Canberra carillon player Peter Bray to compete in the International Queen Fabiola Carillon Contest

Bells are ringing for Peter Bray.

The 19-year-old is the second Canberra carillonist to be selected to compete in the International Queen Fabiola Carillon Contest, to be held in Mechelen, Belgium in July.

Mr Bray will compete against all contestants on the first day and if successful will compete against four others in the two-day finals. He is the only Australian competing this year.

Peter Bray, 19, carillonist, who is going to Belgium to compete in an international competition. Picture: Elesa Kurtz

Peter Bray, 19, carillonist, who is going to Belgium to compete in an international competition. Picture: Elesa Kurtz

"I'm just going to do my best," he said.

"I'll be the Australian representative at the so-called carillon Olympics."

Canberra's senior carillonist, Thomas Laue, was the first Australian carillonist to compete, in 2014, when he placed third.

The competition began in 1987 and 2019 will be the eighth time it has been held.

Mr Bray, a second-year Australian National University student studying music and Japanese, was a pianist and singer when he began learning carillon four years ago.

He was one of 10 people who took part in a National Capital Authority program to introduce the carillon to a younger generation.

Mr Bray was fascinated by the carillon and its 55 bells weighing from seven kilograms to six tonnes and wanted to learn how to play it. "It's not like any other instrument," he said.

"You use fists instead of fingers and hit the keys."

He became one of seven qualified carillonists (in addition to four students) in Canberra, which has one of the only two carillons in Australia. The other is at the University of Sydney. A third is under construction in Bathurst.

Mr Bray said he would continue to play the carillon and saw himself staying in Canberra for the foreseeable future. "I feel like I'm bound by an instrument." Lynn Fuller, Canberra's lead carillonist for the past eight years, taught Mr Bray.

She said he was enthusiastic, learned quickly and "plays brilliantly".

Ms Fuller, who also taught Mr Laue, started on piano and decided she would like to learn the carillon, starting in the mid-1990s.

It took about 18 months to become proficient, she said.

Canberra's carillon will be 50 years old in 2020. It was a gift of the British Government.