Jim is the founder and Music & Artistic Director of Ring Pittsburgh. Jim’s handbell directing and teaching goes back more than 25 years. He was founding director of handbell programs at St. Bernadette Parish in Monroeville, St. Alexis Parish in Wexford, and St. Teresa of Avila Parish in Ross Township. His ensembles have been honored several times, including performances for the National Pastoral Musicians National Conference and in several Grand Lobby concerts at Heinz Hall. Jim has also served the Handbell Musicians of America Area 2 (PA, NY, NJ) as Area Chair. He has taught classes on ringing, conducting, and effective rehearsal techniques. He has also been honored to conduct mass ringing events at the North Hills Handbell Festival, the Sewickley Area Handbell Festival, and the Zanesville Area Handbell Festival in Zanesville, Ohio, for which he was immediately re-engaged for a second festival. In addition to handbells, Jim enjoys biking, fly-fishing, pickleball, and playing with his wonderful grandchildren.
Yumi is originally from Japan and has been ringing in various handbell groups in the Asia-Pacific area since 1990. She is the current director of the Archangel Gabriel School Handbell Choir and former director of the St. Malachy School Handbell Choir. She dedicates herself to educating future generations and enjoys teaching the art of music and handbells to young children. She resides in the Coraopolis area with her husband, daughter and 17 year old Airedale Terrier.
Lindsay grew up playing multiple instruments but started playing handbells in 2009. She has worked on Capitol Hill for the U.S. House of Representatives and as a contract lobbyist, but her favorite role is Mom to three young boys each born 14 months apart. She and her husband and sons reside in Wexford.
Debbie has been ringing handbells for 10 years, first in her church handbell choir, and now with Ring Pittsburgh. Deb is a registered nurse by trade and does case management for a national insurer. In her spare time, Deb enjoys gardening, fitness walking and spending time with her husband, adult children and grandson.
Kathy has been ringing handbells off and on since 1980. In addition to handbells, Kathy plays clarinet in a variety of musical organizations in the area. Kathy and her husband live in Beaver County and have one son. When she Is not at one of her musical rehearsals, Kathy can be found visiting family, exploring the Pittsburgh area and playing pickleball.
Mary Anne has been ringing handbells since 2003 when she joined her church handbell choir as a beginner. After first hearing a children's handbell choir at her cousin's funeral a few years prior, Mary Anne was fascinated with the instrument and knew she wanted to learn it someday. She grew up in a musical family, learned to play the piano and participated in local performing arts. A Pittsburgh native, Mary Anne and her husband have four children and live in McCandless Township.
Susan Michel's love of handbells began more than 8 years ago at St. Richard Parish in Gibsonia, PA. This rich and fulfilling experience led her to audition for Ring Pittsburgh. She loves the constant challenge of learning a wide array of musical compositions and playing in different parts of the handbell choir. Susan also enjoys crosswords, Pirates baseball and pilates. She resides in Gibsonia with her husband and two sons. Susan is a Business Systems Manager at Bayer in Indianola, PA.
Mary Rita has served the Diocese of Pittsburgh for nearly 30 years both as an organist and as Director of Music Ministries. She is currently Director of Music Ministries at St. Frances Cabrini Parish in Center Township and at Our Lady of Fatima Parish in Hopewell Township. Mary Rita played handbells for 20 years and, along with her husband, Jim, has developed handbell programs at both St. Bernadette and St. Alexis Parishes. She holds a BA in Music Education from West Virginia University, and has continued with graduate studies in organ and liturgical music at Duquesne University. Mary Rita is an active member of The National Association of Pastoral Musicians and Handbell Musicians of America. She has also served on the board for the Pittsburgh Chapter of Choristers Guild. Mary Rita and Jim reside in Economy Borough. They are blessed with two married children and four beautiful grandchildren.
Carol was introduced to the beauty of handbell ringing in 2010. She is a former preschool teacher with a Bachelor's degree in Special Education. She is employed part-time at a local YMCA and enjoys providing day care for her grandchildren. Born and raised in the Pittsburgh area, her home is in Zelienople, PA with her husband Michael.
Lisa picked up her first handbell during the summer of 2005, immediately became hooked and joined a church choir. Her love of music has been a constant in her life since childhood, and she played clarinet for 9 of those years. She holds a Bachelors Degree in Computer Information Systems from Robert Morris University and is currently an Office Administrator for Hardin Compliance Consultants. A born and bred Pittsburgher, she resides in Cranberry Township with her husband and son.
Donis began ringing handbells four years ago with St. Teresa of Avila Parish before joining Ring Pittsburgh in 2018. She is thrilled to be ringing with this talented group of handbell musicians. Donis holds Bachelors Degrees from Wesminster College and the University of Pittsburgh and works as a microbiologist with UPMC. When she’s not spending time with her husband and three adult children and their spouses, Donis enjoys gardening, cooking, biking, and traveling.
Dorsin first picked up handbells in middle school, then joined the University of Pittsburgh's Handbell Ensemble until she graduated from Pitt in 2018. Currently, she works at the Molecular Biosensor and Imaging Center at Carnegie Mellon University as a laboratory technician in neurobiology biochemistry. In addition to her enthusiasm for handbells, she also enjoys playing the piano, reading mystery novels, and going to Zumba and Yoga classes.
Abby was born and raised in Rochester, NY, where she began her love of music playing the trumpet for over 10 years. She first played the handbells with the University of Pittsburgh Handbell Ensemble in 2014 and hasn't stopped since! Having graduated from Pitt in 2018 with her BSE in Computer Engineering, Abby now works as a Software Developer in Canonsburg. She currently resides in Mt. Lebanon with her betta fish, "King Arthur."