Jason Wells is an accomplished performer on trumpet and noted handbell ringer and choir director. A 1996 graduate in English from Walla Walla College, now University, he began teaching at Tualatin Valley Junior Academy in Hillsboro, Oregon, following graduation. In 1997 he formed Ring of Fire, a handbell group that quickly became nationally famous.
Distinguished by its polished and dynamic memorized performances of the most demanding repertoire for that ensemble, this world-class group has been featured at national handbell conventions, where it has elicited tumultuous applause and standing ovations. They were invited guests at the 2001 and 2005 inaugurals of George W. Bush, for which they performed three times, including an appearance at the largest of the inaugural balls. They also performed three Christmas concerts with the Boston Pops Orchestra in 2003. Wells was honored for his work with Ring of Fire in 2006, when he was named an honored alumnus by WWC.
He and his wife, Heather (Schmunk), a 1999 WWC nursing graduate, have one daughter, Sidney.
Sources: Interviews with Jason Wells, 2000; Jason Wells, “An Inaugural Whirlwind!” and Dan Shultz, “Ring of Fire!,” both from the Winter/Spring Issue of the International Adventist Musicians Association magazine, Notes, Amy Wilkenson, “2006 Alumni of the Year,” Walla Walla College Westwind, Summer 2006; personal knowledge.