Debbie draws on her vast experience as a professional singer, choral conductor and passion for teaching to encourage standards for the handbell and handchime instrument to be musical and worshipful. She maintains a demanding travel schedule of national, international and denominational events as clinician, adjudicator and conductor. For the past three years she has been a visiting professor at Concordia University College of Alberta, Edmonton Canada. She has been co-conductor for Concordia's Community Chorus, presented workshops and training for schools, church musicians and music educators and adjudicated handbell teams and singers.
In 1983 she founded the handbell ministries of Becks Baptist Church in Winston-Salem, NC where her ensembles ring on the largest sets of handbells and handchimes that are commercially available. These groups have rung from nursing homes, prisons, churches and hospitals to performances at international events. With the Handbell Musicians of America, she has held elected offices on the National Board as Area 3 Chair (1997-99), National Secretary (1999-2003), and the National Presidential cycle (2003-2008). Since 2008, Debbie has served as Executive Director for the International Handbell Committee.
2014 Breakout Sessions
Becoming Team Players though Critical Listening
Critical listening represents an area of essential skills that directors and ringers navigate together in order to become a stronger team. Attendees will participate as ringers exploring how to: create the best group sound, execute dynamics, highlight melodies and shape musical phrases.
Bells Outside the Box
Bells Outside the Box shares creative ways to use your bells in conjunction with magazines, empty paper towel rolls…seriously? (or conduit pipe!), plastic cups, low bass mallets and boom whackers to Praise the Lord. Warning: this could be laughter filled and fun, but requires sitting
on the floor at times. Highly recommended for all ages…. the young and the young at heart.
Handbells as The Sound of Music:
Let's Start at the Very Beginning
Handbells continue to evolve as an instrument of worship. While this session will “start at the very beginning,” up to date tips and tools for techniques and healthy ringing will be shared with an emphasis on stopped sounds.
Moving From Score Study to Making Music Worship
Go behind the scenes to observe a strategy that begins with score study and ends with the ringers’ ability to make music that becomes worship. The added benefit of this planning style also results in efficient use of rehearsal time. Participants will experience this process using a selection of Level 2 music.
Read and Ring: Handbell Repertoire for the Church Year
This reading session will showcase music representing all seasons of the church with attention to a variety of techniques and optional use of handchimes. Selections will also target various options ranging from solo instruments to praise band, choir and Powerpoint.