Members

Mike Keller (Director)

Mike has been the director of the Circle City Ringers since the ensemble formed in the spring of 2005. He also directs the Wesleyan Ringers of St. Luke’s United Methodist Church in Indianapolis.

Originally from Peru, Indiana, Mike is a 1992 graduate of Indiana State University where he studied music while obtaining a degree in Criminology. Mike is a former Drum Major of the Indiana State University Marching Band. He has served as a staff instructor for many high school and college band camps, and also plays trombone in several swing bands and theater pit bands.

Mike is a licensed funeral director and owns a local mortuary service … No, really!! He also serves as a deputy coroner in Hamilton County and loves spending time with his wife and children.

Mike is recognized for his conviction that “making music should be fun” and enjoys serving as a guest conductor and clinician to other ensembles. What he enjoys most about handbells is the challenge of making multiple ringers sound like one cohesive ensemble and also performing, bringing the joy of this unique instrument to people who have not experienced it before!

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barbBarbara Hobbs

Barbara Hobbs, a native of Kokomo, IN is a graduate of Ball State University and Butler University with degrees in piano performance and music education.  She has been a private piano instructor since 1976.  She taught class piano and theory at Taylor University and was Music Director at Grace UMC, where she directed vocal and handbell choirs.  She and her husband Mel enjoy gardening, traveling and race walking.

benBen Nelson

Ben, originally from Oak Lawn (a suburb south of Chicago), graduated from Taylor University in 2013 with majors in Math and Computer Science and currently develops software at Interactive Intelligence in Indianapolis.  He started ringing in his church chime choir and played with the Taylor University Ringers for three years.  In his free time Ben enjoys books, games, his cat, and writing about himself in the third-person.

 

courtneyCourtney Rookard

Originally from Wenatchee, Washington, Courtney has been playing handbells in sacred and secular choirs since 2003. She has a B.A. in English from Washington State University and a Masters in Library Science from Indiana University. Currently, she works at the Indiana Historical Society and the Ruth Lilly Special Collections & Archives at IUPUI. Everywhere she goes, she finds a handbell choir to play with because she enjoys playing and making music with others. In her spare time, she likes to read, attend sporting and music events with her spouse, and time with her cats.

 

jeff2016Jeff Durborow

Jeff is from Pennsylvania and has rung handbells since 1982. He has  been a member of various church handbell choirs in West Virginia, Texas, Pennsylvania and Indiana and is also a member of the 2nd Presbyterian Church handbell choir in Indianapolis. Jeff received a B.S. in chemical engineering from Penn State University and works for Praxair Surface Technologies, traveling extensively as Global Sales Director for Praxair’s specialty materials business. Besides travel and bells, Jeff enjoys reading, golf and spending time with his two dogs.

 

Jimmie 2012Jimmie Bennett

Jimmie is a founding member of CCR and also rang with Heather Hills Baptist Church for 6 years and Roberts Park UMC for 2 years. He also sings with the Indianapolis Symphonic Choir. He has an AS in Respiratory Therapy and a BS in Management from IU, and an MS in Administration from the Univ. of St. Francis. Jimmie is a human resources generalist and Pampered Chef consultant (for which we are VERY glad!). He has been a volunteer at Second Helpings food rescue, is music librarian for the ISC, and serves as a clerk for the Election Board. He makes crochet and knit crafts in his spare time. Jimmie loves “the joy making music with this unique instrument, playing more than the notes, with the music as an extension of each member.”

 

karena2016Karen Alfrey

Karen is the associate department chair and director of the undergraduate program in Biomedical Engineering at IUPUI.  She received her BS from Cornell University and her MS and PhD from Rice University in Electrical Engineering.  She has been ringing handbells off and on since 2nd grade, mostly in church choirs in Tennessee and Texas.  Her other musical
interests are diverse and eclectic: she has played violin in school and community orchestras, and currently plays viola with the Wiley Community Orchestra; during graduate school she co-founded an a cappella group that is still going strong two decades later; she even played kendang for a semester with a student gamelan ensemble.  Her favorite part of playing handbells is the rhythmic precision and group dynamic that turns notes into music.

 

karenk2016Karen Klutzke

Karen finished her M.A. in 2015 to become a physician assistant and is currently working for a neurology practice in the greater Indianapolis area. She has been ringing for over 20 years, off and on, including at Central Presbyterian in Lafayette and Orchard Park Presbyterian in Carmel. Besides handbells, Karen has also played clarinet, cello, and piano. Her favorite part of playing handbells is the synergy felt coming together as an ensemble to perform music.

 

K-Dub 2012Karen “K-Dub” Wiggins

K-Dub has been playing handbells for almost her whole life, including with the Purdue Bells, Wesleyan Ringers at St. Luke’s UMC, Old South Ringers in Boston, MA, and in CCR since 2007. She works as an academic advisor at Purdue University, where she received her BS in Ecology & Biology Education. While in Boston, she received an MS in Science Journalism. Besides playing handbells in ensembles and as a soloist, she also plays oboe and piano. She is a certified Indiana Master Naturalist, and can often be found geocaching or volunteering at the Columbian Park Zoo and Wabashika Nature Center near Lafayette. Her favorite part of handbells is the teamwork, where each person is critical to the success of the ensemble.

 

KarenWydraKaren Nelson

Originally from Aurora, Illinois, Karen began playing handbells in 2010 at Taylor University, where she earned her B.A. in Elementary Education. She also had the privilege of directing Taylor’s entry level bell choir during the 2014–2015 school year. She is currently pursuing a career in library science. In her free time, Karen reads, writes, and participates in video game marathons for charity.

 

Kris 2012Kristen Reibling

Kris has spent about 25 years ringing, getting her start in the Culley Handbell Choir of First Presbyterian Church in Parkersburg, WV. She rang for several years at Second Presbyterian in Indy, First Pres. in Ft. Wayne, 14 years with the Indianapolis Handbell Ensemble, and was a founding member of CCR. Kris received her BM in Music Education/Organ at Westminster College and works as a receptionist for Morrell, Inc. When not obsessing over genealogy research, she enjoys gardening, photography, and traveling. She particularly enjoys the ensemble aspect of playing handbells, where everyone has to work together to feel as one.

 

Marcia 2012Marcia Poisel

Marcia has been playing handbells since she was 15. She started at Leo United Methodist Church (Leo, IN), then spent 15 years ringing at King of Glory Lutheran Church and 11 years in the Indianapolis Handbell Ensemble (overlapping). She is a founding member of the Circle City Ringers and has served as the Board Treasurer for the whole time. Marcia has an Associate’s Degree in Office Technology from IUPU Fort Wayne and enjoys homemaking, scrapbooking, camping, and spending time with her two new grandchildren. She loves sharing music with others and the fun and fellowship with everyone in CCR.

 

Michelle 2012Michelle Grant

Michelle began her handbell career at a very young age (her guess is age 6) at Wesley United Methodist Church in Indianapolis, IN. She continued her bell ringing career at Purdue University while she earned her B.A. in Art History. Michelle joined CCR after undergrad and has only taken one break in order to spend a year living and working in France. Michelle earned her MSW degree in 2015 and current works as a school-based social worker and therapist on the south side of Indianapolis. When not at bell rehearsal, she enjoys practicing Aikido martial arts, bike riding, and renovating her new home.

 

Randy 2012Randy Poisel

Randy has been playing handbells for 26 years, both at King of Glory Lutheran Church (he started there in 1986) and in the Circle City Ringers, where he was a founding member. He received a BS in Accounting and Computer Science at Ball State University and works as a computer programmer at Sallie Mae. Outside of handbells, Randy enjoys camping, woodworking, golf, and fishing. His favorite thing about playing handbells is the joy of making music.

 

Suzie 2012Susie Bland

Susie began playing handbells at Otterbein United Methodist Church in 1994 and has been involved with CCR since the beginning. She went to Arsenal Technical High School and works as an administrative assistant at Eli Lilly & Co. In her free time, Susie enjoys reading, helping people, and spending time with family. Her favorite part of playing handbells is the teamwork, the fun, and, well, everything else about it!

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