Contact Us

For Events: events@smithtonians.org

General Info:  info@smithtonians.org


The Smithtonian Handbell Ensemble is a community  handbell choir based in Littleton, Colorado, founded in 1983. Membership in the ensemble is by invitation of the Director. Today’s ringers have a combined ringing experience of over 250 years.  Most ring in several church or community groups and many are (or have been) bell choir directors. Music for these experienced ringers is selected with two goals: entertaining the audience, and challenging the players.  Programs are approximately an hour in length.

In recent years, the Smithtonian Handbell Ensemble has performed several times at Boettcher Concert Hall in Denver’s Performing Arts complex, Denver’s Botanic Gardens, Littleton’s Bemis library, numerous Johnson and Meridian retirement villages, local churches, and is a popular regular at Littleton Museum’s annual Christmas Holidays Eve event.  The ensemble has performed with The Lone Tree Symphony, The Skyline Chorus, The Denver Brass and has been honored as the featured performing group for several hundred ringers at Colorado’s state handbell convention.

Lisa Lewis has been the Smithtonians director since the fall of 2006. Since 1985, Lisa has been ringing and directing adult and children’s handbell and vocal choirs in a number of churches. Lisa organized ringing choirs for several age groups while teaching 4 years at the Stavanger American School in Norway. Since her return to the U.S. in 1992, she has directed bell choirs in Houston, at St. Luke United Methodist in Highlands Ranch and Bethany Lutheran in Denver. Lisa’s education is in choral music and piano.  She received training in bell ringing at a workshop led by Don Allured of Westminster Choir College and handbell writing fame. While overseas she  attended a two-week workshop at the Royal School of Church Music in Addington, England.


Lisa Lewis, Director

Don Smith,

Founding Director

The Smithtonian Handbell Ensemble is a non-profit organization with administrative oversight provided by a governing board. Volunteer members fulfill the roles of President (Cynthia Hardenbrook), Vice President (vacant), Secretary/Treasurer (Mike Hasuman, , Librarian (Maggie Wild), and Hospitality (Maribeth McKenna).  Lisa Lewis is our liaison for Bethany Lutheran, where the ensemble currently practices. Sherrie Miller is our Events Manager


The Smithtonian Handbell Ensemble was named for its founding director, Don Smith. The group was organized in 1983 and most of the original ringers were teachers from the Littleton area where Don was director of bands at Arapahoe High School. Don retired at the end of the 2006 concert season. During his 23 years as director of the ensemble, Don built the group into one of the finest in the state, attracting some of the most capable ringers from the metropolitan area (some commuting from as far away as Colorado Springs and Broomfield).


Proud Member of thehttp://handbellmusicians.org/