November 19, 2020 – Lisa Arnold, Chair of the Board of Directors for Area 1 Handbell Musicians of America, has announced the appointment of two individuals to the Area 1 Board. Effective immediately, Charles Arnold will serve as Membership Chair, and Suzanne Neafus will serve as Connecticut State Co-Chair.

In announcing these appointments, Lisa added, “Welcome Charles and Suzanne, and thank you for making this leadership commitment to the Handbell Musicians of America. We couldn’t do this without your dedication to our art.”

Charles “Chuck” Arnold, of Lowell, Massachusetts, is looking forward to working with Area 1 ringers and directors in his role of Membership Chair. Chuck has been a handbell musician for about twelve years, getting his start with Immanuel Lutheran Church of Saratoga, California.  Chuck confesses that handbell ringing really wasn’t his thing until he experienced playing for enthusiastic audiences in Italy. Chuck and wife, Lisa (yes, our Area 1 Chair), have traveled the world on numerous handbell tours, and he encourages others to try these experiences when it is safe once again to do so.

Upon moving back to Massac husetts in 2010, Chuck rang with the Merrimack Valley Ringers for two years. He currently rings with the Hancock Carillon in Lexington, Massachusetts, and he rings and serves as Vice President of New England Ringers. He regularly attends Area 1 Festivals and the HMA National Seminar in recent years. He has also served on the Area 1 Nominating Committee.

Chuck likes coming up with out-of-the-box ringer recruitment ideas, such as Ringing Under the Influence. If you’d like to share your ideas or let him know what you’ve been up to during the pandemic, give Chuck a call or send an email. He can be reached at 408-799-4064 or [email protected].

Suzanne Neafus, of Rocky Hill, Connecticut, joins Gina Williams as Connecticut State Co-Chair.  Suzanne currently rings with the Wethersfield United Methodist Church and the Hockanum Valley Ringers, where she also serves as board secretary.

Suzanne began playing handbells as a teen on Long Island, New York. She has lived in Connecticut for 22 years, playing with various church and community groups, as well as taking up solo ringing 7 years ago. She appreciates the multi-generational experiences that handbell ringing provides and the teamwork that grows as ringers work toward a common goal.

By stepping up to serve on the Area 1 board, Suzanne is looking forward to giving back some of the joy that she has gained through ringing. She welcomes the opportunity to assist handbell musicians with their skills and connections so that our musical art will continue to thrive. You can reach Suzanne at [email protected].