Welcome!

A Burst Of Light - Winter 2022 concert

Burst of Light Poster

Bells of the Cascades presents a thrilling holiday concert of diverse repertoire that you won’t want to miss — A Burst of Light! We are loving the music we are preparing this year, and we hope you’ll come and enjoy hearing us play! Traditional tunes and fun surprises, all designed to help you feel en-LIGHT-ened. Mark your calendars now!

We’ll be performing twice:

Saturday, Dec 17, 7:00 pm
Forest Grove United Methodist Church
1726 Cedar St
Forest Grove, OR
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View event on Facebook

Sunday, June 5, 4:00 pm
Salmon Creek United Methodist Church
12217 NE Hwy 99
Vancouver, WA
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View event on Facebook

Admission is $15 adults, $5 students, children under 6 free, and as always, no one will be turned away for lack of funds. Tickets can be purchased at the door with cash, card or check.

We hope to see you there! 

Can’t make it in person? We expect to be live-streaming the Saturday concert, and will post details on our Facebook page. 


 

2023 Spring Handbell Festival

Bells of the Cascades Spring Festival

Join us for our annual Spring Handbell Festival in February 2023!

Open to choirs, ensembles and ringers of all levels: Challenge yourself, learn new skills, and meet musicians from around the region. The festival will include optional individual group rehearsals and massed rehearsals, with a free public concert.

Saturday, Feb. 11, 2023 — Vancouver, Washington

Challenge yourself, learn new skills, and meet musicians from around the region. The festival will include optional individual group rehearsals and massed rehearsals, with a free public concert.

Learn more and register for the Spring Handbell Festival.


 

Help us swing a bass bell

Donate to help us expand our bass

Our last concert season wouldn’t have been the same without our low bass bells.

Now let me hasten to add that we appreciate all notes, played by all ringers — I’m not trying to start a fight between sections!

One of our strengths as an ensemble is our six and a half octaves of bells, going down to the G2. (With chimes going down to C2.)

Complicating matters, composers insist on writing music in different keys, so while “G” is the lowest note we have, it’s not always the lowest note in a chord. What would Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto, Vivaldi’s Four Seasons, or Dvořák’s American Quartet be without a low F? Not much, that’s what.

Donate to help us expand our bass bells

This past concert season we had a number of pieces requiring that F2, like My Neighbor Totoro and Don’t Stop Me Now. If you haven’t already seen it, watch our concert on Facebook! (You can watch the video without a Facebook account.)

Continue reading…


Get involved in Bells of the Cascades!

Bells of the Cascades

Passionate about innovative, advanced handbell ringing in the Portland area? We want your help!
 

Audition!

Calling all Bronze-level ringers! What do you do on Tuesday evenings? We are always looking for experienced and versatile ringers who would consider joining Bells of the Cascades. We are holding auditions on Tuesday, Aug. 30 in the Portland metro area for the 2022-23 season and beyond.

Interested? Fill out our audition application form. If you have any questions, you can write to membership@bellsofthecascades.org.
 

Join the board of directors

We’re always looking for new folks to help guide our 501(c)(3) nonprofit, whether you’re a director of a church or community ensemble, a ringer yourself, or simply a supporter of the musical arts.

While fundraising and budgeting is a big part of the board’s role, we’re also looking for people with experience in event organizing, communications, grantwriting, and strategic planning. No prior board experience necessary. Members of our board are not paid in money but in camaraderie, love for one another, and satisfaction in advancing the art of handbell music.

Interested? Send an email to president@bellsofthecascades.org and we’ll be in touch!
 

Volunteer as a substitute ringer

As we know you understand, a handbell ensemble is one instrument played by several people, and when one person has to miss a rehearsal the instrument simply isn’t complete!

We’re looking for ringers who have some experience playing intermediate or advanced-level handbell music and are willing to be on call (with advance notice) to step in when we need a substitute ringer for Tuesday evening rehearsals. This is also a great way to get to know the ensemble if you’d like to explore the possibility of auditioning in the future.

If you’d like to volunteer, please email director@bellsofthecascades.org and we’ll put you on the list!

 

Ringing in the new year

You probably know that the handbell favorite “Carol of the Bells” is a Ukrainian folk tune. But did you know that it’s also a song celebrating New Year’s? Originally titled Shchedryk, it tells the story of a swallow flying into a household to sing of good fortune that will come with the following spring.

Several years ago, Bells of the Cascades collaborated with Portland ensemble Pink Martini on a version of “Carol of the Bells” — take a listen!

Like the bird in the song, we wish you a happy and healthy new year, from all of us at Bells of the Cascades. We stand with Ukraine!

 

Voyages: In Search of Peace

Bells of the Cascades was invited to perform at the 2021 national convention of the Handbell Musicians of America in Phoenix, Arizona, along with Cathedral Bells of Orange, California.

The video of our performance at this event is not currently available due to copyright reasons, but the responses from those who attended were extremely gratifying! We were thrilled at how moved the audience was by the music we made with Cathedral Bells. Here are some examples of what people wrote to us.

The following night we presented the same concert in California. Here is the video of that performance.