Jim is the founder and Music Director of Ring Pittsburgh. Jim’s handbell directing and teaching goes back 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. Most recently, he assumed directorship of two established ensembles at St. Richard Parish in Gibsonia. 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.
Cindy has been playing handbells since 2009 since the youngest of her 3 children left for college. She is a pediatric physical therapist and has a Doctor of Physical Therapy degree from Slippery Rock University, Master's from the University of Pittsburgh and Bachelor's from Allegheny College.
Debbie has been ringing handbells for 8 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.
Debbie has over 17 years experience ringing handbells. She has rung in various church bell choirs. In addition to handbells, she plays clarinet in several community groups and churches. She is an officer for the Prader-Willi Syndrome Association of Pennsylvania and advocates and fundraises faithfully for their cause. She and her husband have two adult children.
Yumi is originally from Japan and has been ringing in various handbell groups of the Asia-Pacific area since 1990. She is the current director of the St. Malachy School Handbell Choir.
Sue started ringing handbells in 1972 at Northmont Presbyterian Church. She continued to ring and attend regional festivals after moving to eastern PA. While attending Grove City College she directed performances of the adult and college choirs and did solo ringing. After years of singing in church choirs a chance encounter at the 2015 PEO state convention got her ringing again. She lives in Allison Park with her husband. They have two children and recently became grandparents.
Regina has been playing bells for 25 years. She is the organist, handbell director, and composer for Christ Evangelical Lutheran Church in Beaver Falls, PA. She freelances as an organist and pianist. She is on the board of the Pittsburgh Chapter of the American Guild of Organists, and publishes their newsletter and monthly reservations. She has a Doctorate of Philosophy in structural biology from the University of Pittsburgh and enjoys playing with carnivorous plants.
Caleb is a 17 year old homeschool student from Berlin, PA. He has played handbells in church settings since he was 6 years old. Now a regular attendee of Bay View Week of Handbells and other national and local handbell events he enjoys the challenge of playing advanced music.
In addition to handbells, Caleb studies piano and upon graduation hopes to obtain ARCT diplomas in Piano Pedagogy and Piano Performance from the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto. Caleb is also a composer with two compositions accepted for publication and several under review at other publishers. Outside of music, Caleb enjoys fishing, reading novels, traveling, and watching movies with his cat, Allegro.
Lindsay grew up playing the piano, guitar, and saxophone but was introduced to handbells in 2009 and has been playing ever since. A graduate of Penn State University, she majored in Finance and International Business and minored in French and International Studies. She worked on Capitol Hill for the U.S. House of Representatives and as a contract lobbyist. She currently works part-time at the Pittsburgh Technology Council, but her favorite role is Mom to three small boys each born 14 months apart. She and her husband and sons reside in Wexford.
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. 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. In addition, Mary Rita maintains a piano studio. Mary Rita and Jim reside in Economy Borough. They are blessed with two married children and three 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 Cranberry Township, PA with her husband, Michael.
Lisa Swift 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.