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"Ring Tones" Newsletter

The official newsletter of CCR.

Current issue:

Fall 2018

Did You Know?

A long-standing tradition in CCR, each member has a "Bell Nickname" that represents some characteristic of themselves. CCR ringers come from a wide variety of occupations and backgrounds. Be sure to check out all the interesting and creative nicknames.

CCR Group Photo

What is an "English" Handbell?

The term 'English' refers to the type of clapper mechanism rather than the country of origin. English handbell clappers move on a single plane (back and forth) rather than any direction or plane, like a school bell or cow bell.

Audition for CCR! Come Join Us!

For Whom the Bell Tolls...

Would like to audition for the Capital City Ringers? Or perhaps be a sub for rehearsals? If this sounds like your calling, contact us or call director Nicole Leppala for more information.

The Capital City Ringers Handbell Ensemble - About Us

Click here for a group photo to meet the ringers and directors.

The Capital City Ringers would love to play for your event: wedding, concert, civic event, corporate function, workshops, special celebrations, etc. We generally book performances 1 year in advance, so contact us now!

The Capital City Ringers, Inc., an auditioned community handbell ensemble from Lansing, Michigan, was formed in 1984 to give an opportunity for advanced handbell ringers to grow, learn, and promote the art of handbell ringing by providing a high quality musical experience for diverse audiences. These advanced ringers come from the extended Lansing area. They volunteer their time and talents and are committed to community service projects and concert performances in the Lansing area and beyond. Their fifteen to twenty concerts a year take them to many areas of Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, Ohio, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and even as far as Disney World, Florida, in the summer of 1991. They also have been the featured group for the opening concert of Handbell Musicians of America Area V Festival Conferences. The Capital City Ringers are known for their musical expression and dynamic interpretation of the music they play. Their goals are achieved through participating in festival conferences, workshops, tours, recordings, and other performance opportunities.

The Capital City Ringers have performed for a variety of local and civic events in the Greater Lansing Area and beyond, such as, Silver Bells in the City, East Lansing Winterbowl and Chili Cook-off, East Lansing Arts Festival, Festival of the Trees, Tuba Bach Chamber Music Festival, and have performed with the Lansing Symphony Orchestra at the Wharton Center for Performing Arts, and the Mason Symphony Orchestra. CCR has also been featured on several concert series and programs, including Handbell Podcast and the Dr. Christmas radio show.

Arts Council LogoCommunity service performances at retirement centers in the Greater Lansing area have been made possible by grants from the Arts Council of Greater Lansing and the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs. CCR acknowledges these organizations for their support. The Capital City Ringers maintain membership in both of these organizations.

The group owns and performs on a full 7 octave set of Malmark English handbells, from C2 to C9, several duplicate bells, a 6-plus octave set of Malmark Choirchimes©, and a variety of auxiliary percussion instruments. CCR will often be accompanied by other instruments, such as drums, bass guitar, keyboard, clarinet, flute, tuba, euphonium, cello, or even a synthesizer.

Dr. William PaynThe Capital City Ringers Handbell Ensemble has a composition that was written especially for them, Réunir, by Dr. William A. Payn, which was commissioned by Lorraine Finison in 1991. This hauntingly beautiful piece displays a multitude of colorful emotions exemplifying the group's musical interpretation and expression. We are proud to mention that Réunir has been selected as a bronze piece for both Eastern and Western AGEHR National Festival Conferences, several area festival conferences, local festivals and conferences, and most recently, the 9th International Handbell Symposium held in Birmingham, England in August of 2000. This is truly a dynamic composition that has international appeal and is known the world over. We are very proud of the success of this piece! Thank you Dr. Payn!




CCR would also like to acknowledge and thank Capital Data in Lansing for graciously providing rehearsal space for the group. Additionally, we thank all of you who support CCR and make it possible for us to bring the unique sound of handbells to the local Lansing area community and beyond.

The Capital City Ringers would love to play for your event: weddings, concerts, civic events, corporate functions, special celebrations, etc.

Come join us!
We currently rehearse on Monday evenings from 6:30 p.m. to 9:15 p.m. at Capital Data in Lansing, MI. Our rehearsals are open, so come visit, watch, and listen, or pick up a bell and ring with us!

Audition for CCR! Maybe you would like to audition to be a Capital City Ringer, or perhaps a sub? We are seeking experienced, committed ringers who are looking for a challenging outlet for advanced handbell opportunities while having fun. We currently have two terms per calendar year; Fall and Winter/Spring. Auditions are generally held in August each year, however, from time to time, we have openings in January.

If this sounds like your calling, E-mail us or call director, Mark Loring at (616) 307-3454 for audition information.

E-mail us at: capitalcityringers(at) or call Mark Loring (616) 307-3454 for booking information, inquiries about the group, audition information, comments, or just to say "Hi!" Or see our 'Contact Us' page for more ways to reach CCR.



Meet The Capital City Ringers Handbell Ensemble

Meet the Music Director

MarkMark Loring - Mark brings 30 years of experience to the position of Music Director of the Capital City Ringers. Throughout his extensive career he has conducted
numerous multi-generational church handbell ensembles. Mr. Loring graduated from Northwestern University where he received his Master of
Music in 1992. In 1989 he received his Bachelor of Music Degree at the University of New Hampshire. He is also an accomplished pianist and organist and is the Director of Traditional Worship at Ward Church in
Northville, MI. His other interests include fly fishing, badminton, hiking, reading, and online chess.

“My philosophy of ringing is one of ringing beyond the notes. To encourage handbell ringers to tap into their inner musicality. Thus, creating audience-friendly music that is both exciting to the ringer and audience alike.”









Meet the Ringers. . .


2023 Fall


CCR 2023

Kyle Dymond
- a.k.a. Fresh Prince of Bell-air, joined CCR in the fall of 2019 and says he is having a blast!  Kyle and his wife Sarah started ringing in 2002 at Delta Presbyterian Church, where his mother-in-law was the director of the Bellievers.  Sarah is now the director and one of their daughters has joined the group, too.  In addition to handbell ringing, Kyle is an accomplished cello player.  Professionally, he is a University of Michigan graduate with a Psychology and Spanish double major, and also has a Masters of Science in Administration with a concentration in Leadership from Central Michigan University.  He works for the Michigan Civil Service Commission.  Personally, he married his high school sweetheart and they will celebrate their 22nd anniversary in 2022.  Kyle has three children: Noel, Sam, and Ben.  His spare time is often spent shuttling the kids to play practice and other activities. 

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Sara Dymond
- a.k.a. Saved by the Bell, joined CCR in the ill-fated spring term 2020 and is thrilled to be a part of the group.  Sarah grew up in a bell-ringing family and remembers seeing CCR perform at the Spring Ring as a teenager, hoping one day she would join them!  Sarah is the former Handbell Director at Delta Presbyterian Church.  She and her husband, Kyle, recently joined the handbell choir at The Peoples Church in East Lansing.  Sarah also plays flute and played saxophone in the past.  She has a Master’s Degree in Social Work and is employed as a Mental Health Therapist, working with children and families.  Sarah and Kyle have three children.

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*Corlie Eldred
- a.k.a. Bell Amie. Corlie comes to us from Williamston, MI, where she has been involved in music ministry at Williamston United Methodist Church for nearly 40 years, and currently serves as director of the handbell choir, "Joyful Noise". Other musical activities include teaching piano and accompanying students at area festivals and recitals, and playing the hammered dulcimer. Having raised three sons, Corlie and her husband Keith now enjoy any chance they get to spend time with their grandchidlren. They also enjoy traveling to places near and far, and weekends often find them competing in dog shows and agility trials with their Irish Setters. On nice days, Corlie's favorite things to do are walking with her human or canine buddies, or working in her flower gardens. Corlie has particpated several years in the Bay View Week of Hanbdells, and recently participated several times in Distinctly Bronzet.  She joined CCR in 2008.

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Justin Farmer
- a.k.a. Bell Number - joined CCR in the Fall of 2023. He is a PhD student in Economics at Michigan State University, coming from Charlotte, North Carolina. He has previously rung in both the Charlotte Bronze and the Raleigh Ringers handbell ensembles, as well as his church handbell choir. His other muscial pursuits include piano, percussion, and singing tenor in choirs. Prior to coming to Michigan, Justin graduated from Chapel Hill and North Carolina State, and spent three years teaching music and English in Japan. He says: "Outside of music and school... well, what else do you need in life?!"

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* Kim Finison
- a.k.a. Dr. Bell, primarily rings bass bells and bass chimes, but often plays a variety of percussion instruments, trumpet, trap set, bass guitar, ukulele, or keyboard. Kim joined CCR in 1989, and with his wife, Lorraine, commissioned a piece ('Blue Tango' by Cathy Moklebust) in 2013 to celebrate their 25th season together in CCR. He currently serves as the equipment manager and web master for CCR, and in his spare time (what ever that is!) enjoys computers, photography, playing trumpet, and working on sick handbells and bringing them back to health (hence the nickname). Kim  has been a clinician (bell maintenance and bass bell techniques) at various handbell events in Area 5 of the Handbell Musicians of America. He also is a retired 13 year verteran of the Deep Pit Bass Bells at the Bay View Week of Handbells, and made his WoH debut on trap set in 2015. Kim has served as CCR's Bass Section leader for several years before turning the reins over to Rick Hobrla. He is married to Lorraine Finison, whom he met in CCR, and father to CCR ringer Lindsay Finison and (former CCR ringer) Andrea Finison Palomba, and enjoys being "Pop-pops" to his 4 grandchildren.  Kim plays trumpet in the Mason Symphony Orchestra, the DeWitt Community Concert Band, and the Jazz Band at the MSU CMS .  He also likes to play the ukulele and bass guitar in his spare time. In 2001 Kim and Lorraine visited the Malmark factory in Plumsteadville, PA and were given a comprehensive personal tour by former Malmark vice-president, Willard Markey. Before leaving, Kim got to ring the G-0 and A-0 bells - (yes, that's G-ZERO and A-ZERO) - the largest playable handbells in the world.

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Lindsay (Finison) Smith
- a.k.a. Bell Diva.  Lindsay, joining CCR fall of 2004, says, "I grew up watching my dad (Kim Finison) ring with the Capital City Ringers. It is a great honor to now be ringing with the group that I grew up with and admired." Lindsay has been ringing bells since she was in the 3rd grade and now rings with the adult handbell choir at Mayflower Congregational Church, where she earned her bell nickname. Along with bells, Lindsay started piano lessons in the 3rd grade. Later, in band, she played baritone, clarinet, French horn, and trombone (jazz band). As you can tell, music is a huge part of her life.  Lindsay re-joins CCR after taking a couple of years off after the birth of her daughter, Stella.

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* Lorraine Finison -  a.k.a. Bell Goddess, is the corresponding secretary and treasurer for CCR and is the senior ringer, having just started her 35th year with the ensemble in the fall of 2022.  An accomplished 4-in-hand (and 6-in-hand) ringer, she has been with CCR since the fall of 1988.  Lorraine has served as the secretary of the Lansing Area Ministry of Bells since 1992 and is primarily responsible for the annual Spring Rings sponsored by LAMB.  She has also been a clinician at various handbell events.  Lorraine worked at the Michigan Department of State's Bureau of Regulatory Services (formerly Bureau of Automotive Regulation) as a Department Specialist for 32 years, retiring on January 1, 2011.  She has a Bachelor's degree in Criminal Justice from Grand Valley State University and a Master's degree in Corrections Administration from Michigan State University.  Lorraine is married to fellow CCR ringer Kim Finison and is stepmother to Kris Finison, Lindsay Finison Smith, and Andrea Finison Palomba (all current or former CCR members) and is the grandmother of five.

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* Rick Hobrla - a.k.a. Lord of the Ring - Rick joined CCR in the fall of 2001.  He began ringing handbells with the St. Gerard Church choir in 1996 and rang with both groups for a number of years.  He is in the process of retiring from his 45-year career working on water quality and Great Lakes issues for the State of Michigan.  He is a proud husband, father, grandfather and “doggy daddy” with wife, Deb, two adult children, three adult step-children, two grandkids, two step-grandkids, and a Yorkie.  He plans to spend retirement traveling, reading, ringing, and tracking down all of those missing socks that got lost in the laundry.

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Tammy Nott - a.k.a. Handbell Queen, fell in love with handbells as a teenager at Pilgrim Congregational Church in Lansing.  She started ringing at Pilgrim on Whitechapel bells, went to her first massed ring at a L.A.M.B. Spring Ring, and continued ringing at Kalamazoo College.  She spent 3 decades in the Metro Detroit area where she rang bells with various church choirs and eventually became a regular member of the Royal Oak Handbell Choir and the Detroit Handbell Ensemble.  In 2010 she received the best Christmas present:  a set of handbells for solo ringing, which she has enjoyed since.  All of this has prepared her for her ultimate destiny of joining the Capital City Ringers in the Fall of 2022.  When not ringing, Tammy enjoys reading, watching wildlife, and spending time with her parents.

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Cory Payne-Drueke
- a.k.a. Coral Bell.  Cory has lived most of her life in Miami, Florida, where she graduated from the University of Miami, and was a member of The Band of the Hour.  Shortly after college, she began working for Burger King Corporation, retiring after 39 years with the company as their Architectural Design Manager for North America.  She has been in a handbell choir since 1990, which she originally joined with her mother.  Cory and her husband Richard relocated to the Lansing area in 2017 to be near family and because of the possibility of ringing with CCR.  Together, they have two sons, two daughters, and five grandchildren, who are now all scattered around the country.  Cory likes to cook, which Richard says is great, because he likes to eat!  They also enjoy taking long trips and working on remodeling projects around the house.  She even enjoys shoveling snow!

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Shannon Quinn
- a.k.a. The Swingin' Ringer.  Shannon started playing bells at age 8 as a preacher's kid in Ohio. She learned 4-in-hand and the weave first in high school at Monroe Street UMC in Toledo. At Oberlin College she participated in a winter term project that allowed her to practice 5 hours a day 5 days a week for a whole month and resulted in the creation of the bell quartet "Krazy Dave and the Swingin' Ringers." During graduate school she played in Madison Area Concert Handbells in Madison, WI, and then played with St. John's United Church of Canada while living in Nova
Scotia for several years. In 2013 she was honored to join CCR! Shannon is an Assistant Professor of Russian at Michigan State University and works for the Center for Language Teaching Advancement. She also enjoys folk music, especially Russian folk music, and has a collection of Russian folk instruments that includes a Russian-style accordion and 3 balalaikas!

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Jen Scholes
- a.k.a. Tre-bell - joined CCR in the Fall of 2023. She has been involved with handbells since 2000 at University United Methodist Church, having directed the group for about 13 years and is currently ringing. She also sings in the choir at UUMC. Her other musical interests include trumpet and piano. Jen has a Bachelor's degree from MSU in Music Therapy and Psychology and a Maaster's degree in Social Work. She was a music therapist for 15 years and now works for MSU's School of Social Work as an advisor and instructor for the graduate program. Jen's immediate family includes husband Mike, the band director at St. Johns H.S. and director of the Meridian Community Band, and three children - Anna, Ella, and Kyle. She loves to travel, expecially visiting national parks. She says: "I believe strongly in the power of music to connect and heal!"

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Laaura Spraks
- a.k.a. Belladonna, returned to CCR in the fall of 2022 after a couple-year absence, starting her sixth stint in the group!  She originally joined CCR in the spring of 1991.  Laura started ringing at Plymouth Congregational in 1990.  She taught at Morrice Area Schools starting in 1979 as the band director, ending her career in 2020 when she taught middle school social studies and English.  Her family includes husband Dave, to whom she has been married 42 years, and adult sons Adam and Shawn and daughter Stephanie.  Her hobbies include reading, current events, gardening, being a sports fan, and playing flute and piano.

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Kristin Stroble
- a.k.a. Stro-bell, joined CCR in the fall of 2018 after moving to East Lansing.  She was an emergency replacement for another one of our new ringers from the spring of 2018, Cory Payne-Drueke, who had a medical emergency just before the fall season started.  CCR was glad Kristin was able to step in at the last minute.  Kristin has been ringing bells since she was 12 years old and directed a church handbell choir while she was in college.  She received her Bachelor of Music Education degree from the College of Wooster in WoosterOH, with a focus in choral music.  She then received her Master of Divinity degree from Columbia Theological Seminary in DecaturGA.  Kristin is the pastor of Eastminster Presbyterian Church in East Lansing.  In addition to musical interests, Kristin loves to read, travel, hike, bike, and visit the National Parks.

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Stu Talsma
- a.k.a Toll Road. Stu joined CCR in January 2012, ringing in the bass section. He started ringing in junior high in the youth bell choir at South (Baptist) Church and has rung in the adult bell choir directed by CCR member Eileen Ellis for many years. He also works in the multi-media room during Sunday services. Stu currently works as an analyst for the Michigan Dept. of State’s Bureau of Elections, and previously worked for 12 years in the Michigan Dept. of Technology and five years in the Michigan Dept. of Transportation. When he isn’t ringing bells, Stu is an avid reader of history and is a collector of books. He also enjoys travel and music.

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Jane Wright - a.k.a. Ma Bell, needs no introduction.  Jane founded the Capital City Ringers (then the Capital City Community Ringers) and the Lansing Area Ministry of Bells (LAMB) in the summer of 1984.  For the next 31 years, until the spring of 2015, Jane continued to serve as the ensemble's Artistic/Music Director, despite having moved to Kalamazoo in 2001.  Now, that's devotion!  Jane has served Mount Hope United Methodist Church in Lansing as Music Director for 19 years, followed by about the same number of years at Westwood United Methodist Church in Kalamazoo until her retirement a couple years ago.  Just recently, in the summer of 2022, Jane and her CCR ringer/alumnus husband Dave moved back to the Lansing area to be near two of their children and four of their grandchildren.  Jane and Dave have been married 52 years and have two daughters, Kate and Emily, and a son, Ben.  They each have two children, making a total of six grandchildren.  CCR is thrilled to have Jane back as a ringer (and back-up director), and we hope Dave will return as a ringer very soon.

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* Denotes section leaders: Kim - low bass & percussion, Rick - bass, Lorraine - treble, Corlie - Battery


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CCR Alumni...


Jessi Wortley Adler
Kendra Anspaugh
Mark Babb
Lisa Biasi Beals
Scott Beck
Wanda Beers
Nancy Bieber
Natalie Blunt
Katie Wharton Boes
Deidra Brown
Ros Butler
Norma Byers
Sue Casler
Karla Chamberlain
Peg Cheney
Elizabeth Clark
Shari Dann
Nancy Dawson Clark
Sue Clemence
Gertrude Curtis
Charles Daley
Shari Dann
Kate Wright Davinroy
Ashley Dickins
Sheryl Ebaugh
Mitchell Eithun
Eileen Ellis
Connie Engle
Tabitha Esbrook
Kris Finison
Judy Forester
Halen Foster

Chuck Gendrich
Kelly Gordon
Gary Gregory
Sherry Gregory
Betsy Greenwood
Dave Hafey
Christi Harris
Tricia Hartman
Jan Heath
Marty Herman
Cheryl Hill
Joe Hill
Marsha Hollopter
Jan Keen
Nancy Kindraka
Melissa Klamer
Benjamin Knapp
Laura Knudson
Lois Krieger
Rev. Kathy Kursch
Diane Lanning
Nicole Leppala
Chrisann Lowe
Susan Mahoney
Barbara Marley
Gary Masters
Rob Meyer-Kukan
Deb Nickels
Cheryl Niznak
Rebecca Nordhoff
Andrea Finison Palomba

Gina Patton
Bradley Poreda
Adam Reemts
Charlotte Reemts
Christine Reist
Michelle Ridley
Tammi Rockey
JoAnn Russell
Dianne Smith
Jean Ann Stacey
Kathryn Stehle
Aggie Steiner
Becky Stoner
Jodi Johns Sullivant
Kay Tanner
Wendy Tate
Alyia Thomas
Nadette Waligora
Paulanne Webb
Adrene Wilford
Carrie Woods
David Wright
Sharon Yohn
Cricket Young






















Meet CCR Founder and Music Director for the First 31 Years - Jane C. Wright

Ma Bell

Jane C. Wright - a.k.a. Ma Bell, founded the Capital City Community Ringers in 1984 when she discovered a need for advanced ringers and directors to ring more frequently and to ring more challenging and varied music than what their church handbell choirs could offer. Jane is the Director of Worship and Fine Arts at Westwood United Methodist Church in Kalamazoo. She holds a Bachelor of Music Education degree from Central Michigan University and a Master of Choral Conducting degree from Michigan State University. Jane has been in the stream of music education and conducting since 1973 and has taught public and private music education, band, choir, and handbells. She served as Director of Music Ministries at Mt. Hope UMC for 19 years. Jane founded the Lansing Area Ministry of Bells (LAMB), which promotes the art of handbell ringing through local festivals and workshops. She is a clinician for early conductors and handbell ringers. Jane has had the privilege of serving 4 years as Secretary on the Area V Board of the Handbell Musicians of America (formerly AGEHR), and has been a clinician for various handbell events, all of which have given her the opportunity to get to know a lot of "great people." Jane says, "Handbell ringing in America today is a very exciting medium in which to perform, and has gone beyond justifying or comparing itself with choral and instrumental ensembles. Handbells can be as musical and as expressive as we make them and the process can be delightful, especially if one enjoys the hard work it takes to strive for musical perfection. The sound is both beautiful and unique and there is great joy in the journey!"







Audition for CCR! Maybe you would like to audition to be a Capital City Ringer, or perhaps a sub? If this sounds like your calling, E-mail us or call Music Director, Mark Loring for audition information.

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