The National Honors Handbell Ensemble is a unique performance event for advanced handbell musicians age 13 - 19. Thirty young musicians are chosen through an audition process to gather for a weekend of intensive rehearsals with a world-renowned conductor. For 2018, Kevin McChesney will direct the group and conduct the final concert. The Ensemble will gather in Fredericksburg, VA from around the nation on a Friday evening in April. Each musician will have already prepared the challenging repertoire according to Mr. McChesney's performance notes. Together, the ensemble will rehearse until Sunday afternoon when they will perform a final concert for the public in The Washington Pavillion in Fredericksburg, Virginia. One ensemble member will be chosen as the Youth Handbell Musician of the Year and receive recognition at the final concert and be invited to participate in the 2019 National Honors Handbell Ensemble as a featured player. Each musician who participates in the ensemble will also earn recognition and benefits for his or her personal handbell group.