Events overview

International Handbell Symposium

International Handbell Symposium

6–11 August 2018

The International Handbell Symposium is an event that celebrates the flourishing of communication between nations, the spreading of the musical art of handbell and handchime ringing, and the spirit of peace through music. The event happens every two years, rotating between the member organisations of the International Handbell Committee (IHC).  Learn more about the IHC.

The event—for members of affiliated guilds, their friends and family—features massed ringing, educational workshops, cultural experiences, and opportunities to network and form friendships with handbell musicians from around the world.

We are also offering an exciting non-ringing delegate programme, with tours over four days.

The 18th International Handbell Symposium will be convened by the Handbell Society of Australasia in Cairns, Queensland, Australia, 6–11 August 2018.

If you are a ringer and are not currently a member of a guild affiliated with the IHC, please contact the Registrar at for details on what you need to do to join this event.

Watch this space and the links to the right for more information about the event and how to register.

International Handchime Festival

Inaugural International Handchime Festival

69 August 2018

Calling the Handchime musicians of the world!

An exciting new initiative for world handchime musicians!

The International Handchime Festival is an exciting new initiative for the handchime musicians of the world. It is for handchime choirs only and takes place from 6–9 August 2018 at the Cairns Convention Centre.

This event will provide the opportunity for groups who are passionate about handchimes to participate in massed handchiming rehearsals, perform for each other, and finally, perform in a massed handchime ensemble in the International Solo concert on Thursday night, 9 August 2018.  All this, together with the opportunity to make new friends from across the world, makes this a ‘not to be missed’ event.

While non-ringing chaperones and translators will register to be involved in handchime activities, others accompanying handchime ringers may elect to register for the 4-day tour programme through the International Handbell Symposium registration menus.

Handchime delegates will experience working with two esteemed international handchime directors and clinicians, as well as with HSA’s Convenor of the International Handchime Festival, Cynthia Delaney.

The event will be an intergenerational event where people of all ages will enjoy making music together to celebrate the uniqueness of this beautiful instrument.

As the International Handchime Festival will run concurrently with the 18th IHS2018, the delegates will join the handbell ringers in the official opening on Monday along with the visit to the Rainforestation Nature Park. This cultural and environmental event will be held on Wednesday afternoon, and will culminate in an evening meal.

When registering, the handchime delegates will have the option either of ordering a boxed lunch, or of joining the handbell delegates for the cold buffet lunch. Should the delegates stay longer in the region, they have the opportunity of joining the audience at the 18th IHS 2018 public concert in the afternoon, and of attending the Gala Closing Ceremony dinner that night.

Cynthia Delaney, the Convenor of the International Handchime Festival said, ‘We are hoping that International and Australasian Handchime ensembles and individuals will join us in Cairns, Australia, to celebrate this inaugural event.  We enjoy the beauty of Handchimes and we feel we have an important contribution to make to the 18th International Handbell Symposium, Cairns, Australia’.

International Handbell Symposium Youth Festival

International Handbell Symposium Youth Festival

3–6 August 2018

The International Handbell Symposium Youth Festival (IHSYF) is designed for young people who wish to enrich their technical and musical skills, make new friends and enjoy massed ringing. This event is the prelude to the International Handbell Symposium and will be held in Cairns, Queensland, Australia from 3–6 August 2018.

The youth will perform twice, firstly in the IHSYF Sunday night concert on 5 August 2018, and secondly in the IHS2018 Monday night Opening Ceremony on 6 August 2018. Both nights’ ceremonies will be held in the beautiful St Monica’s Cathedral.

Sunday night’s concert will see the youth perform a massed ringing piece of 2.5 standard, selected and conducted by international conductor, Emily Li, President of Handbell Association of Hong Kong. At this concert, the participants will also have the opportunity to showcase their own ensemble with an individual group performance.

At Monday night’s Opening Ceremony of the International Handbell Symposium, the youth will perform a newly-commissioned work for handbells, handchimes, SSAB choir and Taonga Puora (Māori instruments) composed by Youth Festival composer, David Hamilton This piece will be conducted by Australasian conductor, Samantha Cook, HSA Regional Representative—Queensland.

Participants will spend three and a half days preparing the repertoire for the massed performances.