Katie Budris: (Assistant Treasurer) Has been a musician for over 30 years. In addition to ringing handbells, she enjoys singing and playing the flute. Katie is a dog lover and lives in Arlington, VA.
Shellie Byrum: Shellie began playing handbells in the 7th grade at her church in NC, and had an illustrious run as a piccolo player throughout her college marching band years. She lives in Arlington, VA.
Jennifer Damme: (Secretary) Jenn began her musical adventures with piano at age 5, continued with several choral groups and took a happy detour into jazz and smoky nightclub torch singing. Since becoming a Northern VA resident more than 30 years ago, she has confined her forays to legitimate choral and handbell music, including composing, arranging and directing. Jenn spent several years singing with the National Philharmonic Chorale before enthusiastically joining Virginia Bronze in 2013.
Chris Dvorak: Chris started ringing handbells with his church, Blessed Sacrament, in 2011, with no prior musical background. He just loved the way it sounded and it looked like a lot of fun. After attending a Virginia Bronze concert in 2013, it just enhanced his desire to learn faster. He joined Virginia Bronze in 2014 as a roady, and is now an intern ringer. In addition to handbells, Chris enjoys golf, tennis and is a high school basketball referee.
Elise Flick: Is a senior at the Potomac School and has been taking handbells classes since fifth grade. During her freshman year, Elise was accepted into the school’s Visual and Performing Arts Concentration, pioneering a focus in handbells. She is a current and original member of the National Honors Handbell Ensemble and enjoys solo ringing as well. Elise can usually be found camping out in the handbells classroom at her school or in her room arranging a wide variety of her favorite music for handbells.
Genevieve (Geebee) Hanson:
Nick Hanson: Nick received a BA degree from Concordia University, Irvine, CA, as a major in music with concentration in handbells. He is in his twelfth year at the Potomac School in McLean, Virginia, teaching instrumental music to 5th – 12th grade students in four handbell ensembles, and teaching private handbell lessons. He is also in his tenth year as the handbell director at Bush Hill Presbyterian Church in Alexandria.
Kelley La Croix: Kelley has played handbells for twelve years. She is an aspiring violin and cello player. She has an undergraduate degree in Horticulture and a master’s degree in public service and administration.
Mike Mandigo: Mike has been ringing for nearly 25 years. He has directed groups for children and youth at Ox Hill Baptist Church. He is a retired technology instructional coach for Fairfax County Public Schools. In his spare time he builds wood decorative boxes.
Kathy Murphy: Born and raised in Northern Virginia, Kathy started ringing handbells at the age of 10, under the direction of Fran Underwood (who just so happens to be a fellow ringer in VAB!). She has an M.Ed. from Marymount University and works as a special education teacher at an elementary school in Fairfax County.
Alan Payne: (Vice President) Alan is a northern Virginia native with a general affection for music of all types. He starting ringing handbells with Fairfax United Methodist Church (FUMC) in 2011 when helping as the Director’s assistant for the Youth Handbell Choir. Soon thereafter he joined the Adult Handbell choir at FUMC and has been ringing with them ever since. Alan typically plays in the lower bass section (big bells), but occasionally moves over to cover percussion as the opportunities arise.
Gillian Penn: Gillian is a native Washingtonian and has been ringing handbells for over 25 years. While she has a BA in Anthropology from Mary Washington College, she spends her days running her husband’s lawn care business in Fairfax, VA. She and her husband James have two daughters, three cats and four diesel trucks.
Alice Real: Alice has been ringing for over 13 years and also plays piano. In college, she played harpsichord and recorder with the William & Mary Early Music Ensemble. Alice has a bachelor’s degree in history and music and a masters in early elementary education. She is an elementary general music teacher with Fairfax County Public Schools.
Kristen Reck: (Treasurer) Kristen started playing handbells with her Mom when she was 13. She also plays piano, sings in her church choir, and practices Irish dance. Kristen is currently pursuing her PhD in Environmental Science at George Mason University.
Judy Sondheimer: Judy has played handbells over 25 years and is a retired pediatric gastroenterologist.
Greta Swain: Greta started ringing handbells during college where she was part of a touring ensemble, the Taylor University Ringers. She is currently pursuing her PhD in History at George Mason University. In addition to playing handbells, Greta enjoys cooking, hiking, Irish dancing and visiting historic sites.
Fran Underwood: (President) Fran has been ringing bells for over 25 years. She holds a master’s degree of Music/Church Music from Shenandoah University, teaches handbells at Wakefield School in The Plains, VA and is Associate Director of Worship Arts at Clarendon United Methodist Church in Arlington, VA.
Jen Gorfine: (Intern)