John-Charles (J.-C.) Coolen

J.-C. Coolen is an active participant and leader in the Greater Toronto Area (Ontario, Canada) handbell community. 

One of the founding members of The Bronze Foundation, Toronto’s auditioned community handbell ensemble, he has served as its Music Director since 2005. Since 2018, he has directed Bronze Foundation Academy, an intermediate community choir under the Bronze Foundation umbrella, focused on ringer skill development and building ringer community. He also has directed Bells of Bowmanville at the Bowmanville Seventh-day Adventist Church since 1998.

J.-C. is active in the wider handbell world as a handbell clinician and teacher. For 13 years, he served as a member of the Board of Directors and Membership Secretary for the Ontario Guild of English Handbell Ringers, including time as President. He has also served as Ontario District Coordinator for Area 2 of the Handbell Musicians of America. He has been ringing since 1989 and directing bells since 1998.

J.-C. was born in Halifax, Nova Scotia, and currently lives in Ajax, Ontario. As a freelance church musician, conductor and accompanist, he participates in a wide range of musical activities throughout the Greater Toronto Area. In addition to his handbell

activities, he is Music Minister at St. James United Church (Etobicoke), and Director of Durham Community Choir and Espressivo Singers (Oshawa). In his spare time, he likes to travel, read, think, and satisfy his curiosity.

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