About Matthew Compton (b. 1994) is a Colorado Springs native who 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. He has numerous compositions and arrangements in print or in the publishing process. An avid performer and listener, Matthew is known for his high energy originals and arrangements and beautiful harmonies, and 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. His music has been selected for the repertoire for regional and national handbell festivals, including Distinctly Bronze East and West, and the International Handbell Symposium. He is also the new Music Director of Bells of the Cascades in Portland, OR.
Matthew’s love of handbells was sparked in 2007 when his grandmother, Judith Compton, asked if he would try ringing in her handbell choir at Peterson Air Force Base Chapel. Captivated as only other passionate musicians can understand he began to invest most of his time and energy into the instrument, discovering not only his love for ringing but for composing, arranging, and teaching others. He gratefully acknowledges the contributions made by mentors Joan Kuehn, Music Minister at First Lutheran Church in Colorado Springs, Susan Hedgpeth, director of the Pikes Peak Youth Ringers, Kevin McChesney, noted composer/arranger/conductor and director of the Pikes Peak Ringers, and Dr. John Behnke, director of The Alleluia Ringers of Concordia University Wisconsin.
Matthew has great energy and passion for music and for life which is reflected in his work both as a composer/arranger and as a conductor. Described as "a very dynamic and animated" conductor, he has been developing his skills as a conductor since attending his first handbell festival in 2008. He has conducted church handbell choirs and other ad hoc ensembles since 2009, has led workshops with church choirs, and assisted in leading music reading sessions at the 2012 Area 11 Handbell Festival/Conference in Salt Lake City. He has also been an occasional substitute with The Pikes Peak Ringers and was accepted as a participant at Distinctly Bronze East 2014, one of the premier ringing events for advanced ringers.
Matthew graduated from Concordia University Wisconsin, with a Bachelor of Arts in Music with an emphasis in composition and conducting. At Concordia Matthew rang with The Alleluia Ringers, Concordia's auditioned, touring handbell choir, and sang in Chorale during weekly chapel services and in Kammerchor, Concordia's auditioned, touring choir. Matthew also served as the handbell director at St. Paul's Lutheran Church in West Allis, Wisconsin, and is available as a clinician for festivals and workshops. In addition to music, Matthew enjoys hiking, running, snowboarding, video games, and spending time with friends.