Featured handbell performer, 2013 National Seminar
Bells of the Cascades, Oregon's premier community handbell ensemble, has been invited to perform at the 2013 Handbell Musicians of America National Seminar, July 24 through 27 at the Oregon Convention Center in Portland. The concert, on Thursday, July 25 at 5:30 PM, will be open to the public.
- Saturday, April 27, 7:00 PM in Salem. Westminster Presbyterian Church, 3737 Liberty Street S. View map. Free will offering, dessert reception afterwards.
- Sunday, April 28, 1:30 PM in Lake Oswego. New Thought Center for Spiritual Living, 1040 C Ave. View map. Love offering.
- Sunday, April 28, 5:00 PM in Portland. First Christian Church, 1314 SW Park Ave. View map. Suggested donation of $20 per person/$10 students. No one turned away for inability to pay. Followed by a dessert reception. View on Facebook
- Thursday, July 25, 5:30 PM in Portland. Oregon Convention Center, 777 NE Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. View map. Tickets are $5 and can be purchased at the door, or in advance beginning on June 1 on the Handbell Musicians of America website.
Audition for Bells of the Cascades
We are actively seeking qualified ringers for membership. Applicants should be experienced ringers with good sight reading skills and musicianship. Members must be available for rehearsal from 7:00 to 9:00 PM on Tuesdays.
Interested ringers should inquire with or request an audition packet from Carolyn Bradley, Membership Chair, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 503-639-6301.
Bells of the Cascades recordings
In 2005, Bells of the Cascades released our first full-length CD, All Bells on Deck, which celebrates our long history of hosting workshops on cruise ships, as we present handbell music composed by some of their past cruise clinicians.
A second full-length CD, Christmas in the Cascades, was released in 2008. This album features some favorite music for the Christmas season. Selections include both sacred and secular pieces and range from the traditional to whimsical reminders of the joys of the season.
Contact email@example.com for more information or to order!
Donate and help support Bells of the Cascades
Just as a bell can't ring without a clapper, we can't ring without you. Bells of the Cascades is a nonprofit handbell choir. Our administrative board and ringers are all volunteers. However, there are other expenses involved in carrying out our mission of promoting handbell awareness: music, bells, mallets, wardrobe, travel and advertising expenses, and other equipment.
Through the generous contributions of our audiences and friends, we have recently purchased the lower sixth and seventh octaves of chimes, purchased a trailer to transport our equipment, as well as finished recording our second full length CD. We would like to have a new storage cabinet, purchase new stand lights, and purchase a suspended cymbal and stand. We would also like to commission additional new works of handbell music. You can help!
Make a donation online
Make a secure, tax-deductible donation via PayPal:
Send a donation by checkBells of the Cascades
P.O. Box 151
Tualatin, OR 97062
Thanking our donors
For your tax-deductible donation, we will provide you with recognition at our concerts, special acknowledgments on our cruises, and mention on our website, with a link to your business or homepage if desired. Occasionally we may send special member awards as our form of thanks; however, your greatest reward will be knowing that you are supporting an organization devoted to the advancement of handbell ringing.
We invite you to join the clappers and help ring our bells! View the donors that help make our music possible.
Tax credits for your donations
Bells of the Cascades is a "qualified nonprofit cultural organization" under the Oregon Cultural Trust, a permanent, protected endowment to provide long-term support for culture, arts and heritage throughout Oregon. The Cultural Tax Credit allows you to double your donation to Oregon culture by making a contribution to the Cultural Trust today.
Here's how it works: First, write a check to an organization like Bells of the Cascades as a charitable contribution that supports the organization directly. Second, make a matching gift to the Oregon Cultural Trust. Finally, receive a tax credit for your gift to the Trust on your Oregon income tax. One hundred percent of up to $500 for individual taxpayers, $1000 for couples filing jointly and $2500 for Oregon businesses qualifies for the tax credit. Supporting Oregon culture couldn't be easier or more important!
Director and members
We are pleased to announce David York, Ph.D as our new Music Director in 2013. David, a long-time friend of BOC, is best known for his work with vocal choirs and has worked with choirs of all ages, sizes, and ability including the critically acclaimed David York Ensemble, the Portland Gay Men's Chorus and the Aurora Women's Chorus. He currently directs Portland Boychoir and Ovation!. He has composed opera, oratorio, symphonic pieces, ballet, and numerous chamber works for chorus, electronics, and various instruments including piano, guitar, and handbells.
In 2001, David composed “The Bells,” a four-movement suite for choir and handbells based on Edgar Allan Poe's work of the same name. In 2009, David introduced handbells to the Portland Boychoir, which has since acquired a two-octave set of handbells for use in its program.
Ivan Boothe began ringing bells one day after soccer practice in sixth grade at the urging of his grandmother as a sneaky way to get him in church. He played in the Philadelphia Handbell Ensemble for several years, and before that for church choirs in Swarthmore, Pennsylvania, and Cottonwood, Arizona. Ivan is the creative director of Rootwork.org and helped found the Genocide Intervention Network. Ivan graduated in 2005 with a degree in peace and conflict studies from Swarthmore College, where he wrote a thesis on third-party nonviolent intervention to prevent and stop war. He helps organize PDXTech4Good.org, a regular gathering of nonprofits, techies and activists.
Carolyn Bradley has been a member since 2007 and chairs the membership committee. She has been a bell ringer since 1987 with the King's Ringers of Calvin Presbyterian Church in Tigard, OR. Carolyn is a retired special education teacher with two daughters and two grandchildren. She is married to a trombone player. In their spare time, Carolyn and her husband enjoy gardening, camping and working on the flight crew for a hot air balloon company. Carolyn got the bell ringing gene from her mother, Marge Spoelstra, who was a founding member of Bells of the Cascades.
Beth Davidson started ringing handbells in Duluth, MN, in 1972 and has rung nearly every year since. She discovered the joy of solo ringing in 1993, after attending her first national festival. She rang with Bells of the Cascades for a few years in the late '90s before leaving to concentrate on her work with David Jordan in the duet team of Handbells Unlimited! She was a cofounder of Solo/Ensemble Extravaganza, the first national workshop for small group and solo ringing. Beth is married and has three grown daughters, three step-children, and one step-grandson. By day you will find her doing allergy testing and asthma education. Besides ringing handbells, her favorite hobbies are reading, making jewelry, and wine tasting.
Cindy Gronbach began her handbell career while searching for a new church choir with which to sing. She started ringing at Savage Memorial Presbyterian Church in 1985. In 1989, she took a conducting class at an AGEHR Festival, and now conducts its bell choir. She is an accomplished solo ringer and has taught several handbell technique classes. Cindy has been ringing with Bells of the Cascades since 1991 and has also rung with the Oswego Handbell Ensemble and River City Bronze. Cindy grooms dogs and pet-sits, and volunteers for the Oregon Humane Society and the Portland Fruit Tree Project. In her spare time, she likes to garden, spend time with her two dogs and watch the antics of her three hens, one being Dutch so just had to be named Fritsen.
Cheri Hainer has been ringing bells since 1986 and has been ringing at Murray Hills Christian Church in Beaverton since they purchased bells in 2000, where she took over as director in 2012. She moved from Indiana to Oregon in 1995 and currently has her parents and her two daughters, Vicki and Xander, living with her. Both the girls are musically active: Vicki with trumpet that she duets with her mother who also plays trumpet, and Xander in multiple vocal choirs. Both girls also ring handbells and haven't decided if they like their mom as the director or not. Cheri and her girls continue to play together in various ensembles.
Robyn Heerlein has been a member since 2007 and is the music librarian. She has played in the Vancouver First Church of God Hallelujah Bells for more than 30 years, and has played in several bell quartets and trios. She enjoys playing the piano and singing and is involved in the Sanctuary Choir, Vancouver Singing Christmas Tree, and other ensembles. She is married and has two adult children. Robyn volunteers in the grandkids' classrooms and loves being a stay-at-home wife/mom/grandma. This past summer, she attempted a garden and because the Northwest had exceptionally wonderful weather, harvested an abundance of raspberries, tomatoes, green peppers and zucchini, along with a few eggplant and lettuce.
David Jordan has been involved in handbells for over 25 years. Starting in a church group in California, David has taught handbells at the University of Oregon's School of Music and been a clinician at Area III, VII, X, XI and XII Festivals, HMA Director's Seminars and HMA Handbell Spectacular Events. He has toured extensively in the United States as well as Scandinavia, Germany and the Czech Republic.
Brian Parrott was badly bitten by the bell bug nearly 18 years ago. He joined Bells of the Cascades in 1999, and other than a brief hiatus, has been ringing with us ever since. He is the current President of Bells of the Cascades, chair of the cruise committee, an occasional substitute for area groups, the Oregon representative for Malmark, Inc., has taught at handbell workshops, and coached handbell choirs and soloists. By day, Brian is an attorney and teaches part time at Portland Community College.
Nancy Patton started ringing handbells about 20 years ago, when her mother encouraged her to give it a try. She had no idea what a handbell was, had never touched or seen one, but in her usual way, was determined to please her mom. And her mom was right — handbells are really fun to play, which is still true after all these years. Nancy is co-vice president of Bells of the Cascades, as well as chairing the logistics committee, which is a perfect fit for her love or details and organization. Nancy works legal software implementation manager for a company in Portland, which mixes her background in hi-tech with her law degree. Nancy loves living in the Pacific Northwest, relocating to Portland from the Bay Area a little over ten years ago.
Judy Schumacher has directed bell choirs for more than 30 years and been a bell ringer for at least that long. She has held positions in the American Guild of English Handbell Ringers including Area Treasurer, Area Chairman, and National Secretary. She is a founding member of the Bells of the Cascades, serves as our secretary, and chairs the cruise committee. Judy and her husband have two married sons and four grandchildren. Judy also teaches piano and directs the handbell choir at Concordia University in Portland, OR, and is our percussion expert.
Kris Sparks has had a long career in music. She taught music for the Lake Oswego School District for 30 years. Along the way she has directed various bell choirs for churches and rang with Bells of the Cascades for two years. She recently retired from being a church music director. She also plays clarinet in the Lake Oswego Millenium Concert Band. She is now both owner and instructor of "It's Never Too Late!," a music studio that caters to adults returning to music or beginning a study of piano for the first time. She was the interim director for Bells of the Cascades in 2011 and 2012, and is enjoying being a part of Bells of the Cascades again with her partner, Martha Wilson.
Jim Troisi has rung bells since 1996 when he joined a bell choir to understand how the heck a bell choir can make such beautiful music when everyone only plays a few notes. He's still trying to figure it out. Jim joined Bells of the Cascades in 2009 and serves as the database manager. Jim also plays in the Covenant Bell Choir at Lake Grove Presbyterian Church in Lake Oswego, OR. Jim's days are spent working at IBM as a third line software development manager, and his time at home is spent reading, exercising, and working in his garden.
Martha Wilson first rang handbells in 1977, but life got in the way and she could really devote time to them until 1989 at which time she fell in love with them. She has been ringing or directing or both since then! She enjoys small ensembles and solo ringing as well as ringing in a larger choir. During her non-ringing hours, she works as a mental health therapist as well as a small home business selling jewelry. She plays several other instruments as well, having grown up with professional church musician parents. In addition to music Martha enjoys her friends most of all, but also theater, reading, wine tasting, cooking and spending time with her partner, Kris Sparks and their two dogs.