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Our Ringers …

Patty Yates, Director





Patty Yates has been ringing handbells since 1999. She is a founding member of Celebration Ringers and serves as Director of the two Celebration groups. 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 St. Noel Handbell Choir. She directs two youth handbell choirs at St. Joseph and John School where she teaches fourth grade. She has a degree in applied music from the University of South Florida and is an AGEHR 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 has been ringing handbells with Celebration Ringers for three years. 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 two grandchildren.

Linda Beckert is a resident of Middleburg Hts. and has been ringing handbells for 11 years. She began playing in her church choir and joined Celebration Ringers in 2004. She presently rings in both Celebration 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 AGEHR, Linda has made trips to Michigan, Indiana, Kentucky, West Virginia and Ohio for workshops and bell festivals. She states she will continue to play handbells until she can no longer see the notes. Ringing is her stress release.

Rita Bodey was introduced to handbells in 2000 when she began attending Strongsville United Methodist Church. She began directing their adult handbell choir in 2002 and has grown to love the bells, adding a youth choir in 2004. She has recently begun ringing with the Celebration Ringers. Rita is a Commercialization Manager with an outdoor power equipment company and lives in Strongsville with her husband, Dale. They enjoy getting together with family, attending grandchildren functions, traveling and riding Dale’s Harley in their spare time.

Cathy Dewyre 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 AGEHR 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 husband, Brian, and their 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 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. She is a computer consultant currently working at Sherwin Williams.

Charlotte Ginter 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 at St. Joseph and John 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.

Richard Ginter has played handbells since the adult bell choirs were formed at St. Joseph Church in Strongsville. He loves ringing the buckets (low bass bells.) Two years later he was one of six ringers in an ensemble whose mission was to bring joy to the residents of nursing homes and senior centers. He liked the challenge of ringing more bells. This ensemble grew and became the Celebration Ringers. Richard served in the U.S. Coast Guard and he even took his accordion with him on the 4 month Northwest Passage Exploration. He retired after 23 years and then retired again after 23 years in the U.S. Postal Service.

Lorrie Higgins of Brunswick began ringing eight years ago 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 for 32 years. 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 of Brunswick has been ringing handbells for seven years 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 for 34 years. He has a bachelor’s degree from Vanderbilt and a MBA from the University of Cincinnati. When not working or ringing, he enjoys bowling in two leagues and playing with his four bird children.

Norene McKinney has been ringing since 1999 and is one of the founding members of Celebration Ringers. She also rings in the newly formed Celebration church choir. She enjoys instructing new handbell choirs in the area in basic techniques and musicality. Norene loves going to festivals in other states and sharing food and spirits with her “Celebration family” whose motto is – We ring for food. She has a BA in Accounting and is a financial analyst for an international chemical company. She is a resident of Medina and has two grown children and two grandchildren. Her hobbies, other than handbells, include reading mysteries and gardening.

Robbie Pellon has been ringing handbells for five years and has been a member of Celebration Ringers for three. She started ringing handbells at St. Joseph Church as a means to be more involved in the church community and became enamored of handbells as a musical instrument and is currently ringing in the two Celebration bell choirs. A chemist by profession, she currently works as the quality assurance manager for a manufacturing company. A native of Louisville, Kentucky, she now lives in Strongsville with her son, Wes, their dog, Pal and rabbit named Blazey.

Nina Vito-Jones started ringing bells in 2005 at St. Joseph Church in Strongsville, OH. She had never played a musical instrument and didn’t even know how to read 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. She works part time as an office manager at a small business and is active in her church’s Prayer Shawl Ministry. She resides in Strongsville, OH with her husband of 37 years and three cats.

Kelly Volckening began ringing handbells in 2005 at St. Joseph Church, and has enjoyed the chance to play all the beautiful seasonal music on the bells. This is her first year with Celebration 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 41 festivals in 12 states and 3 foreign countries. Rad and Patty recently served for two years as the AGEHR Co-chairs for the State of Ohio. In his other life, Rad is a Director of Information Technology for an international manufacturer and distributor of outdoor power equipment and enjoys spending time with his wife, Patty, their four children, their spouses and seventeen grandchildren. Although he doesn’t coach youth soccer any more, Rad says that handbell ringing is a great team sport!