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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 6: More rehearsals

Previous Posts 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...

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 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 3: Ringing at sea

by | Jan 9, 2019 | Panamania, RMC Event Blogs |

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 has almost 4 full choirs.  Here is Cathy at the first Red Stars rehearsal:

First Red Stars rehearsal

One of the pieces has extensive malleting so Cathy gave some professional percussionist tips on how to hold and use the mallets:

Mallet practice

The rehearsals are held in a conference room on the third level which has glass hallways and is next to the onboard shopping mall so  many non-ringing passengers have stopped to listen.  In addition to the rehearsals, we also have several optional “review” sessions where we can get help with difficult sections of the music.

The third night is “Gala Night” for dinner which gives ringers an opportunity to bring out their elegant evening attire. The photo below is our guest clinician Cathy Mockelbust and her husband David. This is their first cruise. Cathy was delighted to be asked to participate in Panamania! and is enjoying all the new experiences.

Gala Night