Janelle Flory Schrock began ringing handbells in 1989 at her home congregation, the McPherson Church of the Brethren. In 1994, she began ringing under the direction of past area chair and Kansas Malmark representative, Eunice Tarum, at the Trinity Lutheran Church in McPherson. Between 1996 and 2002, she travelled with the Spirit Ringers to four Area 8 festivals, one national festival and as an individual ringer to two Pinnacle events.
Since then, she has performed with handbell ensembles in Indianapolis, Indiana; Claremont/LaVerne, California; and Hannover, Germany. After returning to Kansas in 2012, she has taken every opportunity to network with other Central Kansas handbell musicians, and to attend and recruit others to attend the Area 8 festival and the Kansas City-based Resonate Advanced Ringing Workshop. She currently is a member of Angelus Ringers of the McPherson Church of the Brethren, and the brand new Prairie Bronze Handbell Ensemble of Newton, Kansas. She and her sister, Kendra Flory, have performed handbell duets across the United States, as well as in Germany and on the 2004 Christmas Eve CBS television broadcast.
Janelle holds a B.A. from McPherson College in Modern Languages: German, with minors in English and Music. She is the office manager at the Dyck Arboretum of the Plains in Hesston, Kansas, a 30 acre native plant public garden.
Julie Assel was introduced to handbells when she was in elementary school. She attended her first handbell festival in Cape Girardeau when she was in high school and saw solo ringing for the first time. She incorporated solo ringing into her high school senior recital. Julie went on to earn her bachelor’s degree in instrumental and choral music education from Luther College (Decorah, IA).
Julie joined the Adult Bell Choir at Atonement in 1999 and became its director in February, 2001. She currently directs three handbell choirs (Joy – adult small ensemble), Adoration Ringers (adults), and Youth Bells (grades 2-12). She holds level one certification from the Handbell Musicians of America.
In her “other” job, she is the President and CEO of Assel Grant Services, a professional grant services firm providing comprehensive grant support to nonprofits, universities, school districts, health systems, and behavioral health care center. Julie is married to her husband, Tom, who plays in Atonement’s Adoration Ringers and has two active little boys who she has already introduced to handbells and chimes. Julie lives in the Kansas City metropolitan area.