Janet L. Van Valey Director Janet L. Van Valey holds both a Bachelors and Masters degree in music and has taught choral music at the middle school and high school levels. In addition she has served as the Music Director for numerous denominations over the past 40 years. Jan is the founding director of the Kalamazoo Ringers, starting the group in 1981. She has worked with handbells since 1978 when she began her studies with Donald Allured. She is an active member of the American Guild of English Handbell Ringers, currently serving as the Chair for Area V. As an experienced teacher and director, Jan has served as an inservice instructor for schools, as a clinician for handbell workshops, state music education meetings, Choristers Guild, and denominational church conferences. She has also been a guest conductor for many massed bell festivals and conferences and has been a handbell consultant for Malmark handbells for more than 25 years.
I started playing bells in my Detroit church in 1973 and have remained passionate about my bell choir participation for years. I hold degrees in Business Management and Social Work from EMU. Four years ago our family transitioned to Kalamazoo. Currently we are learning to garden and enjoy several animals which include dogs, cats and the most recent addition of urban chickens. We have 3 grown children and 3 grandchildren.