Bells of the Rockies Members
Ringers in Bells of the Rockies audition for the privilege of ringing with the group. Our artistic director is charged with leading the group musically including repertoire, assignments, and morale. Ringers serve in a variety of volunteer roles as Board Members of the organization and other helpful assignments. Our 2017 roster includes the following ringers:
Kayla Carlisle joined Bells of the Rockies in 2015. Kayla is thrilled to be part of Bells of the Rockies! She has always loved handbells, and is so excited to have the privilege to play with such a talented group of people!
Kayla is a veterinary graduate
from Colorado State University
(Go Rams!) and has begun her
career in small animal general
practice. She currently lives in Firestone with her husband, Clint, and their 2 dogs and 2 cats.
Chris Vickers has been a ringer with Bells of the Rockies since fall, 2000. A music minor with tons of college experience playing saxophone in quartet ensemble, marching band, concert band and jazz band, Bells of the Rockies provides the ultimate in ensemble playing and continues to be a musical outlet and means for challenge and growth. She currently serves on the Bells of the Rockies Board as Personnel Committee Chair.
Chris teaches high school math at Roosevelt High School in Johnstown, Colorado. A Wisconsin native, she enjoys the Colorado climate but still follows her beloved Badgers and Packers. Chris lives in Greeley with her husband Jeff and their cat Sushi.
Michael Kastner is Conductor and Artistic Director for Bells of the Rockies. He founded the group in 1998 and has been directing them for most of that time. Michael began ringing handbells in 1965 and in the ensuing half-century has been involved with bells as ringer, soloist, clinician, conductor, and composer.
Susan Chapman is thrilled to be a part of Bells of the Rockies. She has wanted to be a part of this amazing group for several years, and her schedule finally allowed her the opportunity to participate. Susan has lived in Loveland most of her adult life. She is a retired teacher, having taught 3rd, 4th, and 5th grades and elementary music for many years. She directs two handbell choirs at Mountain View Presbyterian Church
Kathleen Hettinger has been ringing with Bells of the Rockies for 12 years. Bells have been a part of her life for 29 years. She serves the Bells of the Rockies Board as Chair of Logistics (the ‘can we fit in that space’, schlepping and setting up committee).
Kathleen lives on an acreage near Ault with her husband, Tim of 45 years, and a small menagerie of animals. Kathleen
is Office Administrator for Faith United Church of Christ (going on 36 years). When she’s not ringing or directing the
church bell choir, she is making wedding cakes and working with 4-H as a cake decorating judge. She is the mother
of two grown sons with 2 wonderful daughters-in-love, grandmother of 2 boys and 3 girls ranging from 18 to 8
which now includes an Eagle Palm Scout. Keeping up with their activities makes life full!
Lori McCarty has been a member of Bells of the Rockies since the spring of 2009. She started playing in her church bell choir 26 years ago after marveling at a ringer who was playing the entire bass octave by herself. “Well, why don’t you get off the pew and come help me!” was the response and Lori has been hooked ever since. Bells of the Rockies has provided an opportunity to challenge her ringing skills and play a wider variety of music.
Lori is a school nurse in Greeley, Colorado and enjoys gardening, reading, quilting and scrapbooking in her spare time. She has 3 grown children. She and her puppy LuLu live in Greeley.
Marta Neill has been in Bells of the Rockies for 11 years. She loves the teamwork required for many people to play one instrument but also enjoys the challenge of solo and ensemble ringing.
Marta currently serves as Ringer Representative for Bells of the Rockies.
Marta lives in Johnstown, CO, and in her spare time enjoys skiing, reading, singing, and playing the piano, She supports her musical endeavors by working as a pharmacist.
Christina Sutter has always loved the sound of bells. The only thing better than hearing them is playing them, which is why she's been an avid Bells of the Rockies member for over a decade. She oversees gifted education at Severance Middle School and for the Weld RE-4 School District. When she's not ringing or working, she's often spotted at library events with her three children: two creative girls and one little male truck-enthusiast. She also judges high school gymnastics and enjoys a variety of crafts and puzzles in her free time.
Andrew Hudson joined Bells of the Rockies in 2015 but has been ringing handbells since 1991. It just took a little while to get here. Andrew loves ringing with this group, his church choir, and any ensemble he can convince to work together.
Diana Bleignier The first time I heard bells I fell in love with them and knew I wanted to be part of this type of musical group. I love playing in my church bell choir and always look forward to the Sundays playing in worship service.
This is my fourth year I've been part of Bells of the Rockies! Playing with such an energized and musical group of wonderful handbell ringers is so awesome! I also play with my church choir! Besides my love of handbell ringing, I'm a Denver Broncos fan! That is Super Bowl 50 Champions! GO BRONCOS!
I’m a native of Windsor, but now reside in Greeley with my husband, Patches our beautiful
Calico cat, and Skipper, our little Shih Tzu. I have four grown children and four adorable
grandchildren; Logan, Caitlin, Thea, and Evangeline. My husband and I enjoy traveling to
Estes Park most weekends for a relaxing get-away!
Natalie Grapes - Growing up in a handbell-loving family, Natalie has been ringing for as long as she can remember. She also currently plays with the Chancel Handbell Choir at First Presbyterian Church Ft. Collins and is the interim Handbell Director at Our Saviour's Lutheran Church in Fort Collins. During the day, Natalie works as the Office Administrator for Our Saviours Lutheran Church in Fort Collins.
Kathryn Rudd started ringing as a youth. She has been ringing handbells for 21 consecutive years in 1, 2, and 3 handbell choirs at a time, depending on what her schedule allowed. She is happy to return to Bells of the Rockies and has enjoyed the advanced level of musicianship and ringing ability for which this group strices for in each performance. Kathryn enjoys both full choir and small ensemble ringing. She is grateful that her husband, Mike, and her adult children, Amy and Austin, have supported her handbell obsession.
Gavin Lucas is a musician based in Northern Colorado. He studied music at CSU-Pueblo, and currently studies music at Front Range Community College. Besides playing in Bells of the Rockies, Gavin enjoys playing in his church band Leap Of Faith. He is a happy husband to a beautiful wife, and an even happier dad to a crazy 2 year old. In his free time, he enjoys hiking, camping, reading, and studying medieval history.
Mary Branton-Housley Introduced to bells
at the age of 10, Mary feel in love with
not only the musicality of the instrument,
but the thrill of working in a team to create
such beautiful sounds. After playing for
10 years, she moved to Colorado and lost
touch playing in a bell choir. But she came
every season to the Bells of the Rockies concerts.
After 15 years of watching, Mary finally had the chance the audition with BotR. She was thrilled to have the chance to play again, and her two young kids now know that Tuesdays are "bells" night. When Mary isn't being a mom and spouse, she works in higher education on the front range.
in Loveland and accompanies the Westminster Choir. Ringing bells is a passion for her, and she loves ringing with Bells of the Rockies! Susan serves the Bells of the Rockies Board as Engagements Chair. From Susan: I love
the outdoors, especially hiking and playing golf. I am a
huge hockey fan and attend as many Colorado Eagles
games as I can!
Andrew serves Bells of the Rockies as Treasurer. Outside of ringing, Andrew teaches mathematics at Front Range Community College, and enjoys riding his bike, hiking, rock-climbing, and reading. He lives in Ft. Collins with his wife, Dayna, and their two dogs and their toddler son.
Michael is co-founder of STEP, a music publication company, and co-organizer of SEE, the Solo/Ensemble Extravaganza, an internationally-recognized event for handbell musicians. Michael has served in various capacities on the Board of the Handbell Musicians of America.
Michael works as an electrical engineer designing integrated circuits. Michael lives in Broomfield with his wife, Nancy, also an excellent handbell musician, and their two sons, Michael Lee and Nicholas who are budding musicians in their own right. Michael's leadership, musical sense and guidance, and experience in the handbell world are an inspiration to the group.
Kathryn works part time for Poudre school district in the Audiology Department. She directs a children's bell choir at First Presbyterian church in Fort Collins. She has few hobbies outside of ringing and her family, but has recently learned how to knit in which she has a love-hate relationship with so far!
Kathryn serves the Bells of the Rockies Board as President.
Joyce Lathrop is new to Bells of the Rockies, joining in 2017. She first heard bells in a little church in Redmond, Washington in the mid-1980s, played by a soloist and Joyce was hooked. She bought her own three octave set with the goal of allowing small churches that didn’t own bells to start a choir. She loves teaching new ringers and has introduced this instrument to many people over the years. Joyce is a bell soloist and has played in a duo and several small ensembles. Bells of the Rockies is a challenge for Joyce and though she loves the variety of music, the fast tempos are overwhelming at times, but it is all fun.
Joyce lives in Fort Collins, CO with her cat and works for a small accounting firm in Loveland. She enjoys growing flowers, singing, photography and quilting.
2017 Bells of the Rockies