Welcome!

Bells of the Cascades announces its third full-length CD: Hitting Things!

Hitting Things! album cover

Continuing the celebration of its 25th year, Bells of the Cascades — building on the premise that handbells are a tuned percussion instrument — has created its third-full length CDHitting Things!

The songs on Hitting Things! pair bells with a variety of other percussive instruments and sounds from traditional drums to less traditional, and somewhat improvised, sounds.

Teaming with Michael Charles Smith (“Marimba Mike”), Bells of the Cascades ends the CD with a spell-binding arrangement of “Bolero” for marimba and handbells arranged for Bells of the Cascades by its director, David York.

Hitting Things! can be purchased for $15 directly from Bells of the Cascades via PayPal, or at CDBaby.

View more information and the track list for Hitting Things!

25th anniversary composition contest winners

Congratulations to the winners of Bells of the Cascades’ 25th anniversary composition contest, announced tonight at our concert:

  • First prize to Alex Guebert from Orange, California for “Out of the Silent Planet
  • Second prize to Michael Mazzatenta from Corpus Christi, Texas for “Brave the Day

Bells of the Cascades will premier the winning compositions at its concert in October — mark your calendar now!

Congratulations to the other composition contest finalists, in no particular order:

  • Ed Martin from Neenah, Wisconsin for “Conjuring
  • John Hooper from Edmonton, Alberta for “Passacaglia Chromatica
  • Nathan Whittaker from Harrisonburg, Virginia for “Penumbra

Once again, we were very pleased with the quality and creativity with all the handbell compositions we received. Thank you!

Competition contest finalists

Bells of the Cascades is pleased to announce the five finalists in its 25th Anniversary Composition Contest. The finalists were selected from 21 entries.

The winner of the competition will be announced on April 25 at Bells of the Cascades’ 25th Anniversary Celebration Concert in Portland, Oregon.

Our five finalists:

  • Alex Guebert, Orange, California
  • John Hooper, Edmonton, Alberta
  • Ed Martin, Neenah, Wisconsin
  • Michael Mazzatenta, Corpus Christi, Texas
  • Nathan Whittaker, Harrisonburg, Virginia

Thank you to everyone who submitted entries. We were very pleased with the quality and creativity of the submissions!

Join us for a concert 25 years in the making!

Bells of the Cascades: Celebrating 25 years!

Friends new and old, we hope you’ll join us for our 25th Anniversary Concert on Saturday, April 25 at 7:30 PM at Central Lutheran Church in Portland.

Featuring special guests:

  • Handbells Unlimited!, handbell duo
  • Michael Charles Smith, marimba
  • plus former directors Dick Coulter and Kris Sparks
  • and alumni from 25 years of dynamic handbell ringing

View the complete event information, or join the Facebook event and invite your friends. This will be an event you don’t want to miss!

Remembering Nancy Hascall

Nancy Hascall

Founding member, former director, ringer and friend Nancy Hascall lost her battle with cancer and passed away August 13, 2014, at the family cabin in Idaho, surrounded by family.

Nancy was one of the original members of Bells of the Cascades, and after the retirement of Dick Coulter, became the director for 14 years. She recently returned to Bells of the Cascades as a ringer.

Nancy toured nationally as a handbell solo artist, releasing a solo album, Ringing from the Heart. She was responsible for taking the art of solo ringing to a new level with the development of the technique known as traveling four-in-hand, which allows the solo ringer to ring complex passages with grace and fluidity. Many solo ringers honed their craft during three-day private solo ringing tutorials at her home in Oregon, and she always made herself available to coach an individual or group while on tour.

As a composer, she has many pieces in print for both ensembles and soloists. In addition to her involvement with Bells of the Cascades, Nancy directed the Sanctuary Bells of First United Methodist Church in Portland and rang along with her husband, Glen, in the Covenant Bell Choir at Lake Grove Presbyterian Church, where she first picked up a handbell in 1979.

The hearts of all Bells of the Cascades members are heavy as we remember this remarkable woman who graced our lives. Farewell, Nancy.

Nancy’s service will be on Friday, Sept. 19, at 2:00 PM, at Lake Grove Presbyterian Church, Lake Oswego, OR.

Nancy performs ‘Waltz in A Minor,’ by Frederic Chopin, at Pinnacle 2010