passengers in the storm’s path. Options for registration fees will be communicated to participants over the coming days.