Our Ringers …
Patty Yates, Director
Patty Yates (Strongsville, Ohio) has been ringing handbells since 1999. She is a founding member of Celebration Ringers and serves as Director. However, the group is very much an ensemble with all the members “chiming in” with ideas to make the music the best it can be. She also directs the Celebration Teens Handbell Choir and is a member of Strongsville Methodist Handbell Choir. She directs three youth handbell choirs at St. Joseph and John School and the adult handbell choir at St. Joseph Church. She has a degree in applied music from the University of South Florida and is a Handbell Musicians of America nationally certified Director of Handbells. Her hobbies, when she is not ringing, are her grandchildren, gardening, composing bell music, and traveling to handbell events with her equally enthusiastic husband, Rad.
Wende Bakeman (Strongsville, Ohio) has been ringing handbells with Celebration Ringers since 2007. She began her handbell career with the Strongsville United Methodist Crossroad Ringers in 1993 and continues to ring with them. When not ringing bells, Wende teaches high school in the Mayfield City School District and enjoys golfing and spending time with her family. She lives in Strongsville with her husband, Jon, and has three grown children and five grandchildren and counting.
Linda Beckert (Middleburg Heights, Ohio) has been ringing handbells since 1999. She began playing in her church choir and joined Celebration Ringers in 2004. She presently rings in both choirs and enjoys bringing her music to nursing homes, assisted living establishments - wherever anyone will listen. She played the flute in elementary school which helped in the transition to handbells. As a member of Handbell Musicians of America, Linda has made trips to Michigan, Indiana, Kentucky, West Virginia and Ohio for workshops and bell festivals. She states she will continue playing handbells until she can no longer see the notes. Ringing is her stress release.
Cathy Dewyre (Strongsville, Ohio) has been ringing handbells on and off since 1982 when she joined a church bell choir in college. She joined Celebration Ringers in 2007 as an upper bass bell ringer, but has enjoyed branching out with treble bells and the low floor chimes. Her handbell highlights include ringing at local and national Handbell Musicians of America Area V festivals. When not ringing handbells, Cathy works as a geriatric outreach social worker, helping area seniors remain safe and independent in their homes. She gratefully acknowledges the love and support of her two teenage sons, who still suspect that all bell ringers join some kind of cult when they sign up to ring handbells.
Mary Beth Giblin (Strongsville, Ohio) has been ringing handbells for 11 years. She started at St. Joseph Church and the original Celebration Ringers ensemble. She has become addicted to bell ringing and has traveled to many places to ring including Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, Wisconsin, West Virginia, Virginia, Arizona, Nevada and behind any tree.
Charlotte Ginter (Strongsville, Ohio) began her love of handbells in 1999 when she joined the bell choir at St. Joseph Church. She later became part of the six member ensemble and loved the challenge of ringing multiple bells. Since 2001 she has been passing the joy of ringing to children, first at St. Joseph and John School and later at St. Ambrose School where there are several choirs from 3rd through 8th grades. Charlotte has directed bells since 1999 including an adult beginning choir and loves teaching others but her first love is ringing. She is presently spreading her passion to adults and children at St. Ambrose Church. Charlotte began taking piano lessons at age 9 and later voice and continued through college. She holds a Bachelor of Music from Mary Morse College in Toledo and has taught classroom music as well.
Lorrie Higgins (Brunswick, Ohio) began ringing in 2002 in the three octave handbell choir of St. Joseph Church (she will be forever grateful to Sarah who is to blame for her getting started in handbells.) Lorrie works at PNC Bank and has worked in bank accounting and finance since 1978. She has a bachelor’s degree from John Carroll University and an MBA from Weatherhead School of Management at CWRU. In addition to working and ringing, Lorrie loves to work out and play with her four bird children, Goofy, Peete, Larry, Curly (and there ain’t no Moe).
Tom Higgins (Brunswick, Ohio) has been ringing handbells since 2003, starting with the St Joseph Church three octave handbell choir (to which he was dragged kicking and screaming by his wife, Lorrie.) He has loved ringing ever since and rings in both Celebration choirs. Tom works at KeyBank and has been in commercial banking since 1981. He has a bachelor’s degree from Vanderbilt and a MBA from the University of Cincinnati. When not working or ringing, he enjoys bowling and playing with his four bird children.
Norene McKinney (Medina, Ohio) has been ringing since 1999 and is one of the founding members of Celebration Ringers. She also rings in the St. Joseph Church Choir. She enjoys instructing new handbell choirs in basic techniques and musicality as well as going to festivals in other states and spending time with her “Celebration family.” She has a BA in Accounting and is a financial analyst for an international chemical company. Residing in Medina, she has two grown children and two grandchildren. Her hobbies, other than handbells, include reading mysteries, gardening and traveling.
Barbara McKissock (Middleburg Heights, Ohio) started ringing in 1980 in her church choir in Seattle and has been ringing ever since. She is currently the handbell director at Lakewood Baptist Church. She has Bachelor's and Master's Degrees in Aeronautical and Astronautical Engineering and is an electrical engineer who works on space craft power systems at NASA Glenn. She lives with her husband and daughter in Middleburg Heights, where they expand their horizons by hosting foreign exchange students. She enjoys camping, biking, and traveling as well as singing in her church choir and playing clarinet.
Robbie Pellon (Strongsville, Ohio) has been ringing handbells since 2005. She started ringing at St. Joseph Church as a means to be more involved in the church community and became enamored of handbells as a musical instrument. She joined Celebration in 2007 and continues to ring in both Celebration and the St. Joseph Church choir. A chemist by profession, she currently works as the quality assurance manager for a manufacturing company. When not ringing, she enjoys working jigsaw puzzles, travelling, and watching sports.
Nina Vito-Jones (Strongsville, Ohio) started ringing bells in 2005 at St. Joseph Church in Strongsville, OH. She never played a musical instrument and did not know anything about music. Nina was instantly hooked and became passionate about ringing handbells and worked hard to learn as much as she could. In 2008 she joined the Celebration Ringers and currently rings in the two Celebration choirs and the Strongsville United Methodist Church bell choir. She loves ringing in several different positions and her favorites are those in the battery. She has a grown son and 2 beautiful grandchildren. She resides in Strongsville with her husband and three cats.
Kelly Volckening (Brook Park, Ohio) began ringing handbells in 2005 at St. Joseph Church, and has enjoyed the chance to play all the beautiful seasonal music on the bells. She started ringing with Celebration in 2010 and looks forward to the opportunity to learn more about the handbells. She has a BA in accounting from Baldwin-Wallace College. Her hobbies include bowling and watching sports live and on TV.
Rad Yates (Strongsville, Ohio) began ringing handbells in 1999 at St. Joseph Church in Strongsville. He is a founding member and the Business Manager of Celebration Ringers. Rad has enjoyed ringing in 40+ festivals in 12 states and 3 foreign countries. Rad and Patty recently served for two years as the Handbell Musicians of America Co-chairs for the State of Ohio. Rad rings in the St Jospeh Catholic Church bell choir and the Strongsville United Methodist bell choir as well as schlepping for his wife, Patty, with all her choirs. In his other life, Rad enjoys spending time with his wife, Patty, their four children, their spouses and eighteen grandchildren. Although he doesn’t coach youth soccer any more, Rad says that handbell ringing is a great team sport!