Helen Blakey was introduced to handbells shortly upon graduating from high school, then left to pursue an education in math and sciences. Some twenty years later she got a degree in music with the luxury of being able to take nearly every offering in literature and theory. She was awarded a grant to study the history and manufacture of handballs as an undergraduate and visited the AGEHR archives and factories of Schulmerich and Malmark. As a graduate student she pioneered the development of a computer music lab during the evolution of synthesizers and notation software. She accepted a position as Director of Music at Essex United Methodist Church, on the outskirts of Baltimore, Maryland, directing 5 choirs of adults and children. The small church had no handbell resources but she gradually introduced a few chimes to accompany the choir.
After 5 years she left to pursue her other passion of showing her Weimaraners in the dog breed and obedience rings. She sings in a large, highly-regarded church choir and rings with an emerging handbell choir. In her alternate life she is a technical editor and trainer of commercial software and custom applications in environmental sciences and health care.