Area 5 Board Members
The Area 5 board members are here to serve you. If you have any Area 5 business, ideas for festivals or workshops, or questions about handbells in general, please reach out to us. We are happy to help in any way we can.
The Area 5 Board has a history of service dating back to 1960. We’re grateful to our previous Chairs for their service.
Jarod Ogier serves as the director of music ministries for Worthington United Methodist Church, where he directs the Chancel Choir and Jubilee Ringers. He is a co-founder, conductor, and current president of Columbus Rings, a community handbell ensemble composed of ringers from the central Ohio area. As a “daytime gig,” he works for University Libraries at Ohio State. When he’s not conducting, ringing, singing, or reading, you’ll find him spending time with his wife, Sarah, and their Irish terriers, Gus and Maeve.
Shannon Hardiek was introduced to handbells in 1985 and has been ringing or directing ever since. Currently, Shannon serves as director of the Trinity Ringers handbell choir at Trinity English Lutheran Church in Fort Wayne, Ind., alongside Bob Hobby and Evan Anderson. In 2017, Shannon shared her love of handbell ringing with band students at Homestead High School and started their first handbell choir. The next year, a second choir was added as interest grew. A number of students from this program have been selected for the Indiana Music Educators Association All-State Handbell Choir. Shannon is a founding partner of Phillips Financial where, for more than 20 years, she has been providing financial planning and investment management services to clients. Additionally, Shannon is past board chair for the Community Foundation of Greater Fort Wayne, currently serves as treasurer for the board of trustees at Canterbury School, is golf activities director for the LPGA Amateur Golf Association’s Fort Wayne chapter, and is a member of P.E.O. Chapter BD.
Jane Hicks Snow‘s handbell adventure began 47 years ago when she was introduced to handbells at Aldersgate UMC in Fort Wayne, Ind. The following year she attended a weeklong workshop for handbell directors and became director of middle and high school bell choirs while continuing to ring in an adult choir. She began the Three Rivers Handbell Festival in Fort Wayne under Don Allured’s tutelage. The community witnessed a tremendous increase in bell sets, from five to 33, in just three years, and the festival grew from 13 to 49 choirs in the same amount of time.
Contemporaneously, Jane began elementary handbell and chime choirs at Haverhill School. Her adventure continued when hired as director of music at Forest Park UMC, where she had a multi-choir program in addition to teaching handbell pedagogy and conducting the handbell ensemble at the former Indiana University–Purdue University Fort Wayne, now PFW.
Jane served as interim handbell director at First Wayne Street UMC while serving as handbell director at Trinity English Lutheran Church, both in Fort Wayne. After a move to Augusta, Ga., she rang with and substitute directed for the Ringers of the Church at Resurrection Lutheran Church. Upon her return to Indiana, Jane continued ringing at Trinity English and directed the adult bell choir at Waynedale UMC. Currently, Jane rings with Trinity English and substitute directs for colleagues.
Sherri Stoffer has been involved in music all her life. She began playing violin, piano, and handbells in kindergarten and later moved to oboe as her instrument of choice. She received her bachelor of music degree from Kent State University and her master’s degree from the Ithaca College Conservatory of Music. She learned handbells under the tutelage of Marilyn Hines in Slippery Rock, Pa., and through her time there, was introduced to the wonderful events of HMA. After college, she settled in the Akron, Ohio, area with her husband, Mark, and was brought back into handbell ringing by the late Dorothy Sarver, through a venture to start a community handbell ensemble in the northeast Ohio area. In 2000, Sherri was promoted to artistic director of Stow Heritage Ringers, Inc. and has been serving in that capacity ever since. She is a regular participant in the Bay View Week of Handbells and serves on the Donald E. Allured Original Composition Committee, promoting the creation of original music for our instrument. She has also served as a clinician and festival conductor at local and area HMA events. Professionally, Sherri is an account specialist at Proforma Solution Ventures in Akron, Ohio.
Linda VanDenBerg has been ringing handbells longer than she would like to confess. But, the more she rings, the greater her love for the art of handbell musicianship increases. By day, Linda is an accountant, and in the evenings she participates in her church handbell ensemble and any other handbell opportunity that comes her way. She also participates in the choir and praise band. Her accounting experience includes 15 years serving her church as treasurer. She is excited to serve on the Area 5 board and support the many festivals and workshops that she has attended over the years.
Brenda Hayden has been a church musician for her whole career, living and working in New Brunswick and Ontario, Canada, as well as in Cincinnati, Ohio and in Midland, Mich. She completed her undergrad in organ performance at Mt. Allison University in New Brunswick, and her master’s in church music at Trinity Lutheran Seminary in Columbus, Ohio. She recently moved back to the Cincinnati area and is taking on the new challenges of teaching K-12 school music in two northern Kentucky Catholic schools as well as being director of music at St. Catherine of Siena Church in Fort Thomas, Ky.
Brenda first played handbells in a church choir in the early 1990s, and since then has founded a youth choir and directed adult choirs in Ontario, Ohio, Michigan, and is now planting the seeds in northern Kentucky. She is sharing her love of teaching and ringing with her students by using chimes that are part of our Area 5 chime grant program, and the children are enjoying this new experience.
Brenda has two adult sons and two cats, Ivy and Phoenix. She is looking forward to settling into her new home in Cincinnati and to working with the Area 5 board to help spread the great news about music through handbells!
Jonathan Martz began his journey with handbells as a member of Purdue Bells during his time as an undergraduate and graduate student at Purdue University, and now rings with Joyful Sound in Indianapolis. After completing his master’s degree in organizational communication, he now works as an academic advisor for Purdue’s School of Mechanical Engineering. Outside of rehearsals and work, Jonathan enjoys photography and volunteering with his church, and is hoping to begin arranging music for handbells.
Eleanor Coffin has been ringing handbells for more than a decade; she learned to play in middle school, and rang with Purdue Bells while earning a degree in multidisciplinary engineering from Purdue University. She joined Joyful Sound, an Indianapolis-based community choir, in 2021, and has been on its board of directors since 2022, serving as secretary and now vice president. Eleanor lives in Indianapolis and is a product design engineer at Catalyst Product Development Group. She likes to spend her free time hiking, exploring new places, or hanging out with her cat.
Indiana State Chair
Jeffrey Scott Doebler serves as professor of music and director of music education and bands at Valparaiso University. Professor Doebler holds music education degrees from Luther College (B.A.), Valparaiso University (M.M.), and the University of Minnesota (Ph.D.). The recipient of numerous awards for teaching excellence, he is equally effective working with younger students, older students, and professional musicians. Dr. Doebler has appeared professionally in 30 states, Canada, Malta, Australia, New Zealand, Italy, and China. In a typical year he works with more than 3,000 students.
Dr. Doebler has been a handbell choir conductor for more than 30 years. He founded handbell choirs at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Shakopee, Minn., Lutheran Summer Music, Trinity Lutheran Church in Valparaiso, and re-founded the handbell choir at Valparaiso University. In 2018, he conducted the Indiana All-State Handbell Choir, which is believed to be the first all-state handbell choir in the nation. Dr. Doebler has also served as a clinician for HMA and the Association of Lutheran Church Musicians.
Kentucky State Chair
Abby Wentzel has been ringing handbells since the age of 10 and has participated in several church, school and community groups and HMA events across the country. She currently rings with Alluring Community Handbell Ensemble, where she’s been a member for the last six years. She lives in Nicholasville, Ky., with her partner, dog and two cats.
Michigan State Chair
Hannah Wheaton has been ringing handbells since she was 9. She started ringing at First United Methodist Church of Eaton Rapids under her mother, Brenda Austin’s baton. She began ringing with Embellish Community Handbell Ensemble in Grand Rapids while earning a bachelor’s degree in nursing from Grand Valley State University. She has enjoyed attending handbell events in the past 10 years, both in Area 5 and nationally. When not making music or nursing, Hannah enjoys crocheting with her cat, Teazer.
Ohio State Chair
Cheryl Onesky started ringing handbells in 1997 after her church acquired a two-octave set of Malmarks. She immediately fell in love with the instrument, and sought additional opportunities for ringing outside of the church choir environment. She attended every Area 5 conference that was offered to learn more about bell techniques, four-in-hand ringing, and ensemble ringing, beginning in 2000 with a conference in Columbus, Ohio. Around that same time, she began dabbling in solo ringing, met Ed Krzes, and formed the handbell duet, EKCO Ringers. In 2003, she joined Stow Heritage Ringers, a community handbell choir based in Stow, Ohio.
Currently, Cheryl rings in four church choirs. She serves as director and ringer for Holy Cross Lutheran Church in Cleveland. She has also expanded her ensemble ringing opportunities with a trio (We3Ring) and a handbell quartet at Rocky River United Methodist Church. Cheryl’s favorite expression is “handbells take you places,” and bells have taken her to international symposiums in Orlando and Vancouver, Canada; the Solo Ensemble Extravaganza in Colorado Springs, led by Kevin McChesney and Michael Kastner; the Palace Theater in Cleveland, performing with Stow Heritage Ringers in concert with the Cleveland Pops; and performing on cruises in the Caribbean.
Cheryl recently retired from her job as a communications specialist for Cleveland’s transportation planning agency, and hopes to spend more time talking to other handbell fanatics as well as building communications with ringers and directors throughout the state.
West Virginia State Chair
This position is currently vacant.