Welcome!

Bells of the Cascades Handbell Festival

Handbell tree

Join us on Saturday, Nov. 4 at Salmon Creek United Methodist Church in Vancouver, WA, for this fun and educational event! Challenge your ringers and yourself, learn new skills, and meet musicians from around the region.

The festival will include massed pieces, Tins and Coppers choir, and an auditioned Bronze choir. When your choir is not in rehearsal, classes will be offered on topics like ringing bass bells, four-in-hand, weaving and mallet techniques.

Register by Oct. 1 for early-bird rates!

View the repertoire, learn more, and register today.

Bells of the Cascades’ new music director: Matthew Compton

Matthew Compton

Bells of the Cascades is pleased to announce our new music director, Matthew Compton.

Matthew is a Colorado Springs native who has been composing, arranging, and conducting music for handbells since 2007 when he was in the eighth grade. He had his first composition published at the age of 15, making him one of the youngest ever published handbell composers. He has numerous compositions and arrangements in print or in the publishing process.

An avid performer, player and student of handbell music, Matthew is known for his high-energy originals and arrangements and beautiful harmonies. His music has been performed across the world by many elite groups, including The Agape Ringers, the Alleluia Ringers of Concordia University Wisconsin, Pikes Peak Youth Ringers, and Hong Kong Youth Handbell Ensemble.

In addition, Matthew’s music has been selected for the repertoire for regional and national handbell festivals, including Distinctly Bronze East and West, and the International Handbell Symposium.

Matthew graduated in 2016 from Concordia University Wisconsin with a degree in music and a focus on composition and conducting. During his time at Concordia, he rang with the Alleluia Ringers, a touring handbell choir; started a student handbell choir to perform at an annual campus event; and was the handbell director at a local church.

Bells of the Cascades is very excited to have Matt as our new music director in 2017!

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!

Bells of the Cascades auditions — join us!

Members of Bells of the Cascades

Bells of the Cascades, Oregon’s premier community handbell ensemble, is always looking for Bronze-level ringers who are interested in the next challenge!

Learn more and request an audition.

In 2013, we were honored with an invitation to perform at the Handbell Musicians of America National Seminar, and we’re continuing the excellence this season with our conductor and renowned composer Matthew Compton. Join us!