We welcome all who want to ring and be a part of a great group of people! There is no audition process at this time aside from a brief interview with the Director. All you need is a willingness to commit to weekly rehearsals and concert performances, and to learn and grow in the art of handbell ringing.
Meet our ringers:
David Ackerman - grew up in a handbell household as his mother was co-director of handbell ministries at Webster Gardens Lutheran Church in Webster Groves, MO. David is a founding member of GRHE.
Heidi Engbert - is a member of Holy Trinity and has rung bells and sang in the choir.
Debby Everett - Being in a bell choir is a brand new experience for Debby. In the past, she's been in many school choirs, choruses, dance recitals, and a few professional productions, taught ballet, and made a lot of costumes. Most recently, Debby was a cantor at Holy Redeemer parish in Webster Groves for about 10 years. She is a founding member of GRHE and is currently the group's Treasurer.
Gail Horvath - is a retired elementary teacher. She taught preschool and kindergarten in the Lutheran schools in St. Louis for over 30 years. She started ringing handbells at her first teaching assignment in San Francisco and has been hooked ever since. She rang bells at several churches she attended in the St. Louis area. She loves the musical challenge and is excited about being a founding member this new endeavor. She relaxes playing the piano, quilting, reading and enjoying time with her grandsons. Gail is currently the group's Vice President.
Kathryn 'Kit' LaMar - if there's music around, Kit is always excited to be part of it. She's rung in church choirs, the Gateway Ringers, the ReBellion Handbell Ensemble, and now with GRHE as a founding member. She also sings in choir, plays piano and organ, and is the director of the bell choir at Holy Trinity. Kit serves as the group's Secretary. When not doing music, she is probably visiting her son and grandchild!
Janet Lynch - grew up in South St Louis City and was a member of Hope Church where she sang in the choir and rang handbells for years. While she has not played in a while, she is very excited at the opportunity to reacquaint herself with the bells and to be a founding member of the Great Rivers Handbell Ensemble. She and Don have adult twin daughters that they are so very proud of and a life that she loves. For the past 19 years, she has worked as a Property Manager for Community Property Management and in her spare time she enjoys bowling, traveling, playing with her cats, and spending time with friends. She is an avid sports fan cheering on the St Louis Blues & Cardinals as well as the Chicago Bears.
Nora Nelson - when Nora heard about this group being formed, she immediately said "Sign me up!" Nora's husband, Tim, was in the bell choir at Holy Trinity Lutheran and at Gethsemane Lutheran. Tim was instrumental (pun intended) in helping Holy Trinity obtain four of the large bass bells. Nora is eager to ring and has many good ideas for jazzing up our performances. She has two children, Eva and Greg. Nora is a founding member of GRHE.
Bret Nicolas - has been singing since she was a little girl starting first at Salem Lutheran Church and School. Bret sang in high school and college for many competitions and performances. She loves music and continues to sing in plays, at church, for special occasions, weddings and funerals. Bret played bells for a year back in 2013 and decided to dust off her bell gloves and join the team as a founding member to ring again. If Bret is not singing or ringing, you can probably find her at a concert. Music!