University Washington Change Ringing Society

North American Guild of Change Ringers

The University Washington Change Ringing Society ring at the Gerberding Hall Bell Tower (8 bells, 6cwt), University of Washington’s Red Square, School of Music, Box 353450, Seattle, WA 98195-3450 (The Gordon Stuart Peek Foundation Memorial Bells).

  • Email: or
  • Website: depts.washington.edu/uwcbells or www.nagcr.org
  • Tower: Gerberding Hall Bell Tower (8 bells, 6cwt), University of Washington’s Red Square, School of Music, Box 353450, Seattle, WA 98195-3450 (The Gordon Stuart Peek Foundation Memorial Bells)

Ringing Times

University Washington Change Ringing SocietyGenerally, the University of Washington Change Ringing Society ring on Friday evenings between 20:30-21:00. Out of term, the bells may also be rung on Monday nights between 20:30-21:00. Check the calendar.

We also sometimes ring quarter peals on Saturday or Sunday, between 10am and 1pm.

Visiting Ringers are very welcome – please contact the (at both email addresses – see above) in advance.

Currently, for most practices the bells will not be heard outside the tower (simulator), although the bells are most likely to be heard 8:30-9pm during the Friday evening practice.

Unfortunately, practices are not generally open to non-ringing visitors, although you will be able to see the bells on the webcam (once installed).

Learning to Ring

Ringing requires about as much coordination as riding a bike. It is a stimulating mental and physical exercise, practised worldwide by an eclectic group of volunteers of all ages. Physical requirements are mostly an ability to climb steep ladders, exert some force with your arms above your head, and some degree of rhythm.

The University Washington Change Ringing Society run weekend and evening taster courses for those interested in learning to ring. Dates and times will be announced here and in email. Please contact the (see above) for more details, or to join the email list. If you have contacted us already and not had any reply, it is likely due to a spam filter – please try again!

Finding Us

University Washington Change Ringing SocietyGerberding Hall is on the south side of UW’s Red Square in the central UW campus, just next to Suzzallo Library. See here for map. We will meet at the southeast corner of the square before practices. As the building is locked, late comers will likely experience considerable delays, but may contact the ringers by cell phone (number provided on request).

Travel to UW: UW is well served by local METRO buses to NE Campus Parkway, the HUB, and Montlake. (Google maps is a good way of finding out about the buses). Click here for walking routes from the bus stops to the tower. Pay-parking is available from UW, or on meters on local streets (free after 8pm).

History

In early summer 2008, the first set of change ringing bells on the west coast of the USA were installed on the University of Washington’s Seattle campus. The installation is a gift of the Gordon Stuart Peek Foundation. The set of 8 bells, cast by Royal Eisjbouts Bell Foundry in the Netherlands, tenor weight 6 cwt, tenor note B, are hung for full-circle “change” ringing in the tower of Gerberding Hall, on the UW’s Red Square.

Change ringing – in which a trained team of ringers (the “band”) ring the bells in continuously varying patterns (not tunes) – originated in the UK in the 17th century. There are now over 5000 ringing towers in the UK, but only about 40 in the USA (and 8 in Canada), with our nearest ringing neighbours being Vancouver and Victoria in Canada, and Chicago and Abilene (TX) in the USA.

The University of Washington bells will be rung (see here for dates and times) to celebrate university, state and national events by a band of volunteer ringers from the UW and the Seattle area. Ringing visitors are always welcome!