What people are saying...

“When I listened to “SoundShards” for the first time I had been struck by some similar characteristics shared with contemporary Estonian composers. The work, with its impressive creativity, unique instrumentation, and rhythmic energy, recalls the work of various Estonian composers such as, for example, Raimo Kangro, Jaan Rääts, Urmas Sisask and Peeter Vähi, while retaining its own musical language. The hypnotic, almost minimalistic writing (different somewhat than the minimalism of the American minimalists such as Philip Glass, for example) is a total delight to the ear and also recalls to a degree the composers named above. I can easily understand why “SoundShards" attracted the attention of Estonian musicians and received its European premiere there.”

--Dr. Marvin Rosen, Classical Discoveries.

A Trumpet Voluntary:  “The applause from the audience nearly brought the roof down and without a doubt, it was the highlight piece of the evening.”--John & Jane Heald, Directors, Saint Wulfam’s Handbell Ringers,

Lincolnshire, England.

“We like Susan's creation as it is beautiful and simple, yet demanding. The public also likes the catchy melody. A surplus a value is that, not only she uses handbells in her creation but many solo instruments as well. On our 5th anniversary concert 3 out of 22 pieces presented were Susan's, which were selected out of 54.”-- Inna Lai, Director, Campanelli Handbell Ensemble, Estonia.

Osse Shalom:  "Melancholic... splendid... powerful.  It was absolutely exciting and melodious. I strongly believe this music pleases the ears and hearts of the audience as well as those of the performers.  I express my sincere gratitude for your excellent arrangement."-- Kim Eui Gon, Director, Daejon Handbell Choir, Korea.

Susan T. Nelson goes where no one has gone before.  Who else writes handbell music that imitates a Javanese gamelan? Or one that puts a Brubeck spin on Jesus Loves Me?”--Cindy Alexander, Feature Columnist, Overtones.

Divine Office suite: "I've also had a chance to see scores for this and listen to the MP3s. It is amazing. It's a work of substance and is very moving.”--Stephanie Wiltse, Director, Embellish.

“Christmas Reflections was the result of a commission won at an AGEHR Directors Seminar. Completed in 2000, it was ahead of its time in terms of the bell/chime combinations. This piece served as the title for the first CD by Rejoice Ringers. Christmas Reflections also stands alone for use in other seasons of the year by omitting the references to holiday carols."--Deborah S. Rice. Artistic Director, Rejoice Ringers; AGEHR Past President; Executive Director for International Handbell Committee.

In print/TV...

NEW!  Rob Meyer-Kukan “Friday Finds” interview 11/10/2017.

NEW!  Article in the Monitor about Campanelli’s 2017 USA Tour and concert at Our Lady of Sorrows, Hamilton, NJ.

Monitor Article.png

Article in the Hamilton Post by Scott Morgan, December 2014.

Article on the front page of the Trenton Times by Bridget Clerkin December 2014.

PDF Reprinted with permission from The Times:  Trenton Times Front Page Article.pdf

Brian Boru March, TV Commercial for Campanelli’s Russian tour, broadcast in St. Petersburg, January, 2015.

Brian Boru March, TV Commercial for Rocca al Mare Shopping Center, aired December 2010, by Imagine,

Tallinn, Estonia.  

“Bach, Beethoven... and Susan T. Nelson” by Cindy Alexander.  Overtones.pdf

Overtones, March/April 2002, vol. 48, no. 2, pages 30-31.

Copyright © 2002 Overtones. All rights reserved.

Reprinted with permission from the Handbell Musicians of America.

“Music Notes from John Behnke” AGEHR E-Notes, August 2010.   Enotes.pdf

Copyright © 2010 AGEHR-E-Notes. All rights reserved.

Reprinted with permission from the Handbell Musicians of America.

“Gamelan the sound of ringing from Southeast Asia" by Marilyn Kielniarz.  Overtones2.pdf

Overtones, Nov./Dec. 2002, vol. 48, no. 6, pages 20-23.

Copyright © 2002 Overtones. All rights reserved.

Reprinted with permission from the Handbell Musicians of America.

12/3/09 “Rider Newswire” interview, Westminster Choir College of Rider University, NJ.   OR Rider.pdf

8/09 “Alumni Success Stories” interview, Mercer County Community College, West Windsor, NJ    OR mccc.pdf

7/9/06 The Times interview, Trenton, NJ.  Times.pdf

Reprinted with permission from The Times.

Wikipedia: wiki.pdf

You Tube/Videos...

“Author’s Concert” October 15, 2013, Mustpeade Maja, Tallinn, Estonia. Inna Lai, conductor, Käsikellade ansambel Campanelli, KellaRing Kontsertansambel, KellaRing Noorte ansambel, Nobell Laureates,16 instrumental soloists, Estonian Percussion Ensemble,

Avalon (Spirutus):

Bwana Awabariki, Hope Publishing, David L. Weck, Handbell Editor

Lo, He Comes With Clouds Descending, Agape Ringers, David L. Weck, Director


Osse Shalom, Daejeon Handbell Choir, Korea, Kim Eui Gon, director

A Trumpet Voluntary, Dunblane Cathedral Handbell Ringers, Scotland, Steven McIntyre, organist,

Malcolm C. Wilson, conductor

Brian Boru March, St. Olaf Handbell Choir, Northfield, MN Jill Mahr, director

The Divine Office: A Suite for Handbells.  1. Matins:

2. Lauds:

4. Pilgrimage:

A Trumpet Voluntary, Agoston Solczi, organist, Romania.

Brian Boru March, Forté Handbell Quartet, Colorado Springs, CO (live at Pinnacle 2010, Nashville, TN).



Unes või ilmsi (Dreaming Wide Awake), A documentary DVD featuring the collaboration with conductor Inna Lai resulting in the concert of my music in Tallinn, Estonia in 2013. The film was produced by Kopli Kinokompanii and is available from Heitz Handbells and Music, Apollo, or directly from me:

The Colors of Christmas, Classical Bells, Livonia, MI.  Darlene Ebersole, Director.  Track #9:  Osse Shalom


A Susquehanna Valley Holiday,  Rev. Dr. G. Douglas Davies Memorial Handbell Choir, Bloomsburg, PA, c2008.

   Track #4: Twas in the Moon of Wintertime.

An American Patchwork of Christmas Music, Bethlehem Lutheran Handbell Choir, Traverse City, MI. 

   Susanna Faust , Director, c2001. Track #3:  Huron Carol (Twas in the Moon of Wintertime).

The Bells of Christmas, Madison Area Concert Handbells, Madison, WI.  Dr. Susan S. Udell, Director, c2002.

   Track #8:  Fum, Fum, Fum.

Broadway and Other Favorites, Harbor Bells, Bridgehampton, NY. Valarie Bell, Director, c2002.

   Tack #12:  Elysium.

Campanelli, Campanelli Handbell Ensemble, Estonia, Inna Lai, Director., c.2006.

   Track #8: Elegy, and Track #11: Sue’s Blues.

ChristmasBells2, Bell Choirs of Concordia University Wisconsin, 2003. John A. Behnke, Director.,

   c2003.  Track #11: Fum, Fum, Fum.

Christmas Reflections, Rejoice Ringers of Becks Baptist Church, Winston-Salem, NC. Deborah S. Rice,

   Director., c2001.  Track #1: Christmas Reflections.

Christmas in the Harbor, Harbor Bells, Bridgehampton, NY.  Valarie Bell, Director, c2000.  Tack #10:  Elysium.

A Carillon of Praise, The Ringers-on-the-Green, Presbyterian Church, Morristown, NJ.  Dr. James D. Hicks,

   Director, c2003.  Track #11:  Juxtaposition.

The Colors of Bronze, Embellish, Grand Rapids, MI.  Stephanie Wiltse, Director, c2001.  Track #3: Osse Shalom.

Crusader Bells, Crusader Bells Pacific Beach Presbyterian Church, San Diego, CA.  Flo Conrad, Director,

   c2000.  Track #6: Contemplation.

Dancing Bells, Madison Area Concert Handbells, Madison, WI.  Dr. Susan S. Udell, Director, c2002. 

   Track #6:  Fugue in C Major.

Evening Bells, Handglockenchor Hannover, Hannover, Germany.  Lothar Mohn, Musical Director, c2009.

   Track 2: Elegy.

Festive Peal, Alleluia Ringers of Concordia University Wisconsin, Dr. John Behnke, Conductor, c2011.

   Track #5:  Will You Come and Follow Me.

God's Songs for the World, Carter Memorial United Methodist Handbell Choir, Dr. Mildred B. Beane, Director;

   Christ Episcopal Handbell Choir, Vera Dumova, Director, c.2010. Track #12/CD1: Bwana Awabariki.

Laulvad Kellad, The Singing Bells, Campanelli, Estonia, Inna Lai, Director, c.2010.

   Track #8: Brian Boru March.

Reflections, Strikepoint, Duluth, MN, Bill Alexander, Conductor, c2012. 

   Track #11:  Heaven’s Rest, and Track #13: Spiritus.  NEW!!

Resonancia, Campanas Universitarias, Puerto Rico, Nelida Muñoz de Frontera, Director, c.2010,

   Indonesian Impressions. 

Ring in Bronze, Quintessence Handbell Ensemble, Ontario Canada, Heather Keith, soloist, c..2009.

   Track #6: Greensleeves.

Ringing in Color, Classical Bells, Livonia, MI.  Darlene Ebersole, Director, c2000.  Track #8: Osse Shalom.

   Sonoran Holiday, Sonoran Bells, Tucson, AZ.  Margi Zearley, Director, c2002.  Track #8:  Osse Shalom.

Symphonic Handbells of Columbus, Symphonic Handbells of Columbus, Columbus, OH.  William H. Griffin,

   Director, c2002.  Track #3:  Osse Shalom.

Vintage & Vogue, Velocity Handbell Ensemble, Oakland, CA, P.L. Grove, Artistic Director, c2008. 

   Track #8:  Fanfare for an Uncommon Instrument.

Winterbells, Handglockenchor Hannover, Hannover, Germany. Lothar Mohn, Musical Director, c2001. 

   Track #12:  Zimbelstern.

Christmas Concert, Arkansas State University Ringers, Jonesboro, AR.  Dr. M. Ellis Julien, Director, c2000. 

   Track #9:  Zimbelstern.

Christmas Concert with the ASU Ringers, Arkansas State University Ringers, Jonesboro, AR. 

    Dr. M. Ellis Julien, Director, c2001.  Track #8:  Zimbelstern.

Ringers Spring Concert 2005, Arkansas State University Ringers, Jonesboro, AR.  Dr. M. Ellis Julien, Director,

    c2005. Track #6:  Zimbelstern.


1999 AGEHR McKeehan Scholarship

2008, 2009, 2010 & 2011, 2013, 2014 ASCAPlus Award

Unes või ilmsi (Dreaming Wide Awake), chronicles the groundbreaking international collaboration between conductor Inna Lai (Estonia) and composer Susan T. Nelson (USA), from its inception on Facebook, to the concert in Tallinn on October 2013, consisting entirely of Nelson´s composition. Mairi Sõelsepp, director, and Anneli Ahven, producer, artfully illustrate this extraordinary event, proving yet again that music truly is the universal language!”--Apollo. Copies are available through Heitz Handbells and Music, Apollo, or directly from me:


The DVD of the Documentary Has Been Released!