Musicians of Bells of the Cascades

About

Matthew Compton

Vancouver, WA

Matthew Compton is Bells of the Cascades’ music director. A Colorado Springs native, he 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. Matthew 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.

Ivan Boothe

Portland, OR

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. He 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, a regular gathering of nonprofits, techies and activists.

Carolyn Bradley

Tigard, OR

Carolyn Bradley has been a member of BOC since 2007 and has been a bell musician since 1987 with King’s Ringers of Calvin Presbyterian Church in Tigard, OR. She is a retired special education teacher with two daughters and two grandchildren.

Carolyn is married to a trombone player. In their spare time, she 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.

Luanna Corder

Happy Valley, OR

Luanna Corder is a retired teacher of middle school (junior high) students — mostly math, general music and band. Luanna was born in Texas and taught school in the Houston area for 24 years before going to Germany where she taught children of military families on a US Army base for six years. She holds a bachelor of music degree from the University of Texas and a master of education degree from University of Houston. She loves to travel and has visited 32 foreign countries, a handful of Caribbean islands, and 46 of the 50 states.

Luanna began ringing bells in 1979. She was forced to learn to ring when her Houston church bought a set of bells and made her the director and has been ringing ever since!

Beth Davidson

Oregon City, OR

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 four beautiful grandchildren. 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

Portland, OR

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, has been directing Savage’s bell choir since  1993, and has been directing the bell choir at Emmanuel Presbyterian Church since 2014. She is an accomplished solo ringer and has taught several handbell technique classes. Cindy has been ringing with Bells of the Cascades since 1991, she serves on the BOC Education Team, and has also rung with both the Oswego Handbell Ensemble and River City Bronze.

Cindy grooms and boards dogs, and volunteers for the Oregon Humane Society. She also stamps and hand-paints greeting cards. She enjoys spending time with her long-haired Dachshund and being in the yard watching the antics of her chickens, but not both at the same time.

Alisa Hampton

Forest Grove, OR

Alisa Hampton picked up her first set of handbells in junior high at the Methodist Church in Brecksville, OH. She joined the bell choir at Sunset Presbyterian in 1992, with her best friend, and was hooked. Alisa played at Valley Presbyterian Church where she ventured into solo and duet ensembles. When she moved to Forest Grove, her love of handbells prompted her to help found a new bell choir at the Forest Grove United Methodist Church. Alisa also plays the piano and dabbles in writing compositions for bells and the church’s vocal choir.  Her four children are also very musical and don’t mind her being an official ding-a-ling.

Robyn Heerlein

Vancouver, WA

Robyn Heerlein is married and has two grown children and four grandchildren. She has played handbells since 1982 in a number of church choirs. This is her eighth year as a member of Bells of the Cascades, and she serves on the Education Team. Other music related activities include singing both in her church choir and the Vancouver Singing Christmas Tree. She also leads worship and teaches in a women’s Bible study.

Barbara Hughes

Vancouver, WA

Barb Hughes started teaching herself piano at age 5 and continued playing into early adulthood. She began playing flute at age 9, continuing through high school. She played handbells for two years as a teenager in a Cleveland church and always remembered how much she loved them. In May of 2017, Barb joined the Salmon Creek United Methodist Church Exultation Ringers directed by Matt Compton, after seeing him direct Bells of the Cascades. With Matt’s encouragement, she honed her skills and joined BOC in August of 2017.

Barb is a member of the BOC Education Team and assists with website and email tasks, having a background in Silicon Valley software companies. She is a self-employed book editor, a spiritual explorer, lives with her partner Mark and two cats, has two daughters, and Skypes as often as possible with her two young grandchildren who live in Virginia.

Debbie Ivanov

Hillsboro, OR

Debbie Ivanov was a charter member of Bells of the Cascades and is back ringing with us. She has directed and rung handbells in several church bell groups and is the current director of the Tualatin Presbyterian Church bell choir. She also serves as a member of the BOC Education Team. When not working at Kaiser Permanente, Debbie is a guest services attendant at Rose Quarter events. Should she ever have any spare time, this busy person likes to sleep! — or read or crochet.

Kylie Johnson

Washougal, WA

Kylie Johnson has lived and breathed music since she was a toddler. She grew up playing the piano, and picked up trombone, percussion, handbells, organ, and vocal studies as she matured. She graduated from Concordia University earning a BA in music performance with a concentration in piano, and business administration with a minor in finance.

Living in the real world has forced her to get a “grown up” job doing clerical work for a large staffing agency in Portland. She also directs both a vocal and handbell choir at her church in Vancouver. In her spare time she loves to bake, do puzzles, and cuddle with her cats while watching true-life crime documentaries.

Brian Parrott

Portland, OR

Brian Parrott was badly bitten by the bell bug in the late ’90s. He joined Bells of the Cascades in 1999, and other than a brief hiatus, has been ringing with us ever since. He is the 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

Tigard, OR

Nancy Patton started ringing handbells in the ’90s, 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 oversees logistics for BOC, which is a perfect fit for her love of details and organization. Nancy works as a 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.

Kris Sparks

Oak Grove, OR

Kris Sparks has had a long career in music. She taught music for the Lake Oswego School District for 30 years. She also plays clarinet in the Lake Oswego Millennium Concert Band. She is 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.

Kris 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

Lake Oswego, OR

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 treasurer and database manager. He has written a program to assist Bells of the Cascades in managing bell assignments.

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

Oak Grove, OR

Martha Wilson first rang handbells in 1977, but life got in the way and she couldn’t 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.

When not ringing, she conducts psychiatric assessments in a hospital ER. 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.

Associate Members

Bells of the Cascades extends special thanks to our Associate Members!

Associates are people who have an interest in the affairs of Bells of the Cascades, but are not members of the organization. These may include spouses or other family of members, substitute ringers, members of the community, and more. Our associates do much of our behind-the-scenes work — including serving on committees, ushering at concerts, building music stands, preparing publicity materials, remodeling the trailer for more efficient use, and many other things we ask. They are our unseen “worker bees.”

If you are interested in being an Associate Member of Bells of the Cascades, please contact Membership Chair Carolyn Bradley.

  • Tom Foley
  • Karen Jolly
  • Paul Jolly
  • Candy Schade
  • David Schade
  • Sue Smith
  • Brenda Troisi