Board Election happening now!

Ballots have just been mailed to Area 6 members to elect new board members for the 2011-2013 term. There are candidates for three positions: Chair-Elect, Secretary, and Treasurer. Results will be announced at our regional festival in Gatlinburg next month.


Bob Bidewell

Bob Bidewell, a native of Poplar Bluff, Missouri, is the Director of Music and Organist at St. Paul United Methodist Church in Little Rock, Arkansas. At St. Paul, he directs the Chancel Choir, the St. Paul Ringers and the Joyful Noise Children’s Choir. He oversees the church concert series — St. Paul Casual Concerts.

He has worked in the field of church music for over 30 years and serves as Past Chair/CHIME Chair of the Arkansas Chapter of the American Guild of English Handbell Ringers. He is a member of the Central Arkansas Chapter of the American Guild of Organists, and serves as Secretary for the Arkansas Chapter of the Fellowship of United Methodists in Music and Worship Arts. Bob holds a Masters Degree in Music Education from Arkansas State University in Jonesboro.

Bob has twice attended the AGEHR Master Class in Conducting with Dr. Bill Payn and served as clinician for the Westminster Ringers Handbell Seminar in Maryland (2004) and the Illinois-Great River Handbell Workshop in Springfield, Illinois (2011).

Tommy Steadman

Tommy Steadman, a native of Morton, MS, is the Director of Music Ministry at First United Methodist Church, Clinton, MS. He has worked in the field of church music for over 32 years. He has 25 years of experience leading handbell choirs. He is currently leading four bell choirs of all ages and skill levels. Tommy obtained his Master of Music Education Degree from MS College. He is Past Mississippi State Chair of Area 6, AGEHR. He has participated in and taken many handbell choirs to various workshops. Tommy has also served as a guest clinician at various handbell workshops.


Kathy Milstead

Kathy Milstead attended Northeast Louisiana University (now known as ULM) on a 4 year vocal grant singing with the University Chorale under the direction of Dr. Edward Deckard. She graduated in 1984 with a Bachelor of Business Administration in Computer Information Systems, and has spent the past 20 plus years working for CenturyLink, a national telecommunications provider located in Monroe, Louisiana. Music, in one form or another, has always been a part of her life, but she fell in love with handbells when she started ringing in high school. Kathy is currently the volunteer handbell director for the Selah Ringers of First Baptist Church of Calhoun, Louisiana, and has served as the church’s volunteer Children’s Choir Director as well. When she is not busy directing, she rings with the Red River Ringers, an advanced community handbell ensemble, in Shreveport, Louisiana. Kathy rings solos and duets.

Fred Graham is the music director and organist at Our Lady of the Holy Souls Church in Little Rock, Arkansas. He has been a handbell ringer since high school, and directs the Parish Handbell Choir at Holy Souls. He received the Master of Sacred Music Degree from Boston University and the Bachelor of Music Degree in Sacred Music from Centenary College of Louisiana.


Ruth Howald

Ruth Howald has rung handbells with choirs in Minnesota, Maryland, California and now Alabama, including the Westminster Ringers (Maryland) and Embellishments (Alabama) community choirs. She also previously directed at Glyndon United Methodist. She currently rings with the Riverchase UMC Celebration Ringers and Chancel Ringers. She is also a solo ringer, and does duets with her husband as well. Ruth is the current Area 6 Treasurer.

Adam Philley

Adam Philley is Director of Music Ministries at Asbury United Methodist Church, Bossier City, LA, since June, 2008. He holds a Bachelors of Music in Sacred Music from Centenary College, Shreveport, LA, where he studied handbells with Mary Caldwell. He was a featured soloist and conductor of the Centenary College Choir and the Centenary Camerata and Chorale performing all over the world including Carnegie Hall, Switzerland, Germany, France, Ireland, England and Wales. Adam is very active in the community holding a staff position with the Shreveport Little Theatre Academy, playing in the Red River Ringers, singing in the Shreveport Chamber Singers and participating in many community theater productions.

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