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What contributions have been made by Canadians to the handbell world?


Canadian handbell conductors have been invited to provide leadership in national and international handbell ringing events including national festivals, provincial music conferences, and music camps. A Canadian conductor has been included as a Massed Ringing conductor at the International Handbell Symposium since 1988.

1988 Exeter, England Gerald Ziegler, OGEHR  
1990 Seoul, Korea Fred Merrett, ALGEHR  
1992 Edmonton, Canada Carol Petrie, SGEHR Canadian Conductor
Fred Merrett, ALGEHR Alberta Conductor
1994 Adelaide, Australia

Alison Wood, ALGEHR
(replaced Carol Petrie due to illness)

1996 Albuquerque, USA Tracey Boyle, SGEHR  
1998 Tokyo, Japan Richard Humphrey, OGEHR  
2000 Birmingham, England Morna-June Morrow, MBGEHR
(replaced Carol Petrie who passed away)
2002 Busan, Korea Joan Plume, OGEHR  
2004 Toronto, Canada 2004 Toronto, Canada “Building Bridges”
Anne Hill, BCGEHR Canadian Conductor
Barbara Plante , OGEHR Ontario Conductor
J.-C. Coolen, OGEHR Conductor for the 2004 Symposium Composition Contest
2006 Brisbane, Australia “Unity in Diversity” John Hooper, ALGEHR  
2008 Orlando FL, USA “Ringing in Unity” Susan Carscadden-Mifsud, OGEHR  
2010 Osaka, Japan “Echoes for Peace” John Hooper, ALGEHR  
2012 Liverpool, England “The World in One City” Emmy Okazawa-Bortolin, ALGEHR  
2014 Jeju, Korea “Ring for Beautiful World “ Tammy-Jo Mortensen, ALGEHR  
2016 Vancouver, Canada “Soundings: Music of Our Lands and Our Lives”
Stuart Sladden, MBGEHR Canadian Conductor
Janet Nordstrand, BCGEHR British Columbia Conductor
John Hooper, ALGEHR Symposium Festival Choir Conductor
Imran Amarshi, BCGEHR Sound Effects Youth Track Co-Conductor
2018 Cairns, Australia “Together in Harmony • The Reef and Rainforest Ring”
Camille Ream, ALGEHR


Canadian composers of handbell music have been recognized nationally and internationally. Prolific handbell composer Fred Merrett was the recipient of awards from handbell composition contests across North America and has 140 arrangements and original handbell compositions in print. Other Canadians who have composed or arranged for handbells include Percival Price, Ruth Watson Henderson, Nancy Telfer, Pat Thompson, Robyn Tyrrell, John Hooper, Betty Radford.

A Canadian composition has been performed as a massed ringing selection at the International Handbell Symposium since 1994.

1988 She’s Like the Swallow (Alfred Kunz)    
1990 Merry-Go-Round (Fred Merrett)    
1992 Viennese Sonatina No.1 (Mozart, arr. Donald Noller)
Merry-Go-Round (Fred Merrett)
Canadian Selection
Alberta Selection
1994 A Suite of Three Canadian Folksongs (Fred Merrett)
(first time HGC competition composition was performed for massed ringing)

Run Away to Spring (Pat Thomson)


When I Get to Ireland (Pat Thomson)


Iroquois Lullaby (Pat Thomson)


Jack Was Every Inch a Sailor (Fred Merrett)

2004 Skye Boat Song (Malcolm Wilson)
WA - Peace (Yuri Shimazu)
Borealis (David Smith)
Canadian Selection
Ontario Selection
Winner, 2004 Symposium Composition Contest
2006 My Skating Song (Pat Thomson)    

Dancing Raindrops (Pat Thomson)

2010 Pandemonium/Psalm 2 (Robyn Tyrrell)    

Toccata (John Hooper)

2014 Winter Meditation (Winnagene Hatch)    
2016 Glorious and Free (Betty Radford)
Hishuk Ish Tswalk (Bruce Henczel)
Gathering (John Hooper)
HGC Composition Contest Winner
Commissioned by BCGEHR for IHS2016 Soundings
Symposium Festival Choir
2018 Creator of Light/Aurora Borealis (Erwin Stroobach)    
2020 Mosaic (Betty Radford) CANCELLED DUE TO COVID-19    

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