Dr. Cathy Benton, Director
Cathy Benton is Professor of Music at Missouri Baptist University in St. Louis, Missouri where she teaches
piano and class piano in addition to directing the MBU Ringers. Dr. Benton performs as a soloist and accompanist on the piano, organ
and harpsichord and has been an adjudicator and clinician for numerous keyboard festivals and workshops.
Dr. Benton is a member of SLAMTA, MMTA, MTNA, National Guild of Piano Teachers, the Handbell Association of Greater St. Louis and the Handbell Musicians of America. She is a Past President of the St. Louis Area Music Teachers Association (SLAMTA) and the Missouri Music Teachers Association (MMTA). She has also served as the Missouri State Chair for the Handbell Musicians of America.
Cathy Benton has a Bachelor of Music Education degree from Murray State University, a Master of Music degree in Piano Performance from Webster University, and the Doctor of Musical Arts degree in piano performance from UMKC.
Mouseover to see who’s who; click to jump to biography.
Current Members(♩ indicates charter members)
- ♩ Kim Amos is a charter member of the Gateway Ringers. She has been ringing bells since 1981 and has rung in groups in Missouri, Illinois, Tennessee, and Germany. Kim is a retired doula (professional labor and birth support) and childbirth educator. She is married to Chris, has two children, Sarah and Bryan, a son-in-law, Bryan, a daughter-in-law, Tess, and grandsons Thomas, Liam, Declan, and Thad. Kim is currently serving as Secretary on Gateway’s Executive Committee.
- ♩ Andy Eversole has been ringing handbells since 1990 and is a charter member of the group. His musical family includes his wife, Patty, a Suzuki piano & trumpet teacher, and three musical children: Matthew (clarinet & saxophone), Kristen (flute & saxophone) and Ryan (vocal & violin). Andy daylights as an electrical engineer at Boeing. Andy is currently serving as President on Gateway’s Executive Committee.
- Mopsi Hanley joined us in January, 2008. Mopsi is a retired CPA. She started ringing bells as a charter member of St. Martin’s Episcopal Church handbell choir in 2002. She is married to Jack. They have two daughters and four grandchildren. And no, “Mopsi” isn’t her given name. It’s Martha Anne.
- Ian Harrier joined us in fall 2021. More information coming soon.
- Don Hayman wears the most bizarre shirts of anyone on the face of this planet, and as such is forbidden to take a role on the concert dress committee. Don enjoys torturing bells of all sizes, specializing in March Malleting Madness, and is the proud keeper of Gurney, the official Gateway Dancing Rubber Chicken. Don is married to Wanda, our #1 roadie.
- Carla Hoppe joined Gateway in January 2010. Carla is currently searching the wilds of St. Louis for her biography. If you’ve seen it, contact us at Carla’s Lost and Found.
- Trish Jackson has been ringing with the Gateway Ringers for about 10 years and in church handbell groups for about 20 years. Trish holds a BA degree in education with a minor in Music. She currently works at Claymont Elementary school. In addition to playing handbells, Trish loves reading, puzzles, and spending as much time as she can with her children and especially her grandchildren.
- June Jones officially joined in January 2006. She is music director at St. Thomas UCC in Chesterfield. June works at St. John’s Mercy Medical Center, is married to Craig, and has a daughter Molly and a son Tim.
- Andrew Larson joined the Gateway Ringers in 2021. He began ringing in college as a member of the MBU Ringers under Dr. Cathy Benton. He holds a Bachelor's Degree in Vocal Performance from Missouri Baptist University and currently works as a private vocal instructor at School of the Arts in Ballwin, Missouri.
- Ruth McDonnell joined us in the fall of 2007. Ruth is a deaconess in The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod and is the Colloquy Director at Concordia University Education Network. She has a PhD and a master’s degree in theology from Concordia Seminary, St. Louis and a bachelor’s degree in music education from James Madison University in Virginia. As member of the Handbell Musicians of America, she has served on national and area boards. Ruth was a founding member of the Magic of Bronze, a community handbell choir in Orlando, which she directed until moving to St. Louis in 2003. Ruth has taught handbell techniques and conducting at numerous workshops and has conducted massed ringing at festivals. She is also an avid solo ringer and flutist.
- Kaitlyn Meier began ringing in a children’s tone chime choir over 15 years ago at St. Paul’s UCC and joined Gateway in 2012. She has since graduated from Maryville University and has become a board-certified Music Therapist. Kaitlyn spends her days using music as a therapeutic agent with geriatric and hospice patients.
- Amanda Morgan joined us in January 2008. She currently works at AT&T. Amanda has been ringing handbells since the early 1990s for several different groups, and is currently ringing with St. Paul’s United Church of Christ. When she’s not working or ringing she loves spoiling her two cats.
- Angela Ohmie joined us in January, 2016. She graduated from Concordia River Forest, and has taught in the 2nd–4th grades and elementary music. She previously rang in the Kansas City handbell ensemble Rezound! Angela now enjoys teaching her four daughters, helping people simplify cleaning as a Norwex consultant, and volunteering at the JBF consignment sale.
- Diane Stout joined the group in January, 2004. She rings bells and sings in the choir at Holy Cross Lutheran Church, St. Louis, and works for the Lutheran Association for Special Education. Diane and her husband, Dennis, enjoy spending time with their three children and five grandchildren.
- Andrea Stramler joined the Gateway Ringers for the first time in 2014. She played with the group until Fall 2015 when her job with Anheuser-Busch moved her to Georgia. After a break and a job move back to St. Louis, Andrea re-joined the group in the winter of 2018. She has been playing handbells since age 10 in various choirs including the Oregon State University Handbell choir. In her spare time, she enjoys traveling with her fiance John, cuddling with her dog, Primrose, and baking all the sweet treats!
- Tim Way first learned about handbells as a freshman at Westminster College. He really began playing when he joined First Church of Christ in Wethersfield, Ct in 2001. Tim played for fifteen seasons at First Church. He has also played under the direction of Dave Harris of the Raleigh Ringers, and the late composer/arranger Mary McCleary. Tim joined the Gateway Ringers in the fall of 2015. He is married with a blended family of three children. He lives in Granite City and is employed as a registered nurse at a Metro-East Hospital.
- Jeff White joined the Gateway Ringers in 1999. He began his handbell career in high school, ringing at Salem Lutheran Church in Affton, MO. In his first year at Concordia University Chicago, Jeff was part of the startup of a three-octave handbell choir and was one of the two student conductors. Jeff returned to St. Louis and became the director of Salem's bell choir from 1986 to 1991, and has directed bells in each church he has served since then. He holds a Master of Church Music degree with an emphasis in Organ from Concordia University Wisconsin, and is the Minister of Music and Organist at Historic Trinity Lutheran Church in the Soulard neighborhood of St. Louis. In addition to the Gateway Ringers, Jeff rang for a season with ReBELLion, and also with the Columbia Handbell Ensemble when they rang at the Area 1 festival in Amherst, MA. During the day, Jeff is a business analyst at Mastercard.
Would you or someone you know like to be a Gateway Ringer? Find out the membership requirements here.
|Wim Blees (1995–1997)||Mark W. Lawson (1997–2003)||Nancy Helmich (2004–2007)|
|Chuck Peery (2008–2018)|
|Curtis Armstrong||Laurel Bales||Marcia Barber|
|Dolan Bayless||Beth Beattie||♩ Jan Blees|
|♩ Wim Blees (Founder)||Peter Dahlstrom||Jill Dean|
|Jan Ebeler||Tim Forbis||Kevin Gale|
|Hellen Gillespie||Kevon Hall||Marcia Hansen|
|Cynthia Harris||♩ Janice Hitchcock||♩ Sally Johnson|
|♩ Karl Kay||♩ Dub Koon||Ginny Lawson|
|Kit Lamar||Peggy “Carillon” Lohnes||Julia Matthews|
|Jason McGinnis||Karen Mild||Anne Miller|
|Lisa Mueller||♩ Allison Nalesnik||Sue Nielsen|
|♩ Georgia O’Brien||♩ Candy Parson||Janet Petersen|
|Michelle Robbins||Karen Rolland||Wendy Shaw|
|Donna Skeen||Kelly Stohl||✝ Joyce Suttle ✝|
|Laurie Underwood||Steve Upton||Crystal Wagner|
|Bruce Walker||♩ Marcia Worcester||♩ Carl Zimmerman|
|Gurney the Gateway Chicken|