When bells were purchased in 1972 at Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church, Ft. Lauderdale, 11 of us from the choir were selected to form the first handbell choir. None of us knew a thing about bells, so we all learned together, helped along by Don Allured, Dan Hermany, and other clinicians. After 5 years of enjoyable ringing, I decided to return to college (Florida Atlantic University)to complete my music degree as a voice major. In lieu of a senior vocal recital, I wrote a thesis on “The History and Practice of the English Handbell”, and produced a video called “Voices in Bronze”, featuring the handbell choir I both rang in and helped to conduct.
At the time of the taping, Dan Miller filled in for an absentee ringer, and rang a solo. I was astonished – I didn't know handbell ringing was anything but a group sport. My second thought was, "I wonder if I could do that?"
After experimenting alone before bell practice, I discovered my gift - at age 30. Eventually I became a sales representative for Schulmerich™ handbells, and then Malmark, taking the art of handbell ringing to churches and schools through workshops and solo ringing.
Since very little music was available in 1981 for solo handbells, I wrote and choreographed my own arrangements, with the help of outstanding piano composers. My first book, “Songs For The Solo Ringer” was published in 1987 with Hope Publishing Company. Several publishers have now produced over 100 of my arrangements, 3 CDs, 2 cassettes, 4 videos, and 1 DVD.