Ellie Hodder, Artistic Director, holds a Bachelor of Music Degree from Crane School of Music, an advanced teaching certificate from New York State and Master of Fine Arts Degree with a concentration in composition from Southern Illinois University, Carbondale. She has served as Director of Handbells at First Unitarian Church, Portland, Oregon since 2002. Ellie is founder of the Pacific NW Handbell Directors Forum and the Pacific NW Youth Handbell Festival. She currently serves as the Handbell Musicians of America Membership Coordinator for the Western United States (Areas 9, 10, 11 and 12).
Dan Anajovich started ringing handbells in 2010 to bring more music into his life. In particular, he was looking for a place where the whole truly is greater than the sum of the parts. Since torturing his family with violin lessons as a youngun, Dan hadn’t played an instrument since starting with Chalice bells in 2010 (unless you count the instruments from the Rock Band video game). Dan is married with 3 fabulous daughters.
Patty Boyd, has been a lifelong musician though her professional hat is as a physical therapist working with profoundly challenged children in school settings. After ringing her first handbell in 2010, Patty was hooked. She’s been the “Incredibly Talented” Chime Assistant for the youth chime choir at First Unitarian Church for several years.
Joann Dixon began ringing handbells in Portland in 1994, where she learned to love the instrument. Returning to the Portland area in 2007, she began ringing again, and plays with the Handbell Choir at the Sunnyside Adventist Church in Southeast Portland. She also plays in a Handbell Quartet and Duet, is a longtime member of the church’s Music Committee, plays percussion in the Sunnyside Symphony Orchestra, Brass Choir, and other groups at the church that may need percussionists.
Anne Gire (aka “Arnold”) joined PR this season to improve her musical ability through the ringing style of a community choir. Her interests and goals are to understand music theory, have fun performing and bonding with other musicians, and bring creativity into sharing and making music.
Kelly Griffith grew up playing handbells in the suburbs of Atlanta, GA. After moving to Portland, she was delighted to find a community choir where she can learn more about handbells, techniques, and the unique people who call handbells their passion. Joining Pacific Ringers this season, Kelli is challenging herself with new ringing positions from the large low bass bells to the tenacious tiny trebles.
Emily Jo Jensen Music has been a part of my life for as long as I can remember. Piano lessons led to participating in ensembles. After raising three musical children I pursued my music degree. My husband John and I ring handbells at First Presbyterian Church. When opportunity to initiate tone chime choirs in senior residential facilities led me to being the “newbie” of Pacific Ringers experiencing the challenges of an adult learner!
Betty Harter joined Pacific Ringers in January 2013. She is relatively new to handbells, although she has been around music all her life. In addition to handbells, Betty sings, plays saxophone, piano and recorder. She is currently learning how to play the ukulele.
Debra Mikkelsen joined Pacific Ringers in January 2012. She started playing handbells at First Unitarian Church, Portland, Oregon in 2002. Her first experience was with the church’s two youth choirs. In 2005, First Church started Chalice Bells, a beginning adult handbell choir. Deb moved up to ring with the big kids and she has been playing with them ever since.
Ann Pomazal began playing handbells in 2007 and joined Pacific Ringers in 2010, when the ensemble featured five musicians. As our ensemble has grown, so has Ann’s handbell musicianship and love of the instrument. She is a member of two handbell choirs. Ann serves as Oregon State Chair for Area 10 of Handbell Musicians of America.
Sharon Ross joined Pacific Ringers in 2014. A lifelong musician playing oboe with the Beaverton Symphony and jazz saxophone occasionally, she was first introduced to bells in the mid 80’s at St Matthew Lutheran Church in Beaverton. She currently plays with a fabulous group at Westminster Presbyterian Church in Portland. Bells occupy a special place in her heart with the close relations it kindles and the special camaraderie it takes for 13 people to play one instrument. Music is fun, best shared, and a hoot when making the bells sing
Nathan Sanders has been fascinated by handbells since childhood. As an adult, he studied carillon (really big bells). One Saturday while practicing organ, the sweet sounds of a handbell choir came to his ears over the drone of vacuuming and he knew he had heard the bells of his dreams. Nate now rings as often as he can, and he has been known to take bells that others considered to be “theirs”. Nate is organist at First Baptist Church, a retired attorney, and proud dad of two adult children.
Wingy joined the Pacific Ringers for the spring 2013 concert. Wingy appeared one day with a copy of Overtones in his claws, and decided to stay after hearing a hauntingly familiar melody. Wingy takes dynamics very seriously and also helps keep the group free from pests.
Alumni: Karen Bartley, Sarah Bouwkamp, Melinda Chandos, Kate Coates, Chris Farlow, Ellen Good, Marisa Johnson, Nancy Johnson, Susan Johnson, Pat Klum, Barb Lary, Marisa Johnson, Letty Phillips, Allison Titus