2021 Election

Area 1 Election for 2021

Notes on Elections and the Positions

ELECTIONS WILL BE ONLINE THIS YEAR.  The voting period will be open from May 1 to May 31, 2021 at 11:59 PM.

CLICK HERE FOR VOTING INSTRUCTIONS


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Every two years, elections are held in Area 1 to elect people to the following positions: Chairperson, Treasurer, and Secretary.

Chair-elect serves for 2 years and then moves to Chair for 2 years and ends as Past-Chair for another 2 years. This is a 6-year commitment.

Treasurer of Area 1 handles all financial transactions and reports to the board regularly.

The Secretary takes notes at board meetings and keeps all information filed and stored electronically.

Please read all biographies and mission statements below.

Chair Elect (will become chair in 2021)

Below, you will find out more information about each chair elect candidate to inform your vote.

Colin Nagle

Colin Nagle is the Director of Handbells (aka the “Lord of the Rings”) at The Wheeler School in Providence, Rhode Island where he is also an alumnus. It was at Wheeler in the fall of 2003 where he was caught playing piano by Dan Moore and shortly thereafter conscripted into his legion of concert handbell ringers. Under Dan’s mentorship, Colin was soon ringing, writing, arranging, and occasionally directing his classmates at school events as well as at benefit concerts for the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Rhode Island.

Colin has a Bachelor of Arts degree from Georgetown University. After stints at Morgan Stanley and Wells Fargo, Colin founded Winston Springer Capital Management, which he managed for many years until he realized the real money was in teaching handbells to teenagers (if only!). In addition to his duties at Wheeler, Colin is excited to be newly invited to serve as the musical director for the Jubilate Ringers of East Greenwich, RI.

In pre-Covid times, when not directing handbells, Colin could usually be found playing piano and singing at gigs throughout New England, or writing music for movies you definitely haven’t seen. These days, you’re more likely to find him in the kitchen, where his carb-filled exploits are shamelessly deployed as a recruitment tool in the ever-present quest for more handbells students.

Colin lives in Scituate, RI with his Instagram-famous English labrador, Roger.

Vision for Area 1:

The pandemic and long-awaited reopening efforts offer a unique opportunity for Area 1 leadership to remind lapsed, current, and prospective members of the benefits of communal ringing. For over a year now, we have often been unable to ring (and/or felt uneasy about ringing together safely), and yet the shared experience of being part of an ensemble is what many of us crave most. The great chef Thomas Keller often shares a quote he learned from his mentor, Roland Henin: “we cook to nurture people,” and it’s not a stretch to suggest that any artistic endeavor stems in part from the same intrinsic obligation.

We have a rare opportunity to remind people of the need for nurturing that music ensembles filled in their lives, and I’m committed to helping Area 1 help its members meet that need. Doing so effectively involves pursuing a multi-pronged approach: building off of the existing efforts to solicit feedback from our members, and then following up on that feedback to ensure that our community choirs are supported and nurtured.

That means more educational programming to build skills and improve musicianship; it means initiatives to spearhead new composers and increase diversity in one of the most stratified musical enclaves imaginable; it means promoting and supporting our member choirs’ public events to spread the gospel of handbell music; it means organizing events through which our members can socialize and learn from each other; it means future-proofing the reach of our membership through concerted outreach to schools and community ensembles, especially those with younger members who can become the lifeblood of a sustainable roster of engaged members; and it means, (let’s not shy away from it), building out the necessary financial infrastructure to sustain these efforts now and long into the future.

We have an opportunity–and an obligation–to think carefully about our strengths, our challenges, and our medium- and longer-term wish lists, and to work strategically to make those possibilities realities by setting clear standards and metrics and empowering our current leaders and the many talented members in our ranks who will take up the task of building an even more robust, more resilient, and irreplaceable handbell community in the New England area.

Stephanie LaShoto-Westfield

When I transferred to a new middle school, I saw a handbell choir perform for the first time. I had never seen anything like it, but knew I had to try it. I rang with my middle and high school choir, lucky enough to have handbells as an official class in my school schedule. I joined the Old South Ringers in Boston while in graduate school in 2007 and was accepted into Back Bay Ringers in 2013. I believe my experience as a youth ringer, church choir ringer, and community choir ringer give me a broad perspective into various ringing settings. I have enjoyed attending five Area 1 festivals, one Spring Ring, countless Boston Handbell Festivals, and even National Seminar, and am always thrilled to feel part of the larger ringing community.

I have been the Small Ensemble Coordinator, Operations Director, and now Communications Director of Back Bay Ringers, so I have handbell board experience. In addition, I served on the Board of Deacons at Old South Church, including 3 years as a senior deacon, so I would bring leadership skills as well.

Professionally, I manage workplace education classes, helping to design and implement ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages) and computer trainings, mainly in healthcare settings. I care deeply about lifelong learning, adult education, and intercultural communication.

Vision for Area 1:

My leadership style is collaborative. I try to lead by listening, involving stakeholders in the process, and aiming for consensus. As Chair Elect, I would welcome the opportunity to learn from the inside how Area 1 runs, what works well and where there is room for improvement, and to support and shape the efforts of the many passionate musicians and educators in our area.

The vision of the HMA is a very powerful one. Through ringing in various settings, I know some musicians are looking for a musical challenge, others just want to have fun and make music whether it comes out perfectly or not, and others express their faith with handbell ringing. If I were to be elected as chair, I would ensure Board efforts would make ringers of all stripes feel welcome and respected by the HMA.

Goals of mine would be to expand the awareness of handbells in communities where it is unfamiliar and to build partnerships. I would love to build connections between youth choirs/school choirs and adult choirs, so that young musicians know that there is a long future of ringing ahead of them, and that handbells programs don’t end at graduation, or at the door to the church.

In addition to ensuring our existing spaces are welcoming to all, I’d like to challenge the HMA community to bring our way of music-making to spaces where it may still be unknown. It would be exciting to connect with school music programs or faith groups in communities of color to introduce the art of handbell ringing to children and church musicians who may not have experienced it before.

Treasurer

Below, you will find out more information about each chair treasurer candidate to inform your vote.

Daryl Markey

I began ringing bells in the 6th grade in a children’s choir at West Chelmsford UMC under the direction of Karen Leonard. Four years later, as a sophomore in high school, Karen asked me to join WCUMC’s adult choir, the Festival Ringers. Seven years later, I joined the Merrimack Valley Ringers community choir, where I rang for ten years. Recently, I rang with the WildRING community group at Festival Conference 2019.

I graduated UMass Lowell with an undergraduate’s English degree in 2008, where I then began working at RSA Security as a Technical Writer for ten years. Alongside working and ringing, While working full-time, I went to night school at UMass Lowell and completed my Master’s in Business Administration in 2018. After receiving my MBA, I changed careers to Global Program Management at RSA, where I am currently employed.

Among my MBA classes at UML, I completed both Finance and Accounting courses. In late 2019, I purchased my own 3-octave set of bells (G4 – G7), two 3′ tables, foam, covers, and bell tree stand financed through PayPal Credit over six months of equal payments.

Vision for Area 1:

As the treasurer for the Area 1 board, I would expect to collaborate with and assist all board members, appointed officers, and chairs with financial matters dealing with the Area 1 HMA guild.

Personally, I believe that the financial barrier to entry into Handbells is far too high for most ringers. The only way to realistically start ringing bells would be to join an existing choir at a church or school, because they are the only groups that can afford the bells in the first place. For example, a “solo” set of bells from Shulmerich costs $7,350 before shipping–far too much to expect from a typical ringer. If there was a financing option available, or some sort of partnership with the HMA guild created, I believe we could expand our great community even further. I believe providing access to bells for people of all ages, backgrounds, and interests directly speaks to the board’s Mission, Vision, and Values Statements.

Throughout my nearly twelve years of working at RSA, I have held two technical positions, both of which require great attention to detail. I believe a treasury position is very important and attention to detail is vitally important to the position. I will work to ensure that all financial matters relating to the Area 1 board are handled effectively and with the highest integrity.

Victoria (Vickie) DeVoy

I am a member of the Westwood Ringers, a church handbell choir and have been ringing for over 40 years.

I am an Enrolled Agent (taxes) and have been working for R.D. Randall, CPA for over 30 years. I have been. or currently am Treasurer for First Baptist Church of Westwood, Westwood High Alumni Assn., Troop 3 Westwood BSA, Cape Cod Holiday Estates Condo. Trust, Mashpee, MA

Vision for Area 1:

The best part of ringing are the friendships and camaraderie that playing as a group brings; to encourage each other to be better, to learn and to play as one cohesive group. I see the board the same way, to encourage Area 1 to learn, play better and have fun while doing it!

Secretary

Below, you will find out more information about each chair elect candidate to inform your vote.

Diana Parton

Music has been part of my life almost from the beginning – piano lessons, school and community choruses, chapel choir in college. When I was in my mid-thirties, I was asked if I wanted “to be a ding-a-ling” and join the bell choir at the church we were attending. Handbells became part of my life then, and I’ve been ringing ever since. I currently ring with three groups and I’ve done some solo ringing. I am the backup rehearsal leader and handbell techniques tutor and coach for my home church bell choir. I am a retired software engineer and comfortable with technology; I also have a degree in English. I have served the past two years as committee head for the financial collectors at my church.

Vision for Area 1:

In the past, I have been an enthusiastic participant in HMA and Area 1 events. Now I have the opportunity to take a more active role. I am a member of bell choirs at all three levels – tin, copper and bronze; I believe gives me a broad perspective to bring to Area 1 Board decisions, especially from a ringer’s viewpoint with respect. There are people in Area 1 who have never heard a handbell choir, let alone participated in one. I would welcome the opportunity to be part of spreading the word and sharing the experiences Area 1 provides for both ringers and non-ringers.

Harriet Forman

Harriet has been the handbell choir director at The Village Congregational Church for more than 30 years! She started by ringing bells in the bell choir when first moving to town in 1984. Then she moved into the director position a few years later, and has stuck with it ever since! Harriet has her B.S. in Music Education and Music Therapy from Case Western Reserve University, has just recently retired from teaching vocal and general music to children in grades K-6 for 26 years in the Worcester Public Schools, and has a long history of music leadership in Northbridge through her founding and presiding of Valley Music School for 17 years. She plays the flute, piccolo, and dawdles in guitar, piano, recorder, and bells. She is married, has 2 adult sons, and has resided in Northbridge for 34 years, after growing up in Bethany, CT.

Vision for Area 1:

I am honored to be considered for this position in the Area 1 Board. I have been dedicated to the art of handbell ringing for many years, and I fully realize its value in the church and wider community. Handbells have afforded many occasions for youth participation, for community involvement, for supporting individuals and area missions, for education, and for communicating both verbally and musically. My role in serving the Area 1 handbell community will be to be present and involved in all our meetings, to complete all tasks on time, and to communicate with our members. I have excellent skills in record keeping, meeting deadlines, and in writing. I would value this opportunity to serve.

CLICK HERE FOR VOTING INSTRUCTIONS