MEMBER BIOS

David L. Weck, Director (1992) 
Wheaton, IL

David L. Weck is founder and director of The Agape Ringers, and is delighted to be starting his third decade with this talented ensemble of musicians. A music editor with Hope Publishing Company of Carol Stream, Illinois, he is responsible for the Agape division handbell catalog, which currently consists of more than 900 titles. David is also in demand as a clinician throughout the year and has been director of numerous national and international handbell events, including the International Handbell Symposiums in Toronto, Canada (2004), Orlando, Florida (2008), and Osake, Japan (2010). In 2005, he served as a guest conductor for the Summer Workshop of the Handbell Ringers of Japan. He was honored to conduct the prestigious Distinctly Bronze events for 2012, which are held annually on the East and West coasts, and in 2013 he was guest conductor for the Hong Kong Handbell Festival.  David has served on the national board of The Handbell Musicians of America and was given the Midwest States' Area 8 Outstanding Service Award. In 2011, the national organization named him an Honorary Life Member. David has also been involved in choral music for over 40 years through music education, church music, and as assistant director of the Chicago Community Renewal Chorus. He and his wife, Jane Holstein, reside in Wheaton, Illinois, where they enjoy spending time with grandchildren, Becky and Jack, and entertaining friends and family.
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Mackenzie Bufis (2016), Adjunct Ringer
Mount Prospect, IL

Mackenzie is thrilled to ring as an adjunct ringer with Agape after performing for many years as a percussionist.  She has been hooked on handbells since high school, ringing first with the FUMC Chancel Ringers in Downers Grove.  Mackenzie taught middle school orchestra and band in Downers Grove after earning her degree from the University of Illinois, and currently spends most of her time chasing around her son, Theo.
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KC Congdon (1992) 
Lexington, IL

Besides being a charter member of The Agape Ringers, KC is the artistic director of Bells in Motion (Springfield), is on staff at St. Matthew UCC (Wheaton) and First Congregational (Western Springs), and teaches piano. She also volunteers for the  Handbells Musicians of America at the Area and National levels.  In her spare time, she hangs out with her husband in his raspberry '66 pickup, rescues rabbits and cats, and has a bat named Bartok.
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Kristin Paul Diaz (1992), Board of Directors Ringer-at-Large
West Chicago, IL

Kristin’s handbell addiction began in 1988.  In her other life, she is the Library Director at Hubble Middle School in Warrenville, IL.  Kristin came to the Midwest from Coeur d’Alene, ID, to attend Wheaton College.  She plays flute, piano, & Irish whistle, reads voraciously, and enjoys chocolate in all of its many forms!  Kristin and her husband, Tony, love to watch sci-fi movies and are the proud parents of two rescued dogs, Penny and Piper. 
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Kirsten Hendrickson (2013), Executive Committee Secretary
Chicago, IL

Kirsten has been ringing handbells since she was asked to be an emergency sub for the St. Matthew UCC bell choir in 1997.  She attended Drake University in Des Moines where she received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Biochemistry, Cell and Molecular Biology.   Kirsten is now a manager at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago.  When she’s not working or playing music, she can most often be found with her nose in a book.
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Karen Johnson (2010) 
Evanston, IL

Karen started ringing bells as a child in New Jersey.  She rang in college at Bucknell University, where she studied biology, and in community groups in the northeast.  After completing her PhD in Virology at Harvard Medical School, Karen moved to Evanston and is now a Teaching Scholar at Lake Forest College and a high school tutor.  When not ringing or working, she enjoys riding her horse and running.
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Kristin Kalitowski–Kowal (2004)  
Gilberts, IL

KK started ringing in 1990 at Santa Maria (Mundelein).  Also a member of Purdue Bells, she pursued a civil engineering degree in her free time.  She designs roads as a Senior Project Engineer at Civiltech Engineering and directs at Gary UMC (Wheaton).  KK serves Handbell Musicians of America as Area 8 Chair-Elect and previously as Treasurer and IL State Chair.  May her twin girls catch the handbell bug too!
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Karl Kay (1992)
Oconomowoc, WI

Karl serves First Congregational UCC in Oconomowoc WI as Organist and Chancel/ Handbell Choirs Director.  He’s rung since 1974 and conducted since 1980.  Karl’s led handbell workshops in Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Tennessee, and Wisconsin.  He’s a published composer and bass-bell specialist, and considers the 240-mile weekly round-trip to Agape rehearsals “worth every mile.”  His son, Nathan, loves ringing bass bells, too!
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Linda Lunt (2007), Executive Committee Treasurer
Elmhurst, IL

Linda has been ringing handbells since 1998.  She is the Handbell Director at Bethel UCC in Elmhurst where she also teaches preschool music.  Linda has a degree in computer science and worked at IBM, where she met her husband, Jack.  She enjoys reading, movies and spending time with family and friends.
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Kurt Mockenhaupt (1992)
Chicago, IL

Kurt presently serves as Director of Music/Organist at First Congregational Church, UCC, Wilmette.  In a former life, he taught general music for eight years and was an admin at Chicago's largest ad agency for 26 years.  Kurt received a B.M. degree in music education from DePaul University, has been ringing since 1982, and especially enjoys ringing solos and in small ensembles. 
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Daniel M. Reck (2016) 
Hinsdale, IL

Daniel has conducted handbell ensembles and performed solo repertoire throughout the United States and Europe.  He has published music for handbells, bands, and orchestras, and his photography is exhibited by the Smithsonian Institution.  Daniel is a college educator and is Director of Digital Media for the Northwestern University Bands.  He volunteers with musical and youth organizations, and is a 29-year member of Scouting.
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Darren Reynolds (1998) 
Chicago, IL

Darren has been ringing handbells since 1979, ever since his mom made him join the church choir (way to go, Mom!).  In addition to ringing, he loves to travel—the Philippines, Korea, Ireland, Mexico, Russia, Switzerland, China, Germany, England, Italy, Puerto Rico, and counting!  As a Performance Improvement Consultant at Rush University Medical Center, Darren helps teams design better ways to deliver care to our patients.
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Sharon Schmidt (1992), Executive Committee President
Naperville, IL

A chemical engineer in a past life, Sharon has been ringing since the ’70s and directs two bell ensembles at Gary UMC, Wheaton.  Her company, Bronze Ringing Resources, offers workshops and maintenance services.  She is active in Handbell Musicians of America, serving as the national Certification Program Coordinator, as well as Treasurer for Area 8.  Sharon’s husband, Gerry, supports her bell habit by scheduling their vacations (including scuba diving) around “bell stuff.”
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Carolyn Sizemore (2010) 
Naperville, IL

Carolyn started ringing handbells in 1993 at her hometown church in Libertyville, IL.  She instantly became hooked, continuing at Purdue University.  A degree in Civil Engineering led her to Boston where she rang with multiple community ensembles.  Back in the Midwest, Carolyn is a Project Manager at Mortenson Construction and enjoys traveling, tackling home renovations with her husband, and spending time with her sons, Benson (2) and Henry (just new!)
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Sarah Ward (2004) 
Munster, IN

Sarah started ringing bells in 1987 at First United Methodist Church in Hammond, IN, where she currently assists her mom with the bell program. She has a marketing degree from NIU (DeKalb) and is currently employed with Salo LLC.  Sarah enjoys traveling, softball, Team Pancakes, or anything to keep her busy.   “Music is my therapy.”
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