Bringing the Art of English Handbell Ringing to Southern California

Board Members

  • Artistic Director +

    Artistic Director Joe Rodriguez has been our Artistic Director since the founding of SDHR in 1999. He is also Director of Music and Organist at Faith Presbyterian Church near San Diego State University.
  • President +

    President Kathryn Kinslow became president of SDHR in 2017. She has been a member of the group for many years and has a keen business sense that keeps everything running smoothly for our 501(c)(3) non-profit status.
  • Secretary-Treasurer +

    Secretary-Treasurer Debbie Mason is one of the founding members of SDHR and currently serving as Secretary-Treasurer. In addition to taking and disseminating meeting minutes, she also maintains our records, budget, and reports, and handles donations, expenses, and related financial matters.
  • Events Coordinator +

    Events Coordinator Jenn Korngiebel has been with SDHR for almost as long as the group has been around. She has arguably the busiest board member job as the events coordinator. In addition to actively pursing performance opportunities and responding to inquiries for performances, she coordinates member availability to participate and manages logistics for every one of our performances.
  • Member at Large +

    Alan Blake is our current member-at-large. His duty is to keep SDHR informed on happenings in the community, attend annual meetings, and assist us as he is able.
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San Diego Harmony Ringers

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Formed in September 1999, San Diego Harmony Ringers is an advanced, auditioned community handbell group located in San Diego, California.  From a variety of backgrounds and experience, we join together in harmony to ring with passion, beauty of expression, and a joy in sharing our music with our listeners.  Our vision is to bring the art and enjoyment of handbell music to our community through excellence in performance and musicianship.

Our handbell ensemble performs a wide range of sacred and secular music rated at AGEHR Levels 4-6 on five octaves of Schulmerich handbells, and five octaves of Malmark choirchimes.  For a more detailed and comprehensive list of our instruments please visit About Us -> Equipment in the menu above.

Over the years we have enjoyed performing in a wide variety of events and venues to include the Huntington Library, San Diego Zoo, Downtown Disney, and on television programs including Fox 5 San Diego and CW6 San Diego Living.  And of course you can always find us ringing during San Diego's biggest Holiday Season event of the year: December Nights in Balboa Park.  Be sure to check out our events page regularly for upcoming performances.

We are available to play for your community or church events, both public and private.  Contact us if you are interested in scheduling a performance, auditioning, or being a substitute ringer.

2018 Members

This page contains a list of our current members for the year, and a little bit of information about each.  As you can see, members come from all backgrounds, and have different careers and capabilities, but we believe part of our strength comes from our diversity.  We truly feel like a family, and we enjoy each other as much as we enjoy ringing!  We are a handbell ensemble who is known for having fun while performing with musicality and artisic expression.

"To play a wrong note is insignificant; to play without passion is inexcusable."

Ludwig von Beethoven


 

Kathryn KinslowKathryn Kinslow, President
Kathryn learned to ring bells in 6th grade, but did not begin ringing with a full choir until her sophomore year in college at UCSB where she majored in Linguistics. She took a long break from bell-ringing while working toward her M.A. in Speech Pathology at San Diego State University.  She now works full-time in the public schools, providing speech therapy for mainstream and deaf/hard-of-hearing students. She likes to ring all up and down the table, and occasionally plays some of the bass bells.  She also rings with the Church of the Good Samaritan (Episcopal) handbell choir; sings in the La Jolla Symphony Chorus, Sorelle San Diego, and the Idyllwild Master Chorale; and directs the bell choir at La Jolla Presbyterian Church.


Debbie MasonDebbie Mason, Secretary-Treasurer
Debbie started ringing bells at the First United Methodist Church of Escondido in 1972.  She rings with Celebration Bells at FUMC, where she spends most of her time ringing on the upper table.  She has been ringing with SDHR since inception. She plays the upper octaves in SDHR, particularly A5 and B5. Debbie is office manager for Retail Ops at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park.  She enjoys making beaded jewelry, constructing dollhouse miniatures, and taking frequent trips to Disneyland.  Her cats and parrot keep her life joyful and amusing.


Jenn KorngiebelJennifer Korngiebel, Events Coordinator
Jenn was inspired at the age of 12 by a touring bell choir visiting her church.  She enjoyed 6 years of making music with family and friends before going off to college. For several years, occasional substituting and an annual handbell conference kept her from getting too rusty, but were never enough to satisfy.  She now rings both in the Church of the Good Samaritan (Episcopal) handbell choir, as well as SDHR.  She spends her weekdays as a product development engineer for a hi-tech company, and devotes her free time to the care and encouragement of people, plants, and animals.


eden griffithEden Griffith
Eden fell in love with handbells as a young teen and joined both the bell choir and the vocal choir at Faith Lutheran Church in Vista. She rang and sang at Faith until being accepted to Concordia University Irvine. There she majored in church music and performed in the university’s elite Concert Handbells and Concordia Choir, travelling internationally to perform. Coming full circle, Eden is now the Director of Parish Music at Faith, including directing its bell and vocal choirs. In addition to ringing with SDHR, Eden enjoys time with family and friends, continuing to sing as an alumna with CUI, and relaxing with her two cats.


stan guinnStan Guinn
Stan began ringing handbells in January 2006. In addition to the San Diego Harmony Ringers community handbell ensemble, he also rings with Emmanuel Faith Community Church of Escondido California’s “Resounding Praise” and First United Methodist Church of Escondido California’s “Celebration Bells” church handbell choirs.  Stan enjoys taking certification courses in handbell techniques, music theory, arranging & composing, handbell history, and handbell education offered by the Handbell Musicians of America as well as attending its national seminars where concerts are performed by some of the finest handbell ensembles and solo performers in the country. Stan is a retired tax & secured lending attorney as well as a CPA. He is also a Vietnam-era veteran.


greg picGreg Humphrey
Greg started ringing bells in the 4th grade and continued through college at the First Baptist Church in Richardson, Texas.  He has been ringing off and on ever since in Colorado and now with the Harmony ringers.  Greg normally stays at the bass table but has been expanding his treble bell abilities with the Harmony ringers.  He currently works at the University of California, San Diego managing a Genomics Lab for Dr. Rob Knight, a microbiome pioneer.  Additionally, Greg exercises his creative side by teaching the University City High School Colorguard and Winterguard.


Susan PowellSusan Powell
Susan has been ringing bells since she was 15, and joined SDHR in 2005.  She has worked with 80,000 sixth graders in the past 19 years in her role as Vice Principal at Fox Outdoor School (6th grade camp).  She is also the proud owner of three male orange cats, and spends her summers taking care of 12,000 trees in Wales. She also enjoys frequent visits to her nieces in Texas.  Susan is one of the most expressive ringers in the group and is often seen dancing and smiling as she performs.


Karen REV picKaren Soohoo
Karen is hooked on handbell music and played at North County churches since 2013, primarily with the First United Methodist Church of Escondido. She also loves ensemble singing and performs masterworks in USD’s Greater San Diego Music Coterie Choir and Orchestra, as well as with smaller North County groups. During the week, find her researching and educating visitors about fine art at the San Diego Museum of Art. She has a healthcare background and aspires to explore every national park in the US.


trish headTrish Costelow
Trisha began ringing at a very young age. She joined SDHR in 1999 and loves belonging to the group. She can be seen playing positions all over the table from the largest bass to the smallest trebles.  She also plays with College Avenue Baptist Church's Cathedral Bells, as well as First Congregational Church, Escondido, in addition to a few others as the "Sunday morning sub." She works for Sweetwater Union High School District as a Speech aide and Deaf/Hard-of-hearing Interpreter. She also works in the home with children with autism. In her free time, she enjoys listening to music and being with friends or animals.


Ben WatsonBen Watson
Ben has been ringing for over 15 years across all the bell choirs at St Marks United Methodist church in Clairemont. He is currently a member of the Glory Ringers advanced choir and the Carillon adult choir, has rung solos, duets, quartets, and accompanied the bells on his clarinet. In his free time he enjoys working on computer projects ranging from reviving and repurposing old computers, website coding/design, general computer consulting, and playing video games.


Liz WatsonLiz Watson
Liz has been ringing for over 15 years across all the bell choirs at St. Marks United Methodist church in Clairemont. She is currently a member of the Glory Ringers advanced choir and the Carillon adult choir, and has rung duets and quartets. In her free time she enjoys learning violin, cross-stitching, writing, and playing video games.


 

The following musicians have previously been members of San Diego Harmony Ringers since the group's inception in 1999:

SDHR Alumni:

Mary-Margaret Allen, Roy Attridge, Meridith Blake, Patty Blake, Danny Dunn, Ginger Hague, Mary Den Herder, Catherine Eckmann, Dave Gibson, Jo Anne Hammond, Ella Herrnsteen, Brendon Hunter, Paul Keck, Kevin Kwan, Tim Maguire, Micki Mennet-Martin, Darin Marvin, Joan Mentze, Tim McKnight, Mary Mussatti, Kelly Neff, Marla O'Connell, Lila Olix, Stirling Perry, Norma Peterson, Jon Ross, Rebekah Scott, Michele Sharik, Josh Skeels, Kathy Spencer, Linda Stanwood, Wesley Swords, Carol Tuggey, Ruth Turner, Ken Vogan and Timothy Wutke.

 

Treble Clef

San Diego Harmony Ringers had its beginning in a conversation between two members of the handbell quartet "Carillon" following a church service one Sunday.  In discussing the idea, both agreed immediately that Joe Rodriguez, a director under whom they had both played, was the ideal choice for director.  One person set out to contact him while the other began the work of assessing the community interest and performing the publicity tasks required to get the word out.  Thanks to the American Guild of English Handbell Ringers (AGEHR), it was possible to contact all of their members in the San Diego area through the purchase of a mailing list.

The scheduling of the National Handbell Directors Convention in San Diego at this time was very fortunate, providing the opportunity to network with other handbell ringers in the area and talk with members of other community groups in the country.  By the spring of 1999, enough interest in the handbell group had been expressed to make it possible to move forward with auditions.  Rehearsals began the following September.  One of the first orders of business was to decide on a name.  From several suggestions, San Diego Harmony Ringers (SDHR) was voted as the winner.

College Avenue Baptist Church kindly provided both the rehearsal space and the 5-octave set of bells to use, for which we have been most grateful.  Carillon Quartet formed the nucleus of the founding members of the fledgling community handbell group.  Sadly, one of these members, Judy Gifford, passed away prior to the start of rehearsals.  The other founding members were: Mary Den Herder, Catherine Eckmann, Debbie Mason, Joan Mentze, Micki Mennet-Martin, Mary Mussatti, Stirling Perry, Norma Peterson, Rebekah Scott, Josh Skeels, Trisha Talley, and Carol Tuggey.

The first performance by SDHR took place at “Christmas on the Prado” in San Diego’s Balboa Park. This venue has continued to be a much-anticipated performance for our group year after year.  During the first couple of years, work continued in finding potential substitutes or additional members as the need arose, finding music (most of it initially borrowed), and producing materials such as concert announcements and flyers to educate the public about the group and its purposes. A website was also developed by one of the founders.  Personal contacts provided the first venues for playing and, as word spread, more opportunities presented themselves.  At first there were no officers, but that became necessary as the group moved into the next phase of becoming an incorporated business, and culminated in our designation as a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization (following many months of paperwork!).

One of the biggest moments in the handbell ensemble's history was a gift from Vivian and Oberlin Evenson in the winter of 2009 that enabled us to purchase an entire 5-octave set of our own handbells.  Soon after receiving this gift, one of the board members placed an order with Schulmerich Handbells, and in April 2010 the freshly cast bells arrived in their new cases.  While SDHR is very grateful for the many years of generous support by College Avenue Baptist Church, it is quite something to be able to say about yourself: "our group owns these bells!"

It is our hope that this brief description of our early history will provide insight and encouragement to others who wish to start of community handbell group in their area.

San Diego Harmony Ringers

Original Members of San Diego Harmony Ringers, Lakeside Community Presbyterian Church, 1999

Photo GalleryMedia Galleries

About San Diego Harmony Ringers

San Diego Harmony Ringers have entranced listeners with energy, precision and musicality since the group was founded in 1999.  This auditioned handbell ensemble of fourteen ringers is based in the greater San Diego area, and performs on five octaves of Schulmerich Handbells and five octaves of Malmark Choirchimes, including the distinctive bass Choirchimes.  The total number of individual instruments is over one hundred, with a battery of non-tuned percussion to enhance the musical selections as needed.

Mission

San Diego Harmony Ringers are dedicated to bringing the art and enjoyment of handbell music to the community through excellence in performance and musicianship.  Audiences are drawn into the beauty, skill, and passion, and delight in the captivating elegance of this unique musical experience.

Vision

The vision of San Diego Harmony Ringers is to bring the art and enjoyment of handbell music to the community through excellence in performance and musicianship. They join together in harmony to ring with passion, beauty of expression, and a joy in sharing music with those who listen.

Venues and Activities

Since inception, San Diego Harmony Ringers have played concerts in various places of worship, auditoriums, and public spaces including the Spreckels Organ Pavilion in Balboa Park and the Huntington Library.  The handbell group has performed a showcase concert at the 2008 Region XII conference of the American Guild of English Handbell Ringers (AGEHR), and have become regular participants in December Nights at Balboa Park.  Audiences of all ages have enjoyed musical presentations at:
- Civic & Community Concerts
- Concert Series
- Churches & Synagogues
- Private Events
- Workshops & Coaching Sessions

Affiliations

We are pleased to list the following groups with whom we are affiliated:

 

Bookings

San Diego Harmony Ringers are available to perform for your civic, corporate, or church event, or to add variety to your concert series.  For booking inquiries, please contact the SDHR events coordinator using our contact form in the menu above.

YOU ARE INVITED to visit with us at the bell tables following a performance, where you may see and try any of the instruments which you have heard.  SDHR members will also be happy to answer any questions you may have regarding the handbell group, our repertoire, our mission, or equipment.

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On Playing

"It's easy to play any musical instrument: all you have to do is touch the right key at the right time and the instrument will play itself."

Johann Sebastian Bach

Your Support

P.O. Box 151524
San Diego, CA 92175

We are a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization
All donations are fully tax-deductible

First Sounds

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"First Sounds" audio CD available at any of our public or private events. Suggested donation is $5.