Celebrating more than a quarter century of ringing


Handbells and music

In 1990, when Bells of the Cascades first started playing as an ensemble, it was difficult to find music that had been composed specifically for handbells. There are numerous community handbell groups looking for music beyond arrangements or transcriptions of traditional hymns and well-known tunes.

In celebration of our 25th anniversary in 2015, and in an effort to encourage more music for handbells, Bells of the Cascades sponsored a composition contest. We put out a call for original compositions encompassing ”forward-thinking music that is idiomatic to handbell ensembles, appealing for its listeners, and challenging for its ringers.”

Congratulations to the winners:

  • First prize ($1,000) to Alex Guebert from Orange, California for “Out of the Silent Planet
  • Second prize ($500) to Michael Mazzatenta from Corpus Christi, Texas for “Brave the Day

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

Winning compositions were premiered at our fall concert in October 2015.