Carillon series to host special guests
MIDDLEBURY — The sounds of ringing bells will fill the air again this summer, as the 33rd annual Middlebury College Carillon Series treats audiences to free performances in and around Mead Memorial Chapel. Each year, musicians from around the world come to Middlebury to perform in the Chapel’s tower, high above the College campus.
Performances this summer will take place on Fridays in July and August. All of the concerts are free and open to the public, and can be enjoyed on the steps of Mead Chapel or on the surrounding lawns.
A special highlight of the year is performer Tiffany Ng’s July 27 world premiere of “Resonant Memories” by composer Matthew Schreibeis, Assistant Professor of Music at Hong Kong Baptist University and recent winner of an American Academy of Arts & Letters Music Award. The composer may be in attendance.
About Middlebury’s Carillon
A carillon is a musical instrument typically housed in the bell tower of a church or other municipal building. Its sound is produced by at least 23 cast bronze, cup-shaped bells, which are played serially to produce a melody, or sounded together to play a chord. The carillonneur plays by striking a keyboard with black and white keys and foot pedals that can help produce different kinds of sound. Each key is connected by wire to a bell clapper so different bells are rung depending on which key is struck.
Some interesting facts about Middlebury’s carillon:
• It is a 75-step climb up to Mead Memorial Chapel’s bell tower. With 48 bells, Middlebury’s instrument is considered a traditional carillon.
• The pitch of Middlebury’s heaviest bell is E in the middle octave. It weighs 2,300 pounds, roughly the same as the Liberty Bell.
• In 1915, the instrument was begun with 11 bells by the Meneely bell foundry in Watervliet, N.Y. Nine bells remain from that work.
• In 1986, the instrument was enlarged to its present size with bells made by Paccard-Fonderie des Cloches in Annecy, France. The enhanced carillon was presented in 1986 as a gift from then Chairman of the Board of Trustees Allen Dragone ’50 and his wife Jane. Twenty-seven bells remain from that work.
• In 2001, 12 bells were recast or replaced by Meeks & Watson of Georgetown, Ohio.
• One of the bells in Middlebury’s carillon is inscribed with the following quote by Lord Alfred Tennyson: “Ring in the valiant man and free the larger heart, the kindlier hand! Ring out the darkness of the land, ring in the Christ that is to be!”
All performances take place at Mead Memorial Chapel, located on the campus of Middlebury College at 75 Hepburn Road. Free parking is available on Route 125/College Street, and on Old Chapel Road. In the case of inclement weather, the concerts will still take place, and audiences are welcome to listen from the chapel steps and front landing. For further information, call 802-443-3168 or click here.
2018 Carillon Series Schedule
Friday, July 6 at 6 p.m. Sergei Gratchev, Carillonneur for the Middlebury Russian School and City Carillonneur, Hulst, Netherlands.
Friday, July 13 at 6 p.m. Hans Uwe Hielscher, Carillonneur and Organist, Marktkirche Hess, Germany.
Friday, July 20 at 6 p.m. George Matthew Jr., Carillonneur, Middlebury College and Norwich University.
Friday, July 27 at 6 p.m. Tiffany Ng, Assistant Professor of Carillon and University Carillonist, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor; North American Carillon School faculty.
Friday, August 3 at 6 p.m. Elena Sadina, Instructor, Middlebury College Russian School and Royal Carillon School, Mechelen, Belgium.
Friday, August 10 at 6 p.m. Amy Heebner ’93, City Carillonneur, Albany, New York:
Friday, August 17 at 3 p.m. George Matthew Jr., Carillonneur, Middlebury College and Norwich University.
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