Jerri Bland is in her third year with The Raleigh Ringers. Jerri has been ringing handbells for more than 20 years in church choirs and in a quartet. When she's not ringing or being an entrepreneur, Jerri enjoys reading, shopping and cheering on the Tarheels.
Ruth Brown holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in music theory from the University of Texas in Dallas, and completed postgraduate studies in flute performance and pedagogy at Meredith College. In addition to directing handbell choirs at several churches in the triangle area, Ruth teaches private lessons in flute and piano. She has performed with the Concerts at St. Stephens Series, the Spirituality in the Arts Series, and the Triangle Recorder Consort, as well as with the Raleigh Symphony as winner of the Meredith College Concerto Competition. Ruth and her husband, David, have two daughters: Michelle, who is a professional ballerina and lives in Dallas with her husband, Brad, and daughter, Maya and son, Corbin; and Licia, who lives in High Point with her husband, Jonathan, and son, Wesley. Ruth serves as the Secretary of The Raleigh Ringers.
Keith Burt was born in New Jersey but really doesn't remember it since he lived most of his life in Florida. He was drafted into handbells by a former piano teacher with the words many ringers know, "Just try it for one rehearsal!", and has been playing handbells ever since. Keith studied piano at the University of Central Florida and was involved with handbell choirs along the way, either playing or directing. Fortunately for The Raleigh Ringers, Keith also enjoys transcribing and arranging music for handbells. He currently works at Martin Architectural Products and fills his spare time with his great loves, movies and heavy metal.
Jay Carter is a North Carolina native who grew up in New Bern playing handbells at Centenary UMC in their youth choir and then their adult ensemble. He’s an avid NC State and Arsenal FC fan. A Virtuoso 2015 alum, Jay is incredibly excited to begin his rookie season with The Raleigh Ringers having recently moved back to Raleigh where his wife, Andrea, is faculty at Meredith College.
Angie Chiatello comes to us from California via Purdue University, where she played their famous antique Shaker Chimes as a member of the Purdue University Handbell Choir. Recorder lessons in second grade got her started as a musician, and she soon moved on to handbells, having been drafted by her mother "because they needed one more." Angie works in marketing for a local engineering firm, does freelance graphic and web design, and in her spare time bakes and decorates sugar cookies. She also loves to read and travel, having already visited all but six of the United States.
Ellen Daniels' love of music began early. When she was only two years she was caught imitating her older sister and picking out Für Elise on the piano. Her precociousness led to piano lessons of her own and later Ellen sang in school chorus groups and church choirs. Then it happened – her church got a set of handbells and started a youth bell choir. She was hooked. In her first year with The Raleigh Ringers, Ellen is living out her dream. When not playing or directing handbells, she enjoys traveling, ballroom dancing, and competing in Scottish Highland dancing. Ellen lives in what used to be the rural outskirts of Raleigh with her family. To support her handbell habit, she works at a local software company in research and development.
Erin Glendening comes to us from Pella, Iowa, via Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Erin followed in her siblings' footsteps and began ringing bells at the age of 12 at her church in Iowa. The pursuit of a master's degree took Erin to Pittsburgh, where she spent several years directing an intergenerational handbell choir and a children's chime choir at Shadyside Presbyterian Church, while also ringing with the Chapel Bells at Mt. Lebanon United Methodist Church. Now Erin enjoys ringing with the Bells of Saint Andrews and directing the children's chime choirs at Saint Andrews Presbyterian Church. When not ringing, Erin works as a computer geek. Erin enjoys solo ringing, cross-stitching, knitting, crocheting, reading, and watching movies.
Greg Guinther remembers seeing handbells for the first time in 1990 when a group named The Handbelles rang at his church, leaving him with an incorrect assumption that only women played the instrument. In a cathartic moment in 1996 he knew that handbells were in his future when he saw an advanced church group - containing men - ringing Fred Gramann’s amazing “Prelude on Herzliebster Jesu”. The following day he joined this group, and steadily progressed through several ensembles before coming to The Raleigh Ringers in 2017. During the day, Greg is a scientist for a chemical company based in Richmond, VA, and commutes to and from Raleigh each week to be a member of The Raleigh Ringers.
Sandra Hopson, Treasurer of The Raleigh Ringers, was born in Illinois and grew up in the Washington, D.C. area. She began ringing at the age of ten and performed with the Carol and Wesleyan Ringers of St. Matthews United Methodist Church, Annandale, Virginia, directed by Nancy Cappel. Sandy and her husband James are the parents of two daughters, Emily and Megan. Sandy is a charter member of The Raleigh Ringers.
Cindy Massey, one of Cary's earliest "Yankee transplants," managed to turn her toddler virtuosity at the Fisher-Price Xylophone and subsequent love of music into the ringing adventure of a lifetime--28 Raleigh Ringers years and counting! (Yes, that makes her a charter member.) Now that daughter Megg is Hairdresser to the Stars in LA and entrepreneur son Joey is married to the lovely Brittany, Cindy can devote more time to increasing her fabric stash and creating award-winning handicrafts. In the past, when she wasn't working at the quilt shop, ringing, sewing, or shopping, Cindy claimed to enjoy helping husband Phil care for the pecan and filbert trees and beehives on their Nuts for Nuts farm. Now she's looking forward to helping care for her first grandchild, due in May 2017!
David Metz, born at a very young age, he was introduced to many bells. David is a buoyant, waggish, efficacious, indefatigable, demiurgic, human self-made thousandaire. He is currently working towards an MBA with an emphasis in fantasy football.
Kristin Murphy lives in Virginia Beach, Virginia but loves handbells so much she makes the drive down to Raleigh every week to ring with The Raleigh Ringers! Kristin started ringing as a child with Virginia Beach United Methodist Church and continued ringing through college and pharmacy school with Williamsburg United Methodist Church, Virginia Handbell Consort, James River Ringers, and Virginia Bronze. She is also an 11-year attendee of Distinctly Bronze East and met her husband at that very event! When she is not ringing in Raleigh, Kristin practices as a pediatric pharmacist at an area children's hospital. She and her husband have two young daughters, Elizabeth and Meredith.
Evan Petty, a newbie to the group, comes to The Raleigh Ringers from Jamestown, NC, home to an excellent church handbell choir that taught Evan everything he knows. Evan was first introduced to the instrument ten years ago by the late John Ebel, the choir's first director, who devoted a great amount of time and effort to advancing the art of handbell ringing. It is a long-standing tradition for Mr. Ebel's choir to attend the Capital Area Handbell Festival in Raleigh each year, and when Evan saw The Raleigh Ringers perform at this event all those years ago, he figured you would have to be crazy to play their kind of music... and he's not exactly ready to change his mind yet. Evan likes to spend his time learning languages - foreign, computer, or just made-up. He is also learning how to promote his first novel, and maybe he'll be finished with his second before long as well.
Andy Punch comes to us from Hickory, North Carolina, where he began ringing at Holy Trinity Lutheran Church at the age of 12. An alumnus of Raleigh's Tintinnabulators and Charlotte's Queen City Ringers, he directs the handbell choirs at Christ the King Lutheran Church in Cary, North Carolina. Andy's solo ringing career includes performing during a service at the American Church in Paris and playing the theme to the Japanese cooking show "Iron Chef" as a wedding recessional. His other hobby, making audio recordings of music and sound effects, explains why Andy was once considered imaginary by a member of The Raleigh Ringers; who
, after all, would drive for three hours just to record a handbell choir? In addition to handbells, Andy enjoys playing piano and trombone when away from work at a local fiber optic cable company.
Kevin Quick comes to Raleigh from Allen, TX, home of the Allen Eagles. He is a Park Scholar at NC State University (GO PACK!), pursuing three B.A. degrees in psychology, sociology and interdisciplinary studies with minors in music (composition emphasis), Spanish, and ethics. He was recruited to first play handbells in fourth grade at First UMC of Allen, TX, and hasn’t stopped since. Kevin is excited for his third year with The Raleigh Ringers. Kevin directs a college-aged handbell choir at Fairmont United Methodist Church and is a regular member of the wind ensemble, mixed choir, and jazz program at NC State (whenever he has the class time for them…). In addition to the handbell choir he directs at his campus ministry (Raleigh Wesley Foundation), he also directs the college-age voice choir and the praise team. Kevin is also employed as a tutor for student-athletes at NC State. Whenever he isn’t ringing handbells, he is probably going to class, playing his numerous instruments (most likely his double bass), volunteering for Habitat for Humanity, hanging out with friends from his music fraternity (Mu Beta Psi), or binge watching TV shows on Netflix.
Cathy Rowe comes to Raleigh from Springfield, Illinois where she played with the community group Bells in Motion for 13 years. Piano lessons at the age of six started her love of music, and a church donation of three octaves of bells by her own parents started her love of handbells in high school. Cathy enjoys ringing in Distinctly Bronze (East and West!) and has made many friendships over the years through that event. She is currently working as a programmer analyst for Measurement, Inc. in Durham.
Sarah Sheffield is honored to be in her first year with The Raleigh Ringers! She had the stereotypical beginnings with music - insert every music group she could join from elementary school forward (piano lessons, band, choir, etc). In 1994, her life would change forever...her church bought a set of bells, she was recruited and has never looked back. She has played with Queen City Ringers since 2002, is an alumni of Charlotte Bronze Handbell Ensemble, attends any Distinctly Bronze possible (since 2002), and currently serves on the Handbell Musicians of America Area 3 Board. In Sarah's free time, she likes to read and cross stitch. Sarah earned a Music Education degree from Wingate University (instruments French Horn and flute) though her current day job is with an insurance agency. She was born and raised in the Charlotte metro area and currently still lives in the Charlotte area with her husband (and fellow handbell ringer), Milton.
Ann Lowe Vodicka, music librarian for The Raleigh Ringers, and Granny to Eli, is excited to be in her 21st year with the group. Ann Lowe is a retired registered pediatric nurse and an avid NC State fan. She enjoys spending time with her four children at Lake Gaston, where she fishes, water skis, and often wins at a highly competitive game of Contract Rummy. Her spare time is spent volunteering, knitting, playing with her six cats and her dog, Ozzie, and practicing her highly entertaining song and dance rendition of "The Three Bears." She thanks Jason, Derek, Mary, Ryan, Jeanne, Aaron, and Ann for their continued love and support.
Doug White, who was born the same year The Raleigh Ringers formed, began ringing handbells ten years ago in his hometown of Louisburg, North Carolina. When not ringing, he enjoys skimming random articles on Wikipedia, playing Cards Against Humanity, and inflicting terrible puns on innocent bystanders. Doug is happy to get a great workout loading the truck and ringing bass bells in his sixth year with The Raleigh Ringers.
Former Raleigh Ringers
Stephanie (Morgan) Alm
Melissa (Borchardt) Brinson
Crystal (Moran) Coen
Laura (Ellwein) Fix
Ann (Wheeler) Grigg
Amy (Dale) Harris
Lisa (Brande) Harris
Carla (Batchelor) Hinton
Elaine (Bodisco Massink) Hofmann
Lisa Ann Kelder
Paula (Coss) Kolarov
Wendy (Burger) Pace
Brenda (Byrd) Powell
Karen (Copeland) Rhew
Diane van Dijk
Ellen (Havens) Wentz