Area 6 is led by a volunteer board of officers. Every two years, an election is held for all area members to determine a new Chair-Elect, Secretary, and Treasurer. The other board positions are filled by appointment as needed.
The current board term is effective through the end of September 2017. These are the members currently serving:
- Chair: Sondra Tucker
- Chair-Elect: Mary Caldwell
- Past Chair: Andrew Duncan
- Secretary: Kelley Clegg-Neal
- Treasurer: Holly Eaton-Bradfield
- Alabama State Chair: Shane Kennedy
- Arkansas State Chair: Holly Eaton-Bradfield
- Louisiana State Chair: Adam Philley
- Mississippi State Chair: Martha Smith
- Tennessee State Chair: Melissa Emerson
Sondra Tucker, BSE, MMus (b. 1957) is Handbell Editor for the sacred music division of Alfred Publications. She is also Organist/Choirmaster at Holy Apostles Church (Episcopal) in Collierville (Memphis), Tennessee, where she plays the organ, directs the musical ensembles of the church, and oversees a concert series. She is active in the Handbell Musicians of America, serving Areas 6 and 9 in various capacities, and teaches composition at the Master Series of classes sponsored by the Guild. She is in demand as a conductor and clinician for denominational and Guild events, and has many published pieces to her credit. She lives in Memphis with her husband, and has two children and two granddaughters.
Mary Caldwell has served as Director of Music Ministries at Broadmoor United Methodist Church in Shreveport since 1996. She is responsible for the complete music program including six choral and five handbell choirs. She also directs a handbell ensemble at Centenary College in Shreveport. Mary has served as clinician at several festivals and local retreats. She received her Master of Music degree from Northwestern State University.
Andrew Duncan is the Director of Choral Ministries at Cedar Springs Presbyterian Church in Knoxville, Tennessee. His responsibilities there include adult and youth vocal choirs; writing and arranging for the worship band and instruments; and worship planning with the music staff and pastors. Andrew is also editor of Ring-Press, an online handbell music publishing company.
Andrew received his Masters degrees in Choral Conducting and Piano Performance from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music. He is an active arranger and composer and has orchestrated many anthems and carols for orchestra, choir, and handbells, as well as several handbell pieces published by AGEHR and GIA. He has served as clinician for the Epiphany Ring, TVA Handbell Festival, and Knoxville Area Handbell Festival. He sings tenor with the Knoxville Choral Society and Chamber Chorale, serves as accompanist for the Chamber Chorale, plays violin in a local string ensemble, and is (much to his wife’s chagrin) an aspiring accordionist. For more information about Andrew’s music, visit his blog at www.andrewduncanmusic.com.
Kelley Clegg Neal has been playing or directing handbells since 1995. She has been director the Jubilant Ringers—advanced choir, Chancel Chimes—beginning choir, Children’s Handchimes—grades 1-6, Home School Children’s Handchimes—grades 2-6 and Southern Belles—adult small ensemble at Trussville United Methodist Church since 2010. Kelley has also served on the design team for the Central Alabama Handbell Festival for five years and is currently chair of the team. She holds a Bachelor of Since in Music Education from the University of North Alabama and a Masters Degree in Elementary Education from the University of Alabama at Birmingham. She has taught music education in several Alabama schools as well as the Blount county Education Foundation—9 Music Camps for Elementary Students. Kelley has been married to Rev. Donald S. Neal for 34 years and has one daughter, Mary Elizabeth, who teaches music in Birmingham, AL.
Treasurer; Arkansas State Chair
Holly Eaton-Bradfield has been the director of the Wild Bells Handbell Choir at Sylvan Hills United Methodist Church in Sherwood, Arkansas, for the past 15 years, and has rung bells for 25. Holly is the pianist and substitute organist at SHUMC, and worked for 19 years at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences as the executive assistant to the vice chancellor for regional programs. In addition to the Area 6 position, she is also chairperson of the Arkansas chapter of the Handbell Musicians of America.
Alabama State Chair
Shane Kennedy is the Worship & Fine Arts Associate at Trinity United Methodist Church in Huntsville, a position he has held since August 2002. A native of Folly Beach, South Carolina, he completed a Masters of Music degree in vocal performance and church music in 2008 from Belmont University in Nashville. He directs the handbell and youth music ministries at Trinity, and is currently the artistic director of the Heritage Ringers of Huntsville, an auditioned community handbell choir. Previously, Mr. Kennedy was a member of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra Chorus from 1997-2002 under directors Robert Shaw and Norman Mackenzie. He has performed numerous tenor lead solos for local theater, church and university productions.
Louisiana State Chair
Adam Philley holds a M.M. in Choral Conducting from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and a B.M. in Sacred Music from Centenary College of Louisiana. He currently serves as the Director of Music Ministries at Broadmoor United Methodist Church in Shreveport. He is an adjunct voice professor at Bossier Parish Community College and often music directs for the Shreveport Little Theatre Academy. Adam is the founding conductor of the Prisma Vocal Ensemble now in their third season. Adam plays with the community handbell group The Red River Ringers as well as the Carillon Choir of Broadmoor UMC.
Mississippi State Chair
Martha Smith is from Jackson, MS and is currently serving as our Mississippi State Chair. Martha has rung in choirs off and on for 35 years, the last 15 with Covenant Presbyterian Church in Jackson, where she also directs and does an occasional solo. The soprano section of the Chancel Choir will also claim her under cheerful duress. She graduated from University of Maryland with a B.A. in English Lit and promptly did nothing with said degree except continue to read a lot. She currently lives in Jackson, Mississippi with her husband and 3 sons, who keep her occupied when she’s not at church.
Tennessee State Chair
Melissa Emerson (more information to come)
Evy Lamb first heard handbells in Omaha, Nebraska, when she was Coordinator of the North Omaha Cluster of United Methodist Churches. She had the opportunity to join a handbell choir in graduate school and has been involved with them from then on, directing handbell groups at several churches. In addition to CHIME Chair, she has served on the Area 6 Board as Chair Elect, Chair, and Arkansas Chair. She has been involved in planning State and Area festivals and seminars, and has taught classes at local, state, area, and national festivals. She is currently Director of Handbell Ministries at Central United Methodist Church in Rogers, Arkansas, and directs handbell choirs for children, youth, adults, and ensembles. She also is owner/director of Shepherd Music School in Rogers.
Tracy Gartmann started playing handbells at the age of 12 at First UMC in Delran, New Jersey, where she grew up. After graduating from Candler School of Theology in 1994, she directed a youth handbell choir and played in another bell choir in Atlanta, Georgia. Now married to a United Methodist pastor and living in Knoxville, Tennessee, she has consistently played in any church handbell choir that would take her. She currently plays with three groups at three different churches. She enjoys teaching piano, volunteer directing the children’s choir at St. Mark UMC, and loves to attend local and area boot camps and festivals.