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Day 10: More concerts!

Previous Posts All of the ringing groups (small ensembles, Shooting Stars, Red Stars, Blue Stars, and All Stars) performed for the ship's passengers and crew today. The 2019 Panamania cruisers posing on the aft deck of the Zuiderdam. This year's ringers and...

Day 9: Mainstage concert

Previous Posts Today's highlight was the Bells of the Cascades (BOC) afternoon concert on the Zuiderdam Mainstage. Directed by Matthew Compton, BOC performed 8 pieces in front of a "sell-out" crowd of 600+ passengers and crew.             The Panamania! All Stars made...

Day 8: Exploring Costa Rica

Previous Posts We had a full day in Costa Rica and many ringers chose some adventurous shore excursions like zip-lining over the rainforest canopy or white water rafting on the Pacuare River. Most excursions included a drive-through of a banana plantation. Bananas are...

Day 7: Monkeys, toucans and sloths

Previous Posts This morning around 6 am, the Zuiderdam entered the Panama Canal. We transited through the Gatun Locks and entered Gatun Lake. After some passengers disembarked for various excursions, the Zuiderdam did a "U-turn" and exited the Canal back to the...

Day 5: Curacao

Previous Posts Brian Parrott has been the Bells of the Cascades Cruise Committee Chairman for 4 years. Cruise planning starts about 18 months out from the actual cruise date. During the cruise, Brian keeps all the cruise ringers informed of upcoming events and any...

Day 4: AM rehearsals then into Aruba

Previous Posts Day 4 began with a 90 minute rehearsal for both the Blue Stars and Red Stars ringing groups.  In the photo below, Pat Dedert and husband Mike Ultee review a difficult section after a Blue Stars rehearsal. Pat and Mike are from Hillsborough NJ. They also...

Day 3: Ringing at sea

Previous Posts We started rehearsing with guest clinician Cathy Mocklebust this morning.  The ringing groups are divided into Blue Stars and Red Stars (based on the Panama flag) with each group ringing 4 different pieces and rehearsing at different times.  Each group...

Day 2: Half Moon Cay

Previous Posts Early on Day 2, we pulled into Half Moon Cay and had the chance to enjoy the beach or a short excursion.  Here's the Zuiderdam just off shore.  We loaded into tenders for the short ride to shore. On a short nature walk, one of the guides demonstrated a...

Day 1: All Aboard Panamania!

Previous Posts Hello from the ms Zuiderdam where 106 ringers and 45 non-ringers have joined the Bells of the Cascades for a 10-day cruise around the Caribbean and Panama Canal.  All the handbell cabins had a welcome sign on the door: The ms Zuiderdam can hold 2,000...

Day 6: More rehearsals

by | Jan 13, 2019 | Panamania, RMC Event Blogs |

Today was filled with rehearsals for the Blue Stars, the Red Stars, and the Shooting Stars. The Shooting Stars is a cruise-only ringing group intended for beginning ringers, family members, or just curious individuals who want to learn the basics of handbell ringing. Two Bells of the Cascades (BOC) ringers, Luanna Corder and Alisa Hampton, are leading this group of 10-12 potential new ringers. The Shooting Stars sessions are introducing unique handbell markings, what the markings mean, and how to perform the various techniques.

How did all this equipment get onboard the Zuiderdam? By truck, driven by BOC teams from Portland OR over 3,000 miles to Ft Lauderdale FL. Bells of the Cascades brought and borrowed six sets of bells and chimes ranging from 5 octaves to 3 octaves, as well as 129 feet of foam, mallets, music stands, a keyboard and percussion equipment. In total, 113 individual cases of equipment cleared customs to support the ringers. No wonder cruise planning starts 18 months in advance!

Front row Shooting Stars with BOC leaders Luanna Corder and Alisa Hampton

Back row Shooting Stars with BOC bookkeeper and database manager James Troisi in the center.