2017-2018 Area 4 Board
Marie Loeffler - Chair
Marie Loeffler has been a member of Handbell Musicians of America for over 30 years. Trained as a dancer and choreographer, Marie combines her two passions by choreographing pieces for both sides of the table and teaches workshops on a variety of bell and dance related topics for festivals, individual choirs, and aspiring solo ringers.
She started her handbell adventures in New England performing with several touring and festival choirs, serving as event planner, workshop leader, and treasurer on the Area 1 Board. Marie currently resides in Orlando, Florida and has previously served in Area 4 as Secretary, Orlando District Leader, and Florida State Chair.
When not ringing handbells, Marie works as a Life Purpose and Career Coach helping Christian Professional Women develop and strengthen their unique leadership style so they positively impact their workplace. As a public speaker, she presents inspiring and motivational programs incorporating bells with messages of hope and practical teaching on thriving in the midst of change.
Heather Lynne Ellison - Secretary
Heather Ellison is the Music Associate at Peachtree Presbyterian Church in Atlanta, Georgia. She is the music administrator of the church and serves as a staff soprano. She directs four handbell ensembles ranging in age from second grade to adults and she directs the first through third grade children’s choir.
Her love of handbells began as a young child under the direction of Marlene Anderson. Although directing keeps her from ringing on a regular basis, she has the opportunity to ring quartet music during the holidays.
Heather has great enthusiasm for arts administration, development and management. Prior to coming to Peachtree on a full-time basis she served as Executive Director of the Atlanta Boy Choir, Annual Fund Manager of The Atlanta Opera, and Reception and Box Office Manager of the Phoenix Boys Choir.
Heather received her Bachelors in Sacred Music from Mercer University in Macon, Georgia. She is a member of Handbell Musicians of America and serves on the Mercer University Townsend School of Music Alumni Board. In July 2013, Heather is the handbell clinician at the Atlanta Chapter of Chorister’s Guild Mabel Boyter Choir Camp.
Heather and her husband Richard have two children and reside in Marietta, Georgia.
William J. Murphy - Treasurer
Lynne Homan - Florida Chair
Lynne is excited to be the new Florida State Chair for Handbell Musicians of America Area 4. Following the leadership of Valerie Stephenson gives her big shoes to fill and she is pressing forward to continue with the annual Florida festival and Fall workshops.Her music background consists of playing the piano since the age of 7, including playing for her junior high chorus and church choirs and playing and/or directing bells off and on since 1977. She currently directs the JuBELLation and Shining Lights ("special needs") handbell choirs at Palm Harbor United Methodist Church and plays with the Suncoast Bronze community handbell choir.
Lynne is a full-time registered dental hygienist. She is married to her husband Jim. She has two children and is very excited to now be a grandma to her first granddaughter. Lynne herself is a native Floridian who has spent most of her entire life in Pinellas County, Florida.
With much excitement and energy, she looks forward to new, exciting ideas and activities to spread the excitement of being a member of Handbell Musicians of America. She is open to any and all ideas and would love to make this position come alive for everyone involved in bells from the newest ringer to those with much more experience.
Sally Traylor - Membership Chair
Sally Traylor resides in LaGrange, GA, where she has volunteered as handbell director at First Baptist Church on the Square for the past 27 years. In addition to the four handbell choirs comprised of children, youth, and adults, she also directs a children’s choir. She is a graduate of Auburn University, with a major in Mathematics and a minor in Music Education, and holds a Masters Degree in Education from the University of West Georgia. After teaching high school math for ten years, Sally became a stay-at-home mom and private flute and piano teacher. She serves the Guild as a GA District Leader and often teaches classes at handbell workshops. She also enjoys ringing and was thrilled to ring with the Dream Team at Pinnacle 2010. Sally and her husband, David, have a daughter, son, and daughter-in-law.
Alan Lohr - Chair-Elect
Roxanne Golden - Past Chair
Roxanne began her music career at an early age, becoming the pianist and organist for her home church at the age of 12. Over the years, she has led the music ministries of various Atlanta and North GA churches, serving as organist and/or pianist, directing adult, youth and children vocal choirs and has developed several highly recognized handbells choirs. She is currently in her 13th year as Music/Worship Leader at Jasper United Methodist Church. She is active in the Handbell Musicians of America (formerly the American Guild of English Handbell Ringers) and is currently Chair for Area 4 (GA, FL, SC, Bahamas and Puerto Rico). She has served the Guild as GA State Chair, Clinician, staff member, nominations committee and participant in many Area 4 and National Festivals. She served on the organizing committee and taught in 2002 for Pinnacle (Community/Professional Handbell Conference) in Orlando, FL. A highlight of her career has been teaching bells at Lake Junaluska for the Music and Worship Arts Week for the Southeastern Jurisdiction for the Fellowship of United Methodists in the summers of 1998, 2000, 2003, 2007 and 2011. Roxanne is in demand as a clinician for the Handbell Development Seminars sponsored by Jeffers Handbell Supply, Inc as well as a guest conductor at handbell festivals throughout the Southeast. In March 2012, she conducted the GA Methodist Handbell Festival.
An accomplished arranger and composer of handbell music, Roxanne has published arrangements for handbells of Carol of the Bells (Level 4), It is Well in the setting of Beethoven (bell solo), Angels Watching Over Me (Level 3) and Grace to You (Level 2). In addition, she has several solo, quartet, and full group arrangements awaiting publication.
Roxanne is Founder and Director of Golden Bells of Atlanta, Atlanta's premier community handbell choir with ringers from all over the Atlanta metro area. Their concerts are noted for their musical variety such as classical, traditional and contemporary; sacred as well as secular; soundtrack themes. majestic and vibrant styles; creative use of bell techniques, staging and choreography; and inclusion of other instruments with the handbells.
Roxanne, a native of Atlanta, lives in Big Canoe with her husband, Dr. James N. Golden. They have three sons, Andy, Christopher and Josh, and a new daughter-in-law, Kara.
Betty Myers - South Carolina Chair
Rhonda Freeman - Georgia Chair
Rhonda H. Freeman discovered handbells in the 3rd grade and she has loved and played them ever since. Rhonda began serving as Director of 1-2 children’s handbell choirs and several children’s choirs at Mt. Pisgah UMC in Johns Creek, Georgia in 1993. She directs the adult handbell choir and each year they perform regularly in church, 4-6 nursing homes in the community and a large holiday dinner concert, Handbells in Harmony. They also perform for the NACF, North Atlanta Christmas Festival, each year. Rhonda chaired the major fundraising event, Celebrate with Music, for NFMTA, North Fulton Music Teachers Association, 2007-2010. She chaired the Spring Ring for Area IV in 1994 and in 1997. She was a clinician for solo handbell ringing techniques for the Area IV Georgia Spring Ring in 2008, 2009, and 2013 and the Florida director’s seminar in 1998. Rhonda started ringing with the professional handbell choir Golden Bells of Atlanta under the direction of Roxanne Golden in 2008 and she chairs a committee.
Rhonda graduated from Florida State University in 1981 with a BME and a MAS in 1984. She taught general music in several schools from 1981-1987. She taught the Yamaha piano method from 1981- 1989. She has been teaching piano lessons since 1981 and has 20+ students. Rhonda is married to Terry, who is the CFO for an Atlanta Bank. They have been married for 29 years and have 3 children: Grace, Emily and Bradford, and 2 spoiled dogs.
Jeremy Rush - Communications Chair
Donna Bradham - Archivist