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

Sunday, December 18, 7:00 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? Handbell concerts are always more wonderful in person, but we plan on creating a video recording of the Sunday evening concert. Be sure to sign up for our mailing list to be notified when we make it available.

Concert Program

  • Outburst - Karen Lakey Buckwalter
  • Lumière - Fred Gramann
  • O Little Town of Bethlehem - Lewis H. Redner, arr. Cathy Moklebust
  • Volte on The Holly and the Ivy - Michael Praetorius, arr. Matthew Compton
  • O Magnum Mysterium - Cathy Moklebust
  • Do You Hear What I Hear? - Noel Regency and Gloria Shayne, arr. Sandra Eithun
  • Riu, Riu, Chu - attr. Mateo Fletch the Elder, arr. Alex Guebert,
    Matthew Compton & Martha Wilson, percussion
  • Los Peces en el Rio - Traditional Spanish Carol, setting by Brian Seemann
  • Sing We Now of Christmas - arr. Matthew Compton
  • Symphonia on Hyfrydol - arr. Kevin McChesney
  • Lux Aeterna - Matthew Compton & William A. Payn
  • God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen - arr. Kevin McChesney

Bells of the Cascades is a 501(c)3 nonprofit, which means your donations are tax-deductible!

Make a donation securely online now.


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…

Wanted: Community Support for Bells of the Cascades

Bells of the Cascades

Passionate about innovative, advanced handbell ringing in the Portland area? Or would you like to help promote our musical artform? Can you engage with creative ideas and do what it takes to help carry them out? BOC wants to invite you to join us in ramping up toward our 35th Anniversary year in 2024-25 and beyond!

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 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 and we’ll put you on the list!


Cancelled - 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.