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 are also interested in individuals who would be interested in serving as rehearsal substitutes.

Please contact for a package of information. We hold periodic regular auditions, and can also sometimes hold special auditions; inquire about upcoming audition dates when you contact us.

Complete the application below to request an audition.

Expectations of ringers

Bells of the Cascades is a nonprofit community group. We expect members to commit to regular performances as well as periodic retreats and nonprofit business meetings, 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.

Finally, every other year, Bells of the Cascades hosts handbell cruises, on which members both perform and host workshops for participants. (We think it’s pretty fun!) We schedule these far in advance so that everyone can plan ahead.

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 four 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 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.

Individual music skills evaluation, which will consist of rhythm exercises, a demonstration of a working knowledge of handbell techniques and notation, sight-reading of both exercises and repertoire, and performing two or more pre-assigned parts in standard handbell repertoire while playing along with a recording of the pieces. You will receive an advance copy of the music and some of the exercises at least a week prior to the audition.

An interview with the membership committee, usually held immediately before or after the individual music skills evaluation.

Application form

Ringing experience
Your most recent ringing experience:
Prior experience:
Prior experience:
Describe any other handbell experience:
Handbell repertoire
List pieces you have performed that best represent the level of your ringing ability.
(below G3)
C3 to F3
G3 to F4
G4 to C5
D5 to B5
C6 to C8
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.
Include instruments studied, number of years of lessons, degrees earned, etc.
Please describe the events and when they occurred.
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 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), and there are periodic business meetings prior to rehearsals. Performances, workshops and tours are usually scheduled on weekends, with the notable exception of our handbell cruises, which occur once every two years and which require all of us to be out of town for approximately one week. Occasional changes in schedule, additional rehearsals, and performance commitments are made by group consensus.

Occasionally we schedule a rehearsal following an all-day workshop or other activity, or an all day rehearsal prior to an evening concert.

I understand the commitment required of a member of the Bells of the Cascades as outlined above, and wish to proceed with auditioning for the ensemble.

Type your full name as your signature.