Teacher, director, composer, ringer - Kathleen Wissinger embraces all aspects of handbells. Ten years of teaching 4th-8th grade handbell classes in a small private school have helped her develop a series of pedagogical music worthy of both classroom time and concert performance. With about 80 pieces in print, her compositions cover all levels and genres: fresh takes on arrangements, clever small ensembles and unique originals sacred and secular. Recent commissions include "No Greater Love" (Church of the Redeemer, Mechanicsville, Va.) and "Through the Storm" (VTV Family Outreach Foundation.) She also recently won the Area 3 2014 composition contest with double-scored "Sympatico."
Kathleen has directed youth handbell choirs at her church since 1988 and is founding Artistic Director of MOSAIC, a community handbell ensemble. She often rings with her groups.
Well-known for her expertise as a teacher, Kath has led many festivals and workshops, directing massed ringing and teaching classes, across the United States as well as in Canada and Japan - including three National Handbell Seminars. Her classes often cover topics like Mixed Meter, Weaving, 4iH, Composing and Arranging, Music Theory, Syncopation and Unison Exercises - as well as focused reading sessions for Original Music for Worship, Movie Themes, Little-Known Advanced Literature, Scalar Pieces and more. Her carefully selectioned repertoires for Festivals are consistently given high marks by ringers and directors alike.
Kathleen served 8 years as Member-at-Large on the Area 3 Board of the Handbell Musicians of America (then AGEHR) and now coordinates the Area 3 CHIME loan program as well as the education column in the Guild magazine, Overtones. She has helped found and direct many start-up events, presented college-level workshops for music ed. students, led ringing workshops for college groups - and she continues to mentor new groups through her Guild work.
She can be reached at Longwalk3@aol.com