Blue Mountain Academy Student Receives Susan Berry Leadership Award
Story by Esther Hernandez
Senior Helmi Calles recently received the 2021 Susan Berry Leadership award at RingFest, held in Toledo, Ohio. The award recognizes one bell choir student each year in the North American Division who “demonstrates outstanding leadership in the art of handbells.” This is the second consecutive year that a Blue Mountain Academy (BMA) student has received this award.
Calles has been a member of the La Sonnette Handbell Ensemble, the school’s advanced handbell choir, for three years. This year, she is the assistant director—a job description that includes helping select music, assigning parts, assisting during rehearsals and conducting some of the pieces.
She also conducted the handbell choir at Blue Mountain Elementary School in Hamburg, Pa. With minimal guidance from Eric Engen, BMA’s handbell director, Calles took charge of the program at the elementary school.
“Helmi is a very important part of the team that plans and promotes music activities at BMA and the Blue Mountain Academy church,” shares Flora Rivera, BMA music director.