Founded in 1964 by Mary D. and F. Howard Walsh

Founded in Fort Worth, Texas -- the Dorothy Shaw Bell Choir has evolved into a world-renowned musical organization that has brought critical-acclaim and praise from all across the globe.


Founded by Mary D. and F. Howard Walsh to be a part of, The Littlest Wiseman, a play-pageant of the nativity. The play was written by Dr. Lloyd Shaw, superintendent of the Cheyenne Mountain School in Colorado Springs, and first presented in 1917. His wife, Dorothy, for whom our ensemble is named, wrote the poems included in play. Since 1960, this annual production is a gift presented to the city of Fort Worth and North Texans alike.


Truly Unique among handbell ensembles in that the ringers do not use tables or gloves, and they perform from memory without a Conductor! Because the ensemble is unencumbered, they are able to adapt to any setting. The ensemble's members come from throughout the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex and are all students from middle school through college age.


The Dorothy Shaw Bell Choir performs a wide-ranging repertoire -- from classical to contemporary. Performances have been in such varied settings as Carnegie Hall with Skitch Henderson and The New York Pops, The Vatican for the Pope, Carols by Candlelight in Adelaide, South Australia for 30,000 people, retirement centers, and churches throughout the world.



Prepatory Ensemble

Our first level of membership, new members start in our Prepatory Ensemble. 

To join, fill out & print the Member Application.

Senior Ensemble

Our most esteemed ensemble, students have earned their spot after years of hard work & dedication.

Junior Ensemble

Those with years in our program will advance to the Junior Ensemble.









In Memoriam

Mary D. Walsh

Mary D. Walsh graduated in 1934 from Southern Methodist University where she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree. She met F. Howard Walsh whom she married on March 13, 1937 and together they reared five children. Since 1961, Mary D. and her late husband, through the Walsh Foundation, have presented "The Littlest Wiseman" each December as a Christmas gift to the City of Fort Worth. She was a member of the Commission for Arts and Humanities from 1968-1972 and served on the Advisory Council from 1972-1984. She was sustaining member of Fort Worth Children's Hospital from 1977-1986, an associate member since 1987, and she served on the Fort Worth Children's Hospital Woman's Board from 1991-1994. She was named, along with Mr. Walsh, as Patron of the Arts in Fort Worth in 1970 and 1991. The Walshes were also named Grandparents of the Century by the Edna Gladney Home. Mr. and Mrs. Walsh donated buildings and land to The Texas Boys Choir for their permanent home in 1971. They also donated land for the building of Tarrant County Community College, Northwest Campus, where the library was dedicated to them in 1978. She was awarded the Royal Purple Award from TCU in 1979. Both Mary D. and F. Howard received Honorary LL.D. from TCU in 1979. She was a member of the Jewel Charity Ball and The Woman's Club of Fort Worth. In March of 1994, she was named one of the "Outstanding Women of Fort Worth". The TCU Fine Arts Center and the TCU Athletic Complex were dedicated to Mary D. and F. Howard Walsh in September and October of 1994, respectively.

To produce remarkable citizens as a legacy to F. Howard & Mary D. Walsh


Strive for Greatness

Helping our members develop self-discipline, self-motivation, consistency of accomplishment, etiquette, and other positive qualities through the art of music and related fields.


Ambassadors around the Globe

The essential qualities instilled in our members empower them to be remarkable ambassadors of our city, state, and country throughout the world on their travels representing the Dorothy Shaw Bell Choir.


Character on Display

Our members demonstrating not only their unique talent but also excellence in decorum and appearance.

In Memoriam

F. Howard Walsh

"Howard and I never thought we were special or anything,” said Mary D. Fleming Walsh, his wife of 61 years. “We liked to give rather than keep the money, so we have always given as much as we could.”

Give they did, in the millions. And Fort Worth benefited in as many ways. Hospitals, churches, arts groups, schools (especially TCU) and community organizations all knew if there was a need, the Walshes had open hearts, and usually an open checkbook, too.

“There’s no major organization in this town, or even minor, that he didn’t help if they needed it,” said Board of Trustees member Malcolm Louden ’67, general manager for the Walsh Companies for almost 30 years. “And he never asked for anything in return.”

In addition, the family gave one of the largest single gifts in the University’s history — $3.5 million for the Mary D. and F. Howard Walsh Center for Performing Arts.

Walsh’s goodwill did not stop there. Walsh parties (which included regular square dances) are now legendary, known to include fantastic gifts and trappings. Christmas in Walsh’s estimation was cause for lavish celebration each year. Friends made pilgrimages to town (at his expense) for the perennial The Littlest Wiseman (which they fund) and extravagant gifts (more than once, he gave mink coats to all his female employees).

Walsh entered the work world during the Depression, landing a job with the Armour Co. where he later was promoted to HEAD of the test department. . . for $18 per week, he wrote. This did not look like the road to riches to me.

So he turned to his “flair for math and figuring things out,” Mary D. said, as an accountant for her father before striking out on his own. “Mostly he just worked hard.” Indeed, that and shrewd intelligence enabled Walsh to build one of the nation’s largest independent oil production companies and an extensive cattle ranching business. But he remained down to earth, often telling jokes on himself. Walsh wrote about an encounter at the Fort Worth Club with Mary D. and her parents where he ignored a warning about the horseradish.

I, green as a gourd about such things, took a full spoon of the liquid fire. Well, well, well, it hit me like a ton of rocks. My nose started running, my eyes looked like faucets left on by mistake. It started at my neck and rapidly spread to the top of my head — turning beet-red and sweating profusely all over. I don’t remember how it ended — I did survive.

And those who benefited from his decision to make this part of the world a better place during his 85 years are glad he did.

Nancy Bartosek
TCU Magazine
Fall 1998


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