Musicians

ring sarasota season 14

I like that Ring Sarasota produces shows rather than concerts. We perform pieces that are familiar to the listener – pop, country, secular, non-secular, swing – you name it. We target our shows to those people who might not otherwise consider attending a handbell performance. One never knows what one might hear and see at our shows.

Sara Lindgren

Rick Holdsworth – Principal Conductor

Rick Holdsworth has dedicated his careers to sharing music with the public, as a vocalist, instrumentalist, director, arranger, and music educator. His love of music began at an early age, and grew as a member of his high school marching band. After graduation, he began his first professional music career in the U.S. Navy. During his 30 years of service, Rick performed in, managed and directed Navy bands around the world. After retiring as a master chief, he began his second career in music ministry. For more than 20 years now, Rick has been leading an extensive music ministry, including vocal and handbell choirs of all ages and skill levels, as the Director of Music at Pine Shores Presbyterian Church in Sarasota, Florida.

A recognized expert in all facets of handbell music and operations, Rick has been an enthusiastic member of the handbell music community for nearly four decades. In 2009, Rick founded Ring Sarasota – an advanced handbell community ensemble – and continues to lead the organization as principal conductor. He has been an invited guest conductor and clinician at handbell conferences and festivals throughout the southeast, and has published handbell arrangements and orchestrations with five different music publishers to-date. His first handbell arrangement, a complete transcription of “Jupiter” from The Planets, was published by From the Top Music and selected for performance at Distinctly Bronze East 2015 – an event he has participated in for a decade.

Rick is an active member of the American Guild of Organists Sarasota-Manatee Chapter, the Handbell Musicians of America, the Presbyterian Association of Musicians, and the Fellowship of Methodist Musicians. When not creating handbell music, he works behind-the-scenes as the Florida Handbell Doctor repairing, adjusting, refurbishing, and cleaning handbell sets for organizations throughout the southeast.

Rick is married to Cher, and they have three grown children and five grandchildren. In his spare time, he can be found tinkering with his Lionel O-Gauge model train layout.

terri chapman

Terri Chapman – Associate Conductor

Although her degree from Penn State University reads “Architectural Engineering,” Terri discovered her love of church music back in the 90s when, as a young mother of three, she was asked to direct the Children’s Choir “because you play the piano, right?” Saying yes to that request morphed into directing, at one point, seven handbell choirs and four vocal choirs. Many years later, Terri and her husband Doug moved from New England to paradise, which eventually brought her to her current position as Director of Music at Bee Ridge Presbyterian Church in Sarasota.

Terri also teaches piano and volunteers her time teaching chimes to students at a charter school in Bradenton, FL.  A member of the Ring Sarasota Board of Directors and Audience Experience Team, Terri also serves as Ring Sarasota’s Associate Conductor.

Larry

Lawrence Bauer

The son of Wesleyan Methodist missionaries, Larry grew up in the Republic of South Africa where he began piano lessons at the age of 9.  Many years later, in 1980, he was introduced to the art of handbell ringing when his church purchased a 2-octave set of Malmark Handbells, and he was instantly hooked!  Since then he has been a member of the 6+ octave Heidelberg Concert Handbells Choir [performing once at the White House] for 30 years, produced and directed 18 annual spring handbell festivals, and lead the Holy Trinity-Salem Lutheran Handbell Choir in Bethlehem Pennsylvania for over 20 years. Recently becoming a Sarasota resident, he is a Respiratory Therapist holding a Master’s Degree in Health Services Administration.

Katy Ellis

Katy began ringing handbells in 2013 after being called in to substitute in her church’s handbell choir. After two rehearsals, she was hooked on the instrument and joined full time. Since then, she has been an active choir member, helped co-found a small handbell ensemble, and has attended festivals and workshops throughout the state of Florida. Katy also has experience playing piano, tenor saxophone, and marimba. She is excited to be ringing with Ring Sarasota.

Debbie Freeland

Debbie started ringing handbells in high school in her hometown of Baltimore, Maryland and returned to ringing after earning her BA in Chemistry from University of MD. She continued ringing in several handbell choirs across three different states during the course of her 30-year career in Supply Chain Management for a large consumer products company. Upon retiring and moving to Port Charlotte, Florida in 2020, she joined Community Presbyterian Church of Englewood’s handbell choir. Relatively new to retirement and Florida, she and her husband enjoy travel, boating, fitness walking, and pickle ball. She is very excited to be joining Ring Sarasota.

Kathryn Gerken

Founding member of Emerald City Ringers in Seattle, WA. Kathryn has played a variety of brass instruments throughout her school years and into adulthood. She was introduced to handbells in 8th grade for a Sound of Music play and began ringing consistently in 1992 at her church as an adult. Most recently, she rung in London with the UK Bronze before moving to Englewood, Florida and joining Ring Sarasota in the fall of 2021. In 2023, Kathryn began directing and ringing at Lakeside Lutheran Church in Venice, FL. and is an independent contractor and operate Gerken Getaways Travel during the week. Her husband, and fellow ringer, Tim, have two adult sons who live in the greater Seattle area.

Tim Gerken

Tim started ringing handbells in the early 2000s when he and his wife, Kathryn, started a handbell choir in their church in Des Moines, Washington. After ringing a few years there, he helped found Emerald City Ringers in Seattle. In 2018, work took Tim to London, England, where he thought it would be easy to find a handbell choir (they are called “teams” there), but that was not the case. Having brought three octaves of bells to London, Tim and Kathryn once again started a very-beginner choir at the American International Church. While in the UK, Tim enjoyed ringing in UK Bronze and Southeast Regional Bell Orchestra (SERBO). Tim relocated from London to Englewood, Florida in May 2021 and has been ringing with Ring Sarasota since that time. Once again, Tim and Kathryn have started another handbell choir at Lakeside Lutheran Church in South Venice. Tim had a 33+ year career with Microsoft and has been retired since October 2022. Tim is presently a high-handicap golfer and aspiring Pickleball player.

Kathryn Hamill

Kathryn started ringing handbells at Epiphany Cathedral in 2014 where she also began studying music theory. She has been a member of the Pine View Band since 2017 playing bass clarinet. Kathryn continues to study and learn music outside of school and is excited to join Ring Sarasota for the countless music opportunities it presents, along with the musical arrangements she gets to play.

Kathie Hayes

Kathie Hayes*

Kathie’s careers range between pharmacy, corporate taxation, retail store ownership, and motherhood. She currently works in fiber arts. Kathie has been ringing handbells in ensembles and as bell tree solos since 1994. She has performed with Distinctly Bronze, at the International Symposium, and at HMA National Seminar. She is currently the co-host of “Walking on With Chris Hayes”, a podcast where she and her son share reactions to the Miami Hurricanes football team. Here’s a link to an article about Kathie in the Observer newspaper.

paige hunt

Paige Hunt

Paige started ringing handbells at her church in Connecticut during middle school and has been playing ever since! In high school, she rang under the direction of Terri Chapman, who many years later would introduce Paige to Ring Sarasota. She continued ringing in college, took a short break while completing her Masters at USF, then joined Capitol Bells in Tallahassee. Now back in Tampa, Paige lives with her husband and dog while working at USF. She is thrilled to be a member of Ring Sarasota, and as a bonus, it’s the first time she and her mother (Valerie Phillips) have been in a handbell choir together!

steve leadbetter

Steven Leadbetter

Steve served two terms as Ring Sarasota Board President and is a past board member of Handbell Musicians of America (HMA) Area 4. He was selected for several HMA All-Star Choirs and Raleigh Ringers’ Virtuoso, while also ringing in various national advanced handbell events. Steve has taught handbell technique classes at various handbell festivals and workshops. Prior to relocating to Florida, Steve was a founding member (2002) of the Atlanta Concert Ringers. Steve is a retired senior mathematical statistician from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

sara

Sara Lindgren

Sara relocated to Palmetto in 2019 from Greendale, Wisconsin where she rang handbells with Bel Campana at Greendale Community Church for 20 years. She began ringing handbells when a fellow church member mentioned there was an opening on the choir and asked if the piano lesson dropout could read music. It proved to be a good fit as Sara envisions a handbell ensemble as being one large instrument with each ringer being an essential piece of that instrument. Highlights of her ringing “career” include two trips to Germany to perform in a series of concerts. This retired attorney is happy to be a Cheesehead in Paradise.

valerie phillips

Valerie Phillips

Valerie began her ringing career recording a Christmas CD with a Connecticut choir – as a newbie/sub. After her nerves settled, she was hooked on handbells. Originally from PA, Valerie raised her family in CT and enjoyed a 30-year career as a drug scientist for Pfizer. Then she fulfilled a dream and became a bedside nurse. A move from CT to FL to care for her parents landed her two hours away from her elder daughter, Paige. Now they meet halfway each week to ring for Ring Sarasota. Valerie also gathers a few faithful ringers at Gateway Trinity Lutheran Church (Fort Myers) for handbell ensembles. She and her hubby are retired – enjoying theater and road trips.

robin reich

Robin Reich

Robin is enjoying retirement in Sarasota after working as a procurement analyst for a NC-based software company for many years. She has been playing handbells for over 50 years and relishes the challenge of ringing with Ring Sarasota. In her “spare” time, she sings in her church choir, volunteers as treasurer for three organizations and travels to North Carolina to spend time with her friends and family there, especially her grandson.

suzi

Suzi Regulski

Suzi is retired from a career in insurance/employee benefits. She started piano lessons at seven, played piano in church, and started ringing handbells in 1995. Suzi attended the 2022 International Handbell Symposium in Nashville and participated in Florida Bronze Under the Sun ringing weekends. She is enjoying her community volunteer activities and is currently serving as Board President and Wardrobe Mistress of Ring Sarasota. 

carolyn

Carolyn Schmidt

Carolyn began her music career at age four, when her parents realized that she could play all of her nursery rhyme tunes on the family piano. Lessons followed. She became the school chorus accompanist at 14. She’s received a B.A. degree from Ithaca College in behavioral psychology with a music minor, playing bass clarinet. Carolyn currently rings in three handbell ensembles, plays piano and keyboard for a big band, a pipe and drum band, a church choir, and the Bay Chorale in Bradenton. It’s no wonder her car says “It’s OK, I’m with the band!”

Jane Schroeder

Jane Schroeder

Jane has been a Ft. Myers area resident since 2014. But she still thinks of herself as a “Buckeye,” having lived all her life in Ohio prior to retirement. A graduate of Bowling State University, Bowling Green, OH with a degree in Music Education and a masters in Music Ed. from Wright State University, Dayton, OH, Jane spent 30 years in the Dayton area teaching middle school vocal music and serving as a church organist in several Lutheran churches. Her introduction to handbells began as a church choir member, then local community college. Finally, as a director of an 8th grade bell choir she started at the middle school where she taught. In Florida, Jane has subbed in handbell choirs at various Ft. Myers churches. For the past eight years she rang with the Southwest Florida Handbell Ensemble, in Cape Coral, under the direction of Michael Helman. She is pleased and excited to be a part of Ring Sarasota!

chris shepphard

Chris Sheppard

Chris began ringing handbells after college but was involved in music from an early age, singing in church choirs, community choirs, school choirs, and the Texas Lutheran College Concert Choir.  A trumpet player too, that can make for a busy Easter morning service singing, ringing, and trumpeting.   He has played handbells, mostly bass buckets, for over 30 years, directed children’s handbell and choir-chime choirs, and briefly an adult bell choir.  (I’d rather PLAY, he says.) With a BA in Visual Arts from Texas Lutheran, Chris works as an architectural illustrator and part-time bicycle mechanic.  He currently sings in his church choir, plays trumpet in a community band, does photography, and is an avid cyclist.

Kari shepphard

Kari Sheppard

Kari was introduced to handbells while in grade school – but began ringing in earnest after college. While she has rung in most positions, she is at home swinging the buckets of the low bass. For Kari, ringing is a family affair. She has rung with her mother, brothers, sister-in-law, husband and all three of her children. Kari works for Apple and is an avid photographer in her spare time.

rebecca

Rebecca St. Pierre

Rebecca’s lifelong love of percussion started when, as the youngest child, she realized that thumping things instead of older siblings was both a safer and more satisfying alternative.  She grew up tapping, striking, ringing, and hitting and went on to obtain several degrees in percussion performance and music education. She has enjoyed playing with a variety of chamber ensembles, orchestras, and bands. Rebecca started playing handbells in high school and after some time away, has been actively ringing for the past 13 years.   In the real world, Rebecca is a wife and mother of two sons and has been a residential Realtor for more than 30 years.

Libby

Libby Tyner Bispham* 

Libby, starting piano lessons at eight and handbells four years later, has been playing and ringing ever since.  She has loved to play alongside both her mother and her husband, Jack.  Now, she continues to ring under Rick Holdsworth’s direction at Pine Shores.  An Army brat, Libby’s love of travel began early and she continues to travel often with her husband and black lab.  They also can be found enjoying everything in and on the ocean, hiking, and camping.  With degrees in biomedical engineering and oceanography, she works as a research engineer and program manager in space and ocean systems.  After a brief sabbatical, she is delighted to be back with Ring Sarasota this year.

We’re thankful for our alumni who have helped us get to where we are today!

Sharon Beebe 2011-2012
Susan Davis 2018-2019
Marcia Haynes 2011-2016
Jeanne Jessup 2014-2018
Caryn Johnson 2015-2016
Kim Johnson 2012-2020
Phyllis O’Keef 2015-2020
Nils Sheppard 2018-2020
Lita Tyler 2013-2016
Kyle Miller Wallace 2011-2020
Jennifer Weinstein 2018-2019
Cathy Winkler 2011-2012

Jodi Anderson * 2010 – 2015
Christy Blue * 2010 – 2018
Valerie Bush * 2010 – 2016
Dori Copeland * 2010 – 2013
Janet Cook Ross * 2010 – 2016
Alan Corey * 2010 – 2011
Thomas Mueller * 2010 – 2014
Julie Odenweller * 2010 – 2013
Sondra Thompson * 2010 – 2011

*Denotes Founding Member