Audition for Bells of the Cascades


We are always looking for capable, Bronze-level ringers for our community handbell ensemble. We are looking for experienced and versatile ringers who perform with confidence, musicality, and precise technique.

We hold periodic regular auditions, and can also sometimes hold special auditions. Our next scheduled audition is August 29, 2023, at Tualatin Presbyterian Church in Tualatin, OR.

We are also interested in individuals who would be interested in serving as rehearsal substitutes, and being a substitute can often be a way to gain the skills necessary for an audition for those still looking to grow. Please email if you’re interested!

Complete the application below to request an audition. Questions? Contact

Expectations of ringers

Bells of the Cascades is a nonprofit community group. We expect members to commit to regular performances and community events hosted by the group, which we schedule with respect to members’ schedules.

Prospective members should be able to commit to rehearsals every Tuesday night in the Portland metro area. These are generally two and a half hours with a short break. Performances and community events are usually scheduled on weekends, and annual nonprofit business meetings happen each year for planning purposes.

In the past, Bells of the Cascades has hosted handbell cruises, on which members both perform and host workshops for participants. As of 2022, we are evaluating whether we will be able to continue these in the future, and are unsure of the date of the next cruise. However, we schedule these far in advance so that everyone can plan ahead, and at the beginning of the season leading up to a cruise we would ask you to confirm your participation. To the extent that we make enough in ticket sales, members are reimbursed for their expenses in coming on the cruise.

If you have questions or would like more information about any of these expectations, please complete the audition application and we can elaborate on them as part of that process.

Application procedure

If you’re interested in auditioning with Bells of the Cascades, please complete the form below. You will be contacted by the membership committee chairperson with more information.

In addition to the application below, there are three other components to your audition:

Letters of recommendation from three references listed in your application. The membership commitee chairperson will provide you with information to send to your references.

Group ringing evaluation, which will include a demonstration of a working knowledge of handbell techniques and notation, through performing two or more pre-assigned parts in standard handbell repertoire with the rest of the ensemble. You will receive an advance copy of the music at least three weeks prior to the audition.

It will also include such areas as sight reading, treble (multiple-bell), and/or low bass techniques, musicality, sense of ensemble, ringing style, response to direction, learning curve in rehearsal, confidence, recovery, and more. If you do not feel fully experienced in each of these ways, or are not comfortable ringing in all sections, we still encourage you to audition!

An interview with the membership committee, usually held before the audition begins.

Application form

Ringing experience
Your most recent ringing experience:
Prior experience (if any):
Additional prior experience (if any):
Describe any other handbell experience, including festivals, small ensembles, solo ringing, etc.:
Handbell repertoire
List pieces you have performed that best represent the level of your ringing ability.
(below G3)
Below C3
C3 to F3
G3 to F4
G4 to C5
D5 to B5
C6 to C8 and above
Number in order of priority, with #1 being your most proficient. If you do not ring in a particular range, leave it blank.
If you have any training specifically related to handbells, please describe it here.
Note this is NOT required, but we'd like to know if you have any. Include instruments studied, number of years of lessons, degrees earned, etc.
Apart from ringing at events (which you should include in the last section of "ringing experience," above) please let us know if you have education or training from attending any of these types of events. Include when and where they occurred, to the best of your recollection.
Skill sets
Bells of the Cascades is known for conducting workshops, reading sessions, cruises, and other events. We are able to accomplish these projects because of the wide range of skills our members possess, and are interested in knowing what skills you have that would contribute to our activities. If you have any experience in the following areas, please describe:
Please include directors and/or ringers who are familiar with your handbell ringing skills and experience.

Bells of the Cascades rehearses every Tuesday evening from 7:00–9:30 PM (set-up starts at 6:45 PM). Occasionally we schedule a full weekend-day rehearsal to prepare for a concert.

Missing rehearsals with advance notice and arrangement of a substitute is acceptable but should be a rare occurrence.

Performances and community events are usually scheduled on weekends, with the notable exception of our handbell cruises, which occur periodically with at least a full year’s notice and which require all of us to be out of town for approximately one week. Annual nonprofit business meetings also happen each year for planning purposes.

Occasional changes in schedule are made by group consensus.

I understand the commitment required of a member of the Bells of the Cascades as outlined above.

Type your full name as your signature.