This unique three-and-a-half-day performance event for advanced handbell ringers combines the opportunity to work with Dr. William Payn with a final performance during a concert on a stage at the Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts in downtown Raleigh, sharing the stage with The Raleigh Ringers. The event is held every other year in the even years.


The application/audition process will open late summer of 2023 for the 2024 event. 

Once received, application forms, recommendation forms, performance videos, and past performance (alumni only) are reviewed by the selection committee. The selection committee will then meet to select the ringers, and applicants will be notified. At that time, payment will be due to secure the ringers spot.

ALL Participants Must Submit:

  • Application & Ringing Position Preference Form

First-time Participants Must Also Submit:

  • Recommendation Forms
  • Performance Video


The registration cost for the 2022 event was $440. The cost for 2024 will be announced before the application process begins, however we try our best to keep cost increases minimal.

The event fee includes:

  • Three and a half days of event activities, including three days of rehearsals/performance with Dr. Payn.
  • All lunches and dinners (Thursday dinner through Sunday lunch) Note: Participants staying at the preferred hotel will also receive complimentary breakfast.
  • Snacks and refreshments at breaks.
  • Transportation to/from airport and all transportation during the event if staying at the preferred hotel. You will not need to rent a car!

Registration does NOT include:

  • Transportation to Raleigh.
  • Hotel accommodations.
  • Music
  • Performance attire for the final concert.


We have established a scholarship program for those whose financial situation might keep them from applying for Virtuoso. Scholarship applications will be reviewed by an independent committee, and all information is kept confidential from the Virtuoso selection committee until after participants have been identified for Virtuoso. When offered a position, participants will be advised as to any scholarship available.

Applications for scholarships will begin September 2, 2023.

Past Participants

wdt_ID last name Name Location 2013 2015 2017 2019 2022
1 Alm Stephanie Alm Lenoir, NC X X X
2 Barnard Anne Barnard Seattle, WA X
3 Barnett Patrick Barnett Augusta, GA X
4 Blanton Michael Blanton Charleston, SC X
5 Blauch Laura Blauch Mooresville, NC X X X
6 Boswell Chris Boswell Rochester, MN X X
7 Brown David Brown Raleigh, NC X X X X X
8 Carter Jay Carter New Bern, NC X X
9 Carter Cameron Carter Arlington, VA X
10 Cerullo Rachel Cerullo North Chelmsford, MA X
11 Chico Katherine Lamb Chico Land O Lakes, FL X
12 Christopherson Brian Christopherson Plano, TX X
13 Christopherson Jeanne Christopherson Plano, TX X
14 Clayton Allison Clayton Summerville, SC X
15 Collett Linda Collett Orchard Park, NY X
16 Daniels Ellen Daniels Apex, NC X X
17 Dougherty Michael Dougherty High Point, NC X
18 Dundzilla Mya Dundzila Eliot, ME X X X
19 Eastburn Karen Eastburn Plano, TX X
20 Ellison Linda Ellison Katy, TX X
21 Ethridge Robin Ethridge Seattle, WA X X X X X
22 Fenton Lori Fenton Des Moines, IA X X X X
23 Fitzgerald Josh Fitzgerald Arlington, TX X
24 Fox-Roberts Christine Fox-Roberts Rehoboth Beach, DE X X X
25 Gaines Meredith Gaines Spring, TX X
26 Gregory Teri Gregory Gambrills, MD X
27 Handy Mike Handy Sanford, NC X
28 Hanson Genevieve Hanson Falls Church, VA X X
29 Hicks Wayne Hicks Carrollton, VA X X X X
30 Johnson Malia Anderson Johnson Woodinville, WA X
31 Jurado Kathryn Jurado Seffner, FL X X
32 Keisler Allison Keisler Sherrills Ford, NC X
33 Kennedy Sarah Kennedy McLean, VA X X X X X
34 Kindraka Nancy Kindraka Farmington Hills, MI X X X X X
35 Knoy Ashley Knoy Charlotte, NC X
36 Kohler Emlee Kohler Hancock, NH X
37 Kunz Ryan Kunz Centerville, UT X
38 Lamb Mike Lamb Jupiter, FL X X X X
39 Lamb Tami Lamb Jupiter, FL X X
40 Latshaw Pat Latshaw Prairie Village, KS X
41 Leadbetter Steven Leadbetter Seminole, FL X X X
42 Lewis Leslie Lewis Gastonia, NC X X X
43 Lyons Danny Lyons Pensacola, FL X X
44 Marotta Hillary Marotta Hummelstown, PA X
45 Mason Glenda Mason King George, VA X X
46 Mills Lisa Mills Blue Springs, MS X
47 Minnotte Linda Minnotte Pittsburgh, PA X X X
48 Murphy Marcia Murphy Glenmoore, PA X X X X X
49 Murphy David Murphy Chapel Hill, NC X X
50 Murray Jennifer Murray Mastic, NY X
51 Myers Betty Myers Columbia, SC X
52 Nance Bryce Nance Reno, NV X
53 Nance Derek Nance Reno, NV X
54 Olhausen Marcy Olhausen Kennesaw, GA X X X X
55 Peterson Tracy Peterson Bennington, NE X X X
56 Quick Kevin Quick Allen, TX X
57 Reese Alan Reese Carrollton, VA X X
58 Reese Lois Reese Carrolton, VA X
59 Rowe Cathy Rowe Springfield, IL X
60 Scott Janeen Scott Spanish Fork, UT X
61 Seemann Brian Seemann Washington, DC X
62 Sheffield Sarah Sheffield Indian Trail, NC X X
63 Stein Amber Stein Summerville, SC X
64 Swafford Laura Swafford Baltimore, MD X X
65 Tober Lyn Tober Bellingham, WA X X
66 Toole Ruthie Toole Newark, DE X
67 Turner Elaine Turner Gainesville, FL X X X X
68 Underwood Fran Underwood Burke, VA X
69 Vandagriff Dena Vandagriff Fairfax, VA X
70 Vangolen Jennifer Vangolen Seattle, WA X X X
71 Vaquilar Julie Vaquilar San Francisco, CA X X X
72 Wilkie Vanessa Wilkie Edmonds, WA X X X

Event Details

Event Preparation

Upon acceptance, participants are expected to acquire the music and learn their ringing position, working with their stand partner, choir “double,” and section leader. Group rehearsal time is to fine-tune the songs, NOT to learn the music. Ringing positions will be assigned after acceptance into the ensemble. Music will need to be shared with a stand partner for rehearsals and the performance.


Participants may stay wherever they would like; however, the preferred hotel provides a discount for event attendees and includes complimentary breakfast. We can also assist with roommate matching for participants who stay at the event hotel.


All the transportation for the weekend, including airport shuttles, will be provided to participants staying at the preferred hotel.


The registration fee includes all lunches and dinners during the event (Thursday dinner through Sunday lunch). The preferred hotel includes complimentary breakfast. Water and light snacks are also included during rehearsals.

Event Schedule

The event begins on Thursday at 4:00pm and goes through Sunday afternoon’s performance (ending at roughly 6:30pm). All rehearsals are mandatory and will be held at Raleigh Ringer Central in Raleigh, North Carolina.


All equipment will be provided. Participants will provide their own gloves, music, and anything else they require for rehearsal.

Performance Attire

Performance attire for the final concert is supplied by each participant. For men – black tux, white shirt, black bow tie, black shoes and socks, and black gloves.  For women – black pants or long skirt, black top with long or 3/4 length sleeves and approved neckline, black shoes, and black gloves.


Educational Events

Capital Area Handbell Festival
North Carolina Fairgrounds – Kerr Scott Building

Audience Comments

"The music was beautiful, the entertainment hilarious, and the whole experience was wonderfully worthwhile. We loved it so much we tried to get a flight changed to come hear your concert again!"

- Anonymous Fan

“What skill and diversity of music! I could have listened another three hours! Thank you for the inspiration and entertainment!”

- Anonymous Fan

“I never would have thought I'd want to go to a handbell concert, but when I heard handbell rock ’n’ roll on the radio, I told my friends, ‘We're going!’ And it was just great.”

- Anonymous Fan

"The Raleigh Ringers are the best handbell ensemble on the globe!!!!”

Greg Pysh
Minister of Music and Composer
Midland, Texas

“Wow!!!!!!!!!!!!! They never cease to amaze me. Their playing is so musical, their technique impeccable.”

Cordetta Valthauser
Handbell Soloist
Cleveland Area, Ohio

"Thank you all for being ambassadors of superb musicianship, amazing technique, and sharing the joy of doing something you love, which is contagious.”

Carolann Haley
Assistant to Director of Music Ministries
National Presbyterian Church, Washington, D.C.

“The Raleigh Ringers are truly a wonderful instrument. It is a joy to watch how precisely they respond to director David Harris' musical goals, and how audiences respond as well. This group has definitely attained 'handbell superstar' status.”

Jason Tiller
Sonos Handbell Ensemble
San Francisco, CA

“The best part was, in spite of all the amazing things that they can do with bells – the bass ringer assignments, flawless technique, and all of those kind of things – the best part was that it was musical. I simply enjoyed the music.”

Dean Wagner
Associate Director of Music and Organist
First United Methodist Church of Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio

“...I did not know how good 'good' is in bell ringing until I heard you. It was simply superb, and you must have known that from the unusually enthusiastic response from the audience.”

Ross MacKenzie
Chautauqua Institution
Chautauqua, New York