The Detroit Handbell Ensemble is thrilled to introduce our new Artistic Director, Brenda Austin!
A native of southwest Michigan, Austin has served as director of worship and music at First United Methodist Church in Eaton Rapids since 2003. She brings more than two decades of music teaching experience to the Detroit Handbell Ensemble.
Austin is known to the handbell world as a clinician, composer and arranger. She has presented at numerous handbell conferences including the Handbell Musicians of America's national seminar. Her music has likewise been featured in these venues, and has been published by Beckenhorst Press, the Lorenz Corporation, SoundForth, Jeffers Publishing, Alfred Publishing, GIA Music, From the Top Music and Chorister’s Guild.
With music degrees from Western Michigan University and University of Missouri, Austin has studied under several well-respected conductors including Dr. Eph Ehly.
Austin assumes the podium for Detroit Handbell Ensemble following the tenure of Dr. Michael Burkhardt, who led the group for six years. The organization was founded by Susan Berry with a mission to become ambassadors for handbell music performance in the greater Detroit region.
The Detroit Handbell Ensemble is an auditioned ensemble comprised of some of the finest handbell musicians in southwestern Michigan. Last year, they released Campanae Celebrare: Celebrate With Bells, which features a selection of familiar songs and original music for handbells. The title track was composed by Cathy Moklebust to honor the organization's 20th anniversary.