The three morning ensembles in the handbell program at Music & Worship Arts Week will be as follows:

Advanced Handbells

MWAW’s most advanced handbell choir features dynamic leadership and a group of players selected for their advanced technical and musical skills. They typically play level 3-5. This ensemble is typically composed of two five-octave choirs and 26 ringers. Auditions will be held on Sunday afternoon between 2–5 p.m. During your online registration, you’ll receive info about signing up for an audition/placement time.

Intermediate Handbell Choir I

A level below the advanced ensemble, this group will be limited to 35 ringers and will be composed of one five-octave and two three-octave choirs. Ringers will need to exhibit a strong grasp of musical notation but will be challenged to further develop the skills necessary to take their ringing to the next level. This choir will be selected by placement auditions on Sunday afternoon between 2–5 p.m. During your online registration, you’ll receive info about signing up for an audition/placement time.

Intermediate Handbell Choir II

This choir is a non-auditioned intermediate choir. In addition to preparing a short performance, this choir will be focused on further development of music reading, rhythmic understanding and a more thorough understanding of handbell fundamentals, shelley positions and bass bell ringing. This choir will continue to perform on the handbell concert but will perform fewer pieces in order to allow more time to teach and further develop ringers. This choir will be composed of one five-octave choir, one four-octave choir, and two three-octave choirs and limited to 47 ringers.

Frequently Asked Questions

How many handbell positions are there?
There are only 108 handbell ringer positions. The auditioned Advanced Choir has 26 positions, the auditioned Intermediate Choir I has 35 positions, and the non-auditioned Intermediate Choir II has 47 positions.

Do I need to audition?
If you wish to ring in either the Advanced Choir or the Intermediate I choir, you will need to audition. Placement auditions for both groups will take place on Sunday afternoon ONLY!

What do I need to bring?
All ringers in handbell choirs and seminars are asked to bring white gloves, handbell folders, and a white shirt for the concert. Those who have sets of mallets are encouraged to bring them, if possible.

Are youth allowed to register for handbell rehearsals?
Yes, the handbell section is open to adults and youth (completed grades 6-12). However, youth may prefer to ring in a non-auditioned youth handbell choir that rehearses during the afternoon seminar sessions.

  • Morning Advanced or Intermediate I choirs: Youth and adults must audition; audition information is provided during the online registration process.
  • Morning Intermediate II choir: Youth should register for this non-auditioned choir in the online registration process.
  • Afternoon Youth Handbell Seminar: Pre-registration is not required. It is preferable that interested youth drop by the handbell placement auditions in Lambuth Inn on Sunday (3-5 p.m.) to express their interest in the seminar.
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