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Cathy Moklebust has developed and directed handbell music programs since 1983 and has played bells since childhood. With her dynamic, positive approach and skilled conducting, she is in national demand as a handbell clinician and festival conductor. As one of today's most popular handbell music composers, she has numerous published compositions and arrangements to her credit, many of them reaching bestseller status. Her music has been described as "pure joy to ring and listen to, having a uniquely delightful sense of melodic and rhythmic interaction, with elegant form and style." She has been commissioned to write music for festivals and other events, as well as for many individual handbell ensembles, including seven for the Raleigh Ringers. Cathy has been the recipient of the Donald E. Allured Composition Award, the 2005 "Composer of the Year" award from Jeffers Handbell Supply, and has won an ASCAP Writer's Award every year since 2001. In 2007 she was a guest conductor for the National Residential Ringing Week at Kingston University, Kingston‑upon‑Thames, United Kingdom.
Ms. Moklebust began her musical career as a public school instrumental music instructor in South Dakota. She is an active percussionist and has performed as principal or section percussionist with several professional and community bands and orchestras throughout the upper Midwest, currently playing with the Karl L. King Municipal Band of Fort Dodge, Iowa since 1997. Cathy has played in and conducted church and community handbell ensembles in South Dakota, Minnesota, and Iowa, most recently founding the North Central Iowa Handbell Ensemble. Since 1989, she has worked in the music retail and publishing industry and currently operates Moklebust Music Services, a music editing and engraving service with her husband.
Cathy earned both her B.A. (Music/Percussion, 1982) and M.Ed. (Teacher Education/Music, 1988) at South Dakota State University, in her hometown of Brookings, South Dakota. Her handbell education began in 1970 with the Towers Handbell Choir of First Lutheran Church in Brookings, under the direction of Mrs. Barbara Berntson. Ms. Moklebust and her husband David reside in rural Eagle Grove, Iowa, on her husband's 1895 family farm.
Visit Cathy's website at cathymoklebust.com.