Clinicians & Class Instructors

Below you will find information about all of our featured clinicians and class instructors. We are excited to have these talented musicians working with us during Bells on the Beach and know you will be too!

Featured Clinicians

Stephanie “Stevie” Berryman, Clinician

Stevie Berryman is astonishingly good at the game Boggle. She can fold a fitted sheet so it looks like it came right out of the package. Likewise, her skills as music director and teacher have also been acquired through long hours of arduous and dedicated practice. For much of her career Stevie has directed seven or more ensembles each week, meaning she has 98 years of experience (in dog years). Her effusive energy and wild creativity found a perfect setting in 2013 when she became the Artistic Director of the Houston Chamber Ringers, which has let her smash together her love for music, laughter, and tacos in a truly remarkable way. She has a particular passion for teaching children how to ring, and her innovative methods have made her a sought after educator at area and national handbell festivals. Stevie serves as the handbell director at First Congregational Church Houston, and loves helping other choirs as a private clinician or planning epic concerts for them as a creative consultant. She and her husband Paul are co-owners of Truly Horrible Things, a snarky card game company, even though her mother always told her that no one would ever pay her to be sarcastic.

Barbara Walsh, Clinician

Barb Walsh has a Bachelor of Music Education degree from Colorado State University and a Master of Music degree from the University of Nevada, Reno. Barb is the musical director for Tintabulations Handbell Ensemble. She has been ringing handbells since 1985 and conducting bells since 1986. Barb has been a participant in handbell conducting workshops that include Handbell Musicians of America’s Master Series with Dr. William Payn and Festival Conducting with Beth Judd. Barb taught general music in the Reno/Sparks area for 33 years before retiring in 2014. In addition to playing bells, she performs regularly on flute and piccolo. Barb has been married to her husband, Dave, since 1983, and they have three children – a dog and two horses with whom they enjoy backcountry adventures.

Class Instructors

Beth Mays

At 8 years of age, Elizabeth Mays picked up a C7 behind her mother’s back one afternoon at the church handbell rehearsal. Upon discovery of her daughter’s transgression, director Linda immediately assigned Elizabeth said C7 as a member of the choir. 26 years later, Elizabeth graduated from Azusa Pacific University with Master’s degrees in both Handbell Performance and Conducting. She is now an accomplished soloist, music teacher, and conductor. Her graduate recital, “The History of Handbells,” featured 13 pieces narrating the rich traditions of English handbells as well as moving the art forward into the next generation. Elizabeth has earned the first Master of Music degree in Performance: Handbells in the United States. She is a founding member of the professional handbell ensemble Timbre and serves as Education Director for Area 12 of the Handbell Musicians of America. Her debut solo handbell album, Pure Imagination, is currently in progress. By day, she works as the Registrar for Anaheim University. By night she enjoys concerts and karaoke. And she still blames it all on her mother.

Christine Anderson

The solo handbell artistry of Christine D. Anderson is world-renowned. With finesse, grace and dexterity, Christine’s solo handbell artistry has thrilled audiences in concert halls in 26 countries and in all 50 United States. She is a dynamic musician in every respect, and maintains a standard of excellence that is worthy of any concert venue and worship experience. Christine is a phenomenal musical leader with special insight into “what could be”. She doesn’t let difficulties stop her, and not only solves the technical problems before her, but also makes her solutions artistic and beautiful. She is simultaneously professional and accessible, and helps others to improve their skills while she demonstrates the wonderful ministry abilities that God has given her to share with the world.

Having completed her B.A. in music performance in 1972, Christine directed 6 handbell choirs at Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church in Ft. Lauderdale, FL, and began conducting workshops and festivals around the country.
She rang her first handbell solo in 1980, discovering the gift that would define her life’s work. Christine has produced several videos, DVDs, and CDs, and has published over 126 handbell solo arrangements. Her expertise ranges from beginning through advanced choirs, solo, and ensemble ringing, and handbell maintenance and refurbishing. She has been an annual recipient of the ASCAP Standards Award for compositions and performances for many years. In 2020 Christine received a lifetime achievement award from Handbell Musicians of America.
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Erik Der

Erik is the community engagement manager for the arts and the handbell program manager at Concordia University, Irvine. He is a skilled handbell musician with 18 years of ringing experience. He directs two
children’s handbell ensembles at Trinity United Presbyterian in Santa Ana, an adult bell group at Covenant Presbyterian Church in Orange, and he has been a clinician at multiple handbell events in Orange County, California. In addition to directing, he is a member of St. John’s Cathedral Bells in Orange, California with his wife, Katelyn.

Herb Geisler

“Dr. G.” is professor emeritus of music at Concordia University Irvine, CA, formerly chair of the music department and director of the music education program and of CUI’s handbell program serving up to 50 ringers annually.  He has taught courses in music education, church music, ethnomusicology and theory at Concordia Irvine as well as Concordia College, Ann Arbor, MI, after teaching high school music, English, and religion in Hong Kong and Detroit. He earned his B.A. in Music and M.A. in Education at Concordia University in Illinois and the Ph.D. in Music Education at the University of Michigan.

He has been a church music director and organist since high school in New York, Illinois, Hong Kong, Michigan, and California, also presenting papers at ethnomusicology conferences and clinics at handbell events including several with AGEHR/HMA as well as co-administering annual “Summer Ring” workshops with Nancy Jessup at CUI, hosting well-known guest clinicians from across the US. He first “discovered” handbells in Ann Arbor when a donor gave a 3-octave set of bells to University Lutheran Chapel. “So what do we do with these?” we asked. From there he attended workshops, met Donald Allured at a Westminster Handbell Choir concert and then at Bay View and was so enthralled by a performance of the Kanto Gakuin handbell choir in Michigan that he visited them in Japan. He then organized or assisted handbell programs at churches, schools, and at Concordia College in Michigan before moving on to Christ College Irvine, CA—now Concordia University.

He has organized and administered summer youth music camps and workshops involving handbells in Michigan, Hong Kong, and California. His handbell ensembles have performed in 37 states and 13 nations on four continents along with Nancy, two of the last to Australia and Alaska. His “finale” with the CUI Concert Handbells was an evening performance at the 2017 National Seminar in Anaheim, CA. He has composed and performed several works for handbells, some published by Concordia and Morning Star. He recruited Kiulan as a CUI ringer and then wife. They live in Lake Forest, CA, still supporting local handbell activities as well as in their native New York and Hong Kong.

Kendra Symonds

Kendra Symonds currently serves as Chair of Area 12 of HMA.She started ringing handbells when she was eleven, and is a fourth-generation handbell ringer descended from Helen M. Runkle, one of the founders of the New England Guild of English Handbell Ringers, which later developed into HMA. Additionally, Kendra is the Music Director of Bay Bells, which rehearses in the San Francisco Bay Area. When not directing or ringing, Kendra teaches music at a private middle school in the Bay Area and is active in the local music community.

Michèle Sharik

Michèle Sharik rings professionally with Sonos Handbell Ensemble, is the founding Artistic Director of Timbré, and is an internationally-renowned handbell soloist, conductor, and teacher. She completed a Bachelor of Arts in Visual and Performing Arts in 2012 from Cal State San Marcos and a Graduate Certificate in Performing Arts Medicine in 2017 from Shenandoah University, as well as an updated certification in 2019 from the Performing Arts Medicine Association. Michèle is Master Teacher of Handbell Techniques for the Certification program of the Handbell Musicians of America, and is a former Chair of Area 12.

Stephanie “Stevie” Berryman

Stevie Berryman is astonishingly good at the game Boggle. She can fold a fitted sheet so it looks like it came right out of the package. Likewise, her skills as music director and teacher have also been acquired through long hours of arduous and dedicated practice. For much of her career Stevie has directed seven or more ensembles each week, meaning she has 98 years of experience (in dog years). Her effusive energy and wild creativity found a perfect setting in 2013 when she became the Artistic Director of the Houston Chamber Ringers, which has let her smash together her love for music, laughter, and tacos in a truly remarkable way. She has a particular passion for teaching children how to ring, and her innovative methods have made her a sought after educator at area and national handbell festivals. Stevie serves as the handbell director at First Congregational Church Houston, and loves helping other choirs as a private clinician or planning epic concerts for them as a creative consultant. She and her husband Paul are co-owners of Truly Horrible Things, a snarky card game company, even though her mother always told her that no one would ever pay her to be sarcastic.

Tessique Houston

Tessique Houston holds a Bachelor of Music in Music Education from the University of Nevada, Reno, where her main instrument was flute. She has been ringing handbells since she fell in love with them during her student teaching in 1995. Tessique currently rings with Sonos Handbell Ensemble and Tapestry Ringers and Singers. She directs the Chancel Handbell Choir at Lafayette-Orinda Presbyterian Church, is the Director of Handbell Ministries at Walnut Creek UMC, and teaches at various handbell clinics throughout the area. Tessique taught Elementary General Music (K-6) for ten years, and now works part time as a substitute teacher. She is also the Past-Chair for Area 12 of The Handbell Musicians of America and a member of Sigma Alpha Iota International Music Fraternity. In her spare time she enjoys reading, crossword puzzles, and pushing her husband, Brian, off cliffs!