Julie Stitt grew up in San Bernardino, CA where she began ringing handbells at an early age at First United Presbyterian Church. She spent most of her childhood summers in northern Minnesota and after graduating from high school, received her Bachelor’s Degree from Bemidji State University in Elementary Education and Elementary Music. Her graduate work at B. S. U. included a certificate in Learning Disabilities. She completed a Master’s Degree from the University of Minnesota in Educational Psychology in 1985 and a license to teach vocal and classroom music K - 12. Julie’s 30 + years of teaching experience include assignments in special education, 2nd – 4th grades, elementary music and 6th grade science and math. She is currently a 6th grade science teacher in Independent School District 15, a district in the northern Minneapolis Metro area.
Julie has been composing and arranging handbells for more than 10 years. She has published handbell pieces in print with several publishing companies. Several pieces have been performed at area festivals around the United States. Her original composition, La Paix, was performed at the Loire Valley Handbell Festival in France in 2004 by Twin Cities Bronze. She was a member of this auditioned choir during that time. Strikepoint Handbell Ensemble from Duluth, MN commissioned Glory on Their Wings in 2005 and included the piece in their repertoire for several years. It was published in 2009. As the Director of Handbells for 12 years at Our Saviour’s Lutheran Church in East Bethel, MN, she is responsible for a beginning handbell choir, an experienced inter-generational handbell ensemble, and a handbell quartet. She also rings with the ensemble and the quartet and has been a member of the church for more than 20 years.