Handbells in Boston
Photo by Nikki Cole

2017-18 Back Bay Ringers

Laurie Austin
Bass Ringer
Joined BBR: September 2013

Laurie began ringing handbells in college with the Williamsburg Ringers, a college choir associated with Williamsburg United Methodist Church and the College of William and Mary. After moving to the Boston area, she rang with the Jubilate Ringers at the First Congregational Church in Melrose for 16 years. Laurie is an audiovisual archivist at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library.

Lynne Batty
Treble Ringer
Joined BBR: September 2017

Lynne’s love for music was developed as she sat turning pages for her mother at the church organ when she was a child. Throughout school and as a young adult she played the oboe in a variety of community ensembles. Lynne first played bells when she moved to the Boston area 20 years ago and joined the Hancock Carillon in Lexington, where she continues to play today. Lynne has also rung with Copious Notes in Wellesley, and with Merrimack Valley Ringers in Chelmsford, MA. When she is not ringing, Lynne is fortunate to work with children all day in her job as the Director of Physical Therapy at the Children’s Center for Communication in Beverly MA

Peter Grossmann
Bass Ringer
Joined BBR: September 2013

Peter has rung with the Lacey Presbyterian Church Youth Handbell Choir and the Claremont Presbyterian Church Ringers. He also currently rings handbells and tower chimes with the Christ Church Cambridge Handbell Choir. He holds a PhD in computer engineering from Northeastern University and designs microchips at MIT Lincoln Laboratory.

Sarah Hayes-Skelton
Bass Ringer; BBR Operations Director
Joined BBR: September 2009

Sarah started ringing handbells in 2006 while she was living in Seattle. She also has rung with the Old South Ringers in Boston’s Copley Square. When not ringing, Sarah is a psychology professor at UMass Boston.

Ashley Hedberg
Battery Ringer
Joined BBR: September 2017

Ashley began ringing in third grade at River Road Presbyterian Church in Richmond, VA. She moved to the Boston area to attend Tufts University in 2011, ringing with Harvard-Epworth United Methodist Church while a student. Ashley now works as a software engineer in Kendall Square.

Patricia Kopko
Battery Ringer
Joined BBR: January 2016

Patricia has been ringing handbells and handchimes since she was seven years old. Most recently she was a member of the Smith College Handbell Choir. When not ringing, she is pursuing careers as an arts administrator and a classical soprano.

Amanda Kosloski
Bass Ringer
Joined BBR: September 2014

Amanda has been ringing off and on for 13 years in her church handbell choir. Currently, she also teaches private flute and bassoon lessons on Cape Cod.

Stephanie LaShoto
Treble Ringer; BBR Secretary
Joined BBR: September 2012

Stephanie began ringing in 7th grade at Moses Brown School in Providence, and has rung on and off with the Old South Ringers in Copley Square since 2008. When not ringing, she works for the YMCA International Learning Center in downtown Boston, coordinating English classes for students from around the world.

Torie Eells Lutas
Treble Ringer; BBR Communications Director
Joined BBR: January 2015

Torie began ringing in high school, where she also studied oboe, piano, and voice. After graduating college, Torie continued her handbell pursuits with the Celebration Ringers of Avon Congregational Church (CT) and the Riverside Ringers in New York City. Living in the Boston area since 2012, Victoria is a social worker at a public elementary school in Boston.

Donna Matson
Treble Ringer; BBR Executive Director
Joined BBR: September 2007

Donna started ringing in 1994, when her children began as well. She has played with Katonah Celebration Ringers and a community choir in Tokyo, Japan. She and her husband, Bill, are retired, and split their time happily between the South End and a peaceful lake in New Hampshire.

Sally Meredith
Battery Ringer
Joined BBR: January 2012

Sally began ringing (with poor technique!) in 1981, before some current BBR members were born! She rang with church groups in Illinois and Wisconsin, and was a founding member of Madison Area Concert Handbells in Madison, WI, where she learned good technique, in 1997. She moved to Massachusetts to be near a quartet of lovely, talented grandchildren.

Cade Murray
Bass Ringer
Joined BBR: September 2010

Previously, Cade rang with Bay Bells near San Francisco and a series of church choirs before that, stretching all the way back to his high school years in Florida. Cade has rung all over the table, doing solo, ensemble, and full choir ringing; though now finds himself primarily in the bass (punishment for being left-handed?). Cade left the world of high-tech startups to homeschool his two daughters, while his wife responsibly holds down a regular job so everyone can eat.

Matthew Polletto
Battery Ringer
Joined BBR: January 2005

Matthew’s first time ringing a bell, ever, was at his first BBR rehearsal in 2005. He works as a music specialist, K-5, in the Wellesley Public School System, now in his 16th year as a teacher.

Anna Poplawski
Bass Ringer
Joined BBR: January 2013

Anna began ringing during junior high and high school, when she was active in her church bell choir in Endicott, NY. She joined BBR in 2013 after a 20-year hiatus from bell-ringing. When not ringing, Anna works as a software developer and has performed in musicals with various community theater organizations.

Susan Schultz
Battery Ringer
Joined BBR: September 2009

Susan started ringing in a church handbell ensemble in 2003 and has been ringing with Copious Notes in Wellesley Hills since 2012. She holds degrees in mathematics and aeronautical engineering, working in aerospace, robotics, fusion energy and automotive research before retiring to raise her three children. Susan also currently serves as the Archivist for the New England region (Area 1) of the Handbell Musicians of America.

Greg Urban
Treble Ringer
Joined BBR: September 2014

Greg grew up ringing in both school and church. He founded the Oregon State Handbell Choir in 2011, and joined the Bells of the Cascades in Portland, OR in September 2013. Outside of bell ringing, Greg is a Challenge Course Facilitator, using a combination of games/initiatives, low ropes, and high ropes elements to develop group awareness, communication, and trust with kids and adults.

Adrianne Weir
Battery Ringer
Joined BBR: September 2003

Adrianne first rang at her parochial school in 6th grade (a fun fact is that the nun who directed the choir was actually her second cousin). She continued ringing in college at the University of Notre Dame. After moving to Boston, she joined the bell choir at Trinity Church in Copley Square, whose director was Griff Gall. When BBR began in 2003, Adrianne was at the first rehearsal. She is an architect, working for a small residential firm with a focus on renovating older homes.

Kelsey Whiteside
Battery Ringer
Joined BBR: September 2017

Kelsey started ringing in her church choir in Salem, Oregon when she was in 6th grade. She continued to ring throughout middle and high school, and played in a small church group intermittently while attending Mills College in Oakland, California. Since moving to Boston in 2014, she has been ringing with Old South Ringers, and sang with Coro Allegro for three seasons. When she isn’t ringing or singing, Kelsey works as a metadata librarian at the Boston Public Library.