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Summer carillon recitals planned at UW-Madison

June 12, 2001 By Richard Mumford

One of the unique perquisites of visiting the UW–Madison campus this summer is a series of free concerts given at the Memorial Carillon.

For seven consecutive Sundays July 1-Aug. 12, and four Thursdays in July, the carillon brings the reverberant sounds of medieval Europe to the crest of Bascom Hill and overlook of Lake Mendota.

Five carillonneurs, as players of the instrument are called, perform recitals lasting about an hour each. They invite the public to climb the tower afterward for a brief tour and demonstration. The performers include the university’s resident carillonneur and guests from Texas, Canada, Australia and Minnesota.

The Memorial Carillon consists of 56 tuned bells (about 4 1/2 octaves) played from a keyboard of wooden batons and pedals. These bells range from 15 to 6,823 pounds. The oldest bells date from the original carillon installed in 1936, but others were added in subsequent years as the carillon was expanded and refurbished.

A succession of individuals has played the Memorial Carillon on a regular basis, beginning with W. Norris Wentworth, Class of 1924. The first person to have the official faculty appointment as University Carillonneur was John Wright Harvey, who served from 1960-84. One of Harvey’s students, Lyle Anderson, became University Carillonneur in 1986 and retains that title today. Anderson performs all the Sunday recitals this summer and during the academic year.

The UW Memorial Carillon is located on Observatory Drive, between Ingraham Hall and the Social Science Building. For information, call (608) 219-5291.

The following is the complete summer recital schedule.
— Sundays at 3 p.m.

July 1, 8, 15, 22, 29, Aug. 5, 12, all performed by Lyle Anderson.
— Thursdays at 7:30 p.m.:

July 5, George Gregory, Nordan Memorial Carillon, Central Christian Church, San Antonio, Texas.

July 12, Gerald Martindale, Massey Drury Memorial Carillon, Metropolitan United Church, Toronto, Ontario.

July 19, Suzanne Magassy, National Carillon of Australia, Canberra.

July 26, David Johnson, Noyes Memorial Carillon, House of Hope Presbyterian Church, St. Paul, Minn.

For more information on other School of Music concerts, call the School of Music Concert Line, (608) 263-9485.

Tags: arts