Area 3 Board Members & Appointees

Board of Directors:

Chair-Kyler Brengle (2017)
Chair-Elect- Paul Brill (2019)
Treasurer-Marcia Roberts (2017)
Marilyn B. Converse (2019)
David Engle
Steven Holton (2019)
Sarah Sheffield (2019)
Fran Underwood

Area III State Chairs

DelMarVa Chair-Heather Swartzentruber
Maryland Chair-Beau Lochte
Virginia Chair-Debra LeBrun
North Carolina Chair-Leslie Lewis
Metro Washington Chair-Jerry Hill

Appointed Staff

Secretary to the Board-Barb Scheffter
Bell-O-Gram Editor-Michael Glasgow
CHIME Loan Program-Kath Wissinger
CHIME Grant Program-Brittany Brandt
Community Choir Liaison-Joe Kennedy
Coordinator of Events-Mark Gourley
Education Liaison-Alice Real
Layout Coordinator-Gregg Bogovich
Membership-Laura Blauch & Laura Shelton
Mentor Chair-Ken Bissell
Scholarship Committee Chair-Linda Lamb
Webmaster-Lawrence Stewart

kyler brengle
Kyler Brengle, Chair

Kyler has recently retired from a 32-year career with Carroll County Public Schools (Maryland) working in various positions ranging from high school band director to the district’s Career Development Coordinator. He has played in church handbell choirs since his high school years in Middletown, Maryland and is currently directing Wesley Carillon adult handbell choir at Westminster United Methodist Church. Kyler is also a member of the Westminster Ringers, an auditioned community handbell ensemble based in Westminster, MD. In addition to playing handbells, he enjoys arranging music and photography. EMAIL

paul brill
Paul Brill, Chair-Elect

Paul has been involved in ringing and leading handbells for almost forty years. He grew up in Silver Spring, Maryland and attended the University of Maryland where he received a Bachelor of Science in Music Education in 1982. In 1985, he graduated from the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky with a Master of Church Music. Following seminary, Paul served the First Baptist Church of Montezuma, Georgia until 1990 when he came to Northern Virginia to serve on the staff of Ox Hill Baptist Church. He is still serving at Ox Hill and currently holds the position of Associate Pastor for Music and Worship, a role in which he oversees thirteen ensembles, including five handbell choirs that involve a wide range of ringers from children to senior adults. When not at church, Paul enjoys sports, traveling and walking the family’s chocolate lab, Hank. EMAIL

marcia roberts
Marcia Roberts, Treasurer

Marcia Roberts holds a BS in Business Administration, with a concentration in accounting. She has kept books, prepared payroll and paid/filed taxes for a number of small businesses. She attended tax courses and worked several seasons for H&R Block and Jackson Hewitt.  She was treasurer for a property owner’s association for 3½ years.  Marcia worked for the Fredericksburg Association for the Preservation of Virginia Antiquities (APVA) as assistant to the president. Responsibilities included keeping books, payroll, hiring and managing guides for four historical properties and planning social functions for APVA members.  Since going back to work full-time in 2000 after dedicating her time to raising a family, she has worked for contractors to Naval Surface Weapons Center and Quantico Marine Base as a Budget Analyst and currently as a Facilities Analyst. Marcia played bells in a youth choir in Norfolk, Virginia, where she developed a love for bells above all other music programs in the church. In 2009,at Chancellor Baptist Church, she led the effort to purchase the church’s first three octave set of handbells and she began leading the Bells of Joy.  Under her leadership, the church has since added 3 octaves of chimes and hopes to soon purchase the 4th octave of bells. Marcia has attended Director Seminars in Roanoke and Fredericksburg and her bell choir has participated in local bell festivals and performed for several community events.  EMAIL

marilyn converse
Marilyn B. Converse, Board Member

Marilyn Converse began ringing handbells in her church in Pittsburgh, Pa.  When she moved to Maryland and found there was no handbell choir at the church which her family decided to join, she took the steps necessary to get the church interested in buying handbells and getting a choir started.  She has been directing handbell choirs at this church, Trinity Lutheran in North Bethesda, Md. , since she founded the program in 1985.  Over the years she has had as many as three handbell choirs and has involved over 120 children, youth, and adults in the program.  Marilyn has served as Area 3 District Chair and as Repertoire Chair.  She also attends Area 3 events and the National Seminar annually.  She holds a Bachelors Degree in Psychology and Biology and a graduate degree in Physical Therapy, which she practiced for over 10 years.  In addition to her work in handbells, she is currently working part time as store manager at a private school.  She lives in Rockville, Md. with her husband, Bob.  They have three grown daughters.  Her husband and children have all played handbells in her choirs.  Marilyn also enjoys attending concerts, playing piano, needlework, traveling, and spending time with family and friends. EMAIL

david engle
David Engle, Board Member

David has been involved with music on the other side of the music stand or choral director while participating in high school marching and concert band and church and community choral groups for many years. He began ringing handbells in 2002 and has been directing the hand bell choir at Summit Presbyterian Church in Stafford, Virginia for 7 years. In 2010, David helped organize an informal “Ringers Ringing for Ringers” event in the Fredericksburg/Stafford, VA area. Six choirs participated in that event. In 2011 the event was expanded to a full day festival format and had 12 choirs participating under the direction of Nancy Cappel. He has been the District 6 Coordinator for directors and handbell choirs in north-central Virginia and is the Event Chair for the 2012 Director Seminar. David graduated from Northeast Missouri State University (now Truman State University) and was a U.S. Air Force Officer. He is retired from the Federal Government, and has worked with several private IT firms. He and his wife, Viola, also sing in their church choir. In their spare time they like to travel to view lighthouses and to visit their children and grandchildren in Seattle, Washington. EMAIL

Steven Holton, Board Member

Steven began ringing handbells with his chuch handbell choir in Doraville, GA when he was a middle school student.  After moving to Virginia he joined the church and handbell choir at Westminster Presbyterian Church in Alexandria where he lives. Steven has a B.S. in Electrical Engineering from Georgia Tech, and currently works as a Patent Analyst searching for technical documents related to computer hardware and software.  He is also a member of the Virginia Bronze community handbell choir in Alexandria, VA and serves as the Vice President.  In his spare time, Steven enjoys watching soccer and tennis, traveling, and reading lots of books. EMAIL

sarah sheffield

Sarah Sheffield, Board Member

Sarah first experience with handbells was in 1994. She was in high school and her church – Weddington UMC in Weddington, NC (same church she attends today) – bought a brand new set of bells. Since she was in band, she was on the short list of recruits and eventually convinced to join the group. And thankfully she did as she has not looked back since. Sarah has continued to play bells ever since without taking more than a summer break off from ringing. Sarah currently rings with two community groups in the Charlotte area. She has been with Queen City Ringers (under the direction of Brian Childers) since 2002 and currently serves as President. She joined Charlotte Bronze (under the direction of Tim Waugh) in their first semester in Spring of 2011 as a sub and joined full time that fall. Sarah graduated with a degree in Music Education from Wingate University where her principal instrument was French Horn and her secondary was flute. In order to pay for her handbell habit, Sarah works for an insurance agency as Office Manager / Personal Lines manager. Sarah is married to her wonderful husband, Milton (who is also a ringer with Queen City Ringers). Handbell highlights include: 3 performances at Disney World with the Youth Handbell Ensemble she directed; participation in Distinctly Bronze East since 2002; performing the National Anthem at the Washington Nationals Stadium in summer of 2013; and performing onstage with the Raleigh Ringers as part of Virtuoso in June, 2013. EMAIL

fran underwood
Fran Underwood, Board Member

Fran began ringing in 1988 when her sister invited her to attend a Handbell Musicians of America Area 3 adult festival where she jumped in with both feet and caught the ringing bug. Fran is the Associate Director of Music and Worship Arts at Clarendon United Methodist Church in Arlington, Virginia where she directs children’s, youth, beginning adult, and more advanced adult handbell ensembles and an adult vocal choir. She is also the lead handbell teacher at Wakefield School in The Plains, VA. Fran is a member and current president of Virginia Bronze, an auditioned, community-based handbell ensemble serving the Northern Virginia area. Fran holds a Master’s of Music in Church Music from Shenandoah University. She has attended the Handbell Musicians of America Master Class (conducting) with Dr. William Payn, as well as nearly every Area 3 Adult Festival/Conference since that first time in 1988. Fran lives in Burke, VA with her husband, Richard, and their two children. EMAIL

Fran Underwood: Clarendon UMC, 606 N. Irving St., Arlington, VA 22201, (703) 569-9862

Barb Scheffter, Secretary to the Board

Barbara Scheffter studied at Allegheny College in Meadville, Pennsylvania where she earned the Bachelor of Arts degree in English and the Masters in Education. After marriage and the arrival of children, she realized that singing with the Allegheny College Choir had left more of an impression on her than her college literature studies.  She began to dream of someday directing a choir and in 1986 she started a children’s choir program at New Covenant Presbyterian Church in Aiken, South Carolina.  After moving to Maryland, Barbara started an adult vocal choir at Mt. Airy Presbyterian Church followed by a children’s chime choir at 2001. In 2005 the original children from this group formed a teen handbell choir, and Barb added an adult handbell choir to the church’s musical offerings.  She has directed these groups for 20 years and has used the church’s bells and chimes to teach music to middle and high school students with learning differences at Cornerstone Academy, a private school that meets at Mt. Airy Presbyterian. This fall she begins her second year as an adjunct professor in Music Theory at Frederick Community College in Frederick, MD. In 2009, Barb accomplished another dream, completing a Bachelors degree in Music Education at the University of Maryland Baltimore County (UMBC). She has studied handbell ringing, directing and composition by attending several National Seminars, Area 3 events and Master Classes and has begun the Director Certification Process through Handbell Musicians of America . She enjoys composing for choir and handbells and some compositions have been published by Ball Church Music Publications, LLC. Barb(ie) has been married to her wonderful husband Ken (for real) for 34 years. They have two grown daughters and four grandchildren. EMAIL

Mark Gourley, Coordinator of Events

Mark Gourley is Minister of Music/Organist at West Main Baptist Church in Danville, VA, having been a Church Musician for over 30 years serving churches in NC. He is a graduate of Atlantic Christian College (now Barton College) in Wilson, NC where he earned a BS in Music Education and did extensive graduate study in Sacred Music at East Carolina University. He holds a Level II Orff-Schulwerk Certification. He has directed Children, Youth and Adult Handbell Choirs throughout his Church Music Career. Handbell Choirs under his direction have performed in the White House, the NC State Capitol and the NC Governor’s Mansion. He served on the Area 3 Board from 1989-1999 during which he served two terms as NC State Chair, then Chair-Elect, Chair, and Past Chair. While Chair-Elect, Mark Chaired the Area Festival and the Area Young Ringer’s Festival at the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg. While Past Chair, he chaired the Area Adult Festivals in VA Beach, VA, Towson, MD, and Winston-Salem, NC. Besides his work on Festivals, he has taught numerous classes in a wide variety of topics for Area 3. In the Spring of 2016, he was the Genesis Conductor for the Chesapeake Festival. He has conducted a number of local festivals in NC and VA. Mark was Coordinator of the NC United Methodist Handbell Festival for a number of years. EMAIL

Heather Swartzentruber, DelMarVA Chair

Earning her B.A in Comprehensive Music Education with a concentration in voice, Heather L. Swartzentruber graduated Magna Cum Laude from Delaware State University. Ms. Swartzentruber is a seasoned elementary and middle school teacher, band director and choral director at Holy Cross School in Dover,Delaware.  She teaches PK – 5th grade general music giving two musicals per year, leads the 5th grade beginning band program, as well as several 6th-8th grade bands and choruses.  In addition to her teaching schedule, she facilitates the schools drumline, marching band and school Mass choir as well as preparing students for All State Auditions. Ms. Swartzentruber began the “Crusader Strings” Orchestra ensemble for established string players of Holy Cross during her first year. She served as the chairperson for the 2009 Kent County Junior Honors band. Her passion for excellent music does not stop with her duties at Holy Cross. Ms. Swartzentruber is also directs the well-established, adult English Handbell choir, “The Bells of St. Andrew’s,” from St. Andrew’s Lutheran Church in Dover. With voice as her main area of study in college, Ms. Swartzentruber also shares her heart for choral singing with her community serving as the Artistic Director of The Delaware Youth Chorale, a non-auditioned choral program for elementary and middle school students in Dover and the surrounding areas. Having previously sung for church choirs over the years, she has enjoyed several lead roles in large scale dramatic musical productions in her local area church and is currently active in the Delaware Choral Society and the Kent Chamber Choir. While her students are an extension of her heart, she is blessed to be “Mom” to one grown son, two teenage sons and one teenage daughter. They currently reside in Dover, Delaware with  two Jack Russell Terriers, Melody and Chip. Ms. Swartzentruber also provides private voice and flute lessons from her studio. Her professional memberships include: AGEHR Area III (American Guild of English Handbell Ringers), ACDA (Amercian Choral Directors Association), NAfME (National Association of Music Educators), DMEA (Delaware Music Educators Association), and KCMEA (Kent County Music Educators Association). EMAIL

Beau Lochte, Maryland Chair

Musician, teacher, composer, and conductor with a degree in Music composition from Towson University, Beau Lochte currently directs three handbell programs and teaches over 20 piano students. He arranges original, popular and symphonic music for handbells including Rimsky Korsakov’s Scheherazade and Grieg’s Piano Concerto in A minor. He also performs regularly as a solo ringer and in chamber ensembles. In 2013 Mr. Lochte founded Charm City Bronze Handbell Ensemble (CCB) in Baltimore, MD. This exciting group ranges in age from youth to adult and performed alongside Arsis Youth Handbell Ensemble from Estonia in 2014. CCB has twice participated in the annual Festival of Trees to benefit the Kennedy Krieger Institute in Maryland and has also live-streamed concerts from unique venues in Baltimore such as the historic Bromo Seltzer Tower, the Pagoda in Patterson Park and the Palm House at the HP Rawlings Conservatory. EMAIL

Debra LeBrun
Debra LeBrun, Virginia Chair

Debra LeBrun received her B. Mus. from Syracuse University and her M.M. in Organ Performance from the University of Illinois at  Urbana/Champaign. In October 2010 she became the full-time Director of Music for Raleigh Court United Methodist Church in Roanoke, VA after serving for 24 years as the Minister of Music for the Congregational Church of Littleton, MA. She has been a professional musician for over 30 years, working as a church music director and organist, conductor, accompanist, director for musical theater and opera productions, teacher of piano and organ, and as a handbell clinician. Debra’s love affair with handbells began in college and handbells have played an important role in her life ever since. She is a past member of the New England Ringers and now performs regularly as a handbell soloist. Debra has served on the Handbell Musicians of America Area I Board as Secretary and Chair, as well as being involved in organizing and teaching at many handbell events throughout New England and in Virginia. She has attended five International Handbell Symposiums and was selected to be in the All-Star Choir representing the United States at the 2012 International Symposium in Liverpool, England. EMAIL

Leslie Lewis, North Carolina Chair

Leslie has been ringing handbells since 1979 when she was introduced to them at the Montreat Worship and Music Conference. In 1988 she branched out into solo and ensemble ringing and began directing the children’s and beginning adult bell choirs at First Presbyterian Church of Gastonia, NC in the early 1990’s.  Due to changes in the music program Leslie is no longer directing, but she is ringing whenever possible. Leslie has been ringing in the bass section for Distinctly Bronze East since the event began in 1999 and participated in the Distinctly Bronze European Tour in 2007. She has been treasurer for the Mid-Carolinas Handbell Festival committee since 1998 and has been responsible for table layout since the festival began. Leslie is currently ringing with Queen City Ringers and participated in the All Star Choir at the National Seminar in 2014 and Pinnacle in 2015. After graduating from NC State with a degree in computer science, Leslie worked for IBM and First Union National Bank for a combined 15 years before turning a part-time role preparing income taxes into a career.  Leslie is currently President of Unified Income Taxes and Accounting, Inc in Gastonia , NC where she prepares all types of tax returns and represents clients during IRS tax audits and appeals. In 2009, Leslie added the role of Director of Commission Accounting for a growing Charlotte, NC based Brokerage Firm with branches in seventeen states. EMAIL

jerry hill
Jerry Hill, Metro Washington Chair

Jerry Hill is the handbell director at First Baptist Church Alexandria, Virginia where he oversees the handbell ministry and directs the Adoration Ringers and children handbell choirs.  He is also the music director at Christ Episcopal School in Rockville, Maryland where he directs four hand chimes choirs.  Jerry earned his master’s degree from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky.  He has taught in both private and public schools for over 25 years as well as served on several church staffs.  In 2009 Jerry represented the National Association for Music Education on a cultural exchange program to China.  His choirs have performed on national television, regional conferences and recently performed at the National Cathedral. He is a former Area 3 District Chair for Northern Virginia. EMAIL

michael glasgow
Michael Glasgow, Bell-O-Gram Editor

Michael J. Glasgow is originally from Michigan. He holds B.A. degrees in music theory/composition, and in journalism; as well as a Master of Church Music degree from Concordia University Wisconsin as the program’s first double-emphasis student, in both choral and handbell music. In addition to many professional affiliations and his full-time position as the Minister of Music at North Raleigh UMC (Raleigh, NC), Michael serves as Bass Section Leader for the North Carolina Master Chorale, the Choral Conductor for the Tar River Orchestra & Chorus, and the Music Director for the Oakwood Waits. He is a dynamic, energizing conductor who connects well with people and music, and as such is sought after for conducting engagements throughout the country. As a composer, Michael keeps busy with commissions and his own projects, and he strives to creatively advance the art of handbell ringing. He was awarded a first prize in the 2006 Soundprint Productions Composition Contest for his original jazz handbell piece, Celerity; as well as first prize in the 2007 Bells of the Sound “Three Ring Circus” Composition Contest for Bumping Noses. His most recent contest win is for Welcome the King, an SATB carol accompanied by solo viola, created for the 2009 VocalEssence “Welcome Christmas” composition contest. Michael is proud to be an integral part in the development of new handbell events, having conducted the first three annual Anthornis events for advanced ringers in Minneapolis in 2008 – 2010. He also serves as the Editor for the Handbell Musicians of America Area 3 newsletter, The Bell-O-Gram, and is a member of ASCAP, Mensa, and the American Composers Forum. Additional information and samples of Michael’s work may be found at EMAIL

Michael Glasgow: 919-845-0303

Kath Wissinger
Kath Wissinger, CHIME Loan Program Coordinator

Director, clinician, teacher, composer, ringer – Kath Wissinger loves all aspects of handbell ringing. This is her third term on the Area 3 Board – the first 2 as Secretary. She directs the teen ensemble “Spectrum” at Massanutten Presbyterian Church in Penn Laird, Va., and teaches 2 music classes (using bells and chimes) for 4th-8th grades as well as K-3 music at Redeemer Classical School in Harrisonburg, Va. She has taught and directed at local, regional, area and national events – for all Levels and ages. Kath has over 50 pieces in print – including a wide variety of ensembles and full choir pieces, some for double choirs, some with instruments, and a few original hymns accompanied by bells. She enjoys writing commissions for special occasions and pedagogical pieces that teach specific skills while still being musical. A former National Park Service Ranger, commissioned handweaver and Elder Hostel teacher, Kath currently teaches piano in her home studio in the Shenandoah Valley. Her website is: EMAIL

Kathleen L. Wissinger: 1050 Cemetery Rd., McGaheysville, VA 22840, 540-289-6973

Brittany Brandt, CHIME Grant Program Coordinator

Mrs. Brittany Brandt is the Lower School Music teacher and Middle School Choir and Handbells director at Browne Academy. She has been working at Browne since 2013 when she started as the music and drama specialist for summer camp. Mrs. Brandt is a graduate of West Chester University of Pennsylvania for Music Education. Previously, Mrs. Brandt taught music in Prince George’s County Maryland. Prior to her teaching tenure in Maryland Mrs. Brandt lived in Geneva, Switzerland as an aupair and English language teacher. This experience allowed her to cultivate her love of travelling, experiencing new cultures and languages. Mrs. Brandt plays French horn as well as the bass, mandolin, ukulele, piano and/or vocals with The Table Church Band in DC. She also plays in a band with her husband. She has been directing the handbell groups at Browne since 2015 and hopes to continue the tradition of bell ringing excellence that has been a long standard of the program. She lives in Springfield, VA with her husband and pet parrot. EMAIL

Joe Kennedy, Community Choir Liaison

Joseph Kennedy has served as a Minister of Music and Organist at several Roanoke churches since 1979. Mr. Kennedy has a degree in Organ Performance, and extensive training in choral and instrumental conducting, from the University of Cincinnati. In addition to performing in recitals, Mr. Kennedy has taught private organ students, and is a church music and sales consultant for the Allen Organ Company. He is also active in various professional musical organizations, including The American Guild of Organists and The Handbell Musicians of America. In 2007 he formed the Mill Mountain Ringers, an advanced community handbell group. His wife is also an organist and they have 2 children – all handbell ringers! EMAIL

alice real
Alice Real, Education Liaison

Alice Real is a general music specialist at Crestwood Elementary in Springfield, Virginia, where she directs an upper elementary handchime ensemble, co-directs a fifth and sixth grade chorus, and teaches preschool through 6th grade music classes.  In addition, Alice directs handbells at St. Mark’s Lutheran Church in Springfield and performs with Virginia Bronze, an auditioned community handbell ensemble based in Alexandria. EMAIL

gregg bogovich
Gregg Bogovich, Layout Coordinator

Gregg designs all of the floor plans for Area 3 festivals. He has been listening to handbells since 1996, and has been the unofficial roadie and videographer for his sister Lynn’s various handbell groups, including Anacrusis and the Community United Methodist Church in Crofton, MD. EMAIL

laura blauch
Laura Blauch, Membership

Laura Blauch started playing handbells in 1978, in her hometown of Emmaus, PA. Laura continued to ring after moving to Maryland, and in 2002, she was asked to form and direct a new handbell choir, as her church had received a memorial gift to purchase a new set of handbells. Laura began attending workshops and festivals, and quickly discovered that she loves directing as much as ringing! Laura moved to NC in 2006, and currently directs the Chancel Bells and sings in various choirs at Davidson United Methodist Church in Davidson, NC. Laura has a B.A. in Sacred Music (voice) from Lebanon Valley College and a Masters of General Administration from University of Maryland University College. She is a Senior Financial Analyst with HP. Laura is married to Dave, a Professor of Chemistry at Davidson College and bass ringer in Laura’s bell choir, has 2 wonderful children, Tim and Katie, 4 cats, and in her spare time, loves to play tennis. EMAIL

laura shelton
Laura Shelton, Membership

Laura H. Shelton is the Handbell Ministry Coordinator at Floris United Methodist Church. Laura is a native of Northern Virginia and grew up in various United Methodist Churches in NOVA as a minister’s daughter. She has a BA in Social Science with a concentration in Elementary Education from Virginia Wesleyan College. Laura is married, has one son, and enjoys living in Sterling, Va. with her family.  Laura loves helping people of all ages learn the universal language of music. EMAIL

linda lamb
Linda Lamb, Scholarship Committee Chair

Linda Lamb has been involved with handbells since 1992, as director, composer, and sometime ringer. She is the handbell director at Lexington Park Baptist Church, Lexington Park, Maryland, where she directs one adult choir, one youth quartet, and one youth choir. She is also a founding member of the Pax River Ringers, a community group in Southern Maryland, and the founder and list owner of the Frustrated Friends of Finale (FFFinale), an internet mailing list for handbell composers and arrangers who use the Finale music program. As a composer and arranger, she has numerous handbell titles in print. She graduated from Carson-Newman College in Jefferson City, Tennessee, with a B. A. in sociology, and from Concordia University in Wisconsin with a Master of Church Music (emphasis in handbells). She and her husband Ken are the proud parents of two grown children and two grandchildren. EMAIL

lawrence stewart
Lawrence Stewart, Webmaster

Lawrence maintains the Area 3 Web site and is always looking for suggestions to improve or enhance the site’s role in helping Area 3 achieve its mission. He not only enjoys visual design, he also enjoys the musical arts, singing and playing handbells, preferably below C5. 😉 EMAIL