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Summer evening carillon concerts feature world performers

June 11, 2014
people in lawnchairs on the quad in front of Rush Rhees

The Hopeman Memorial Carillon Summer Recital Series is set to begin on Monday, July 7 on the University of Rochester’s River Campus. The free outdoor concerts on the Eastman Quadrangle are open to the public and continue each Monday in July.

The program will begin at 7 p.m., rain or shine, and last about an hour. Concert-goers are encouraged to bring folding chairs, blankets, snacks or picnics, and relax on the lawn on the west side of Rush Rhees Library. The annual event features carillonneurs who travel throughout the world to perform music specifically written for the instrument of bells. This summer’s programs include Mediterranean folk songs and classical arrangements by Johann Sebastian Bach as well as the familiar medleys of The Sound of Music and Disney’s Cinderella. Following the concerts, attendees are invited to meet the performer on the library steps.

Housed in the upper-most chamber at the top of Rush Rhees tower, the Hopeman Memorial Carillon consists of 50 bells that were cast in bronze by Royal Eijsbouts Bellfoundry of Asten in the Netherlands. Throughout the year, the sounds of the carillon can be heard on campus as the traditional melody known as “Westminster Quarters” marks every quarter hour. One of only seven carillons in New York, the more than three-ton instrument is regularly played by students of the University’s Carillon Society, who perform classic and modern musical compositions for campus events, holidays, and special impromptu concerts. The ringing of the carillon bells also marks special community, state, and national events.

Performer schedule:

  • Monday, July 7
    Vera Wünsche Brink, a native of Berlin, Germany, graduated from Yale University in 2012 with a degree in biology. At Yale, she studied the carillon and became an active member of the Yale Guild of Carillonneurs. Brink currently works in the department of obstetrics and gynecology at the University of Utah School of Medicine and is a member of the Guild of Carillonneurs in North America.
  • Monday, July 14
    Tin-Shi Tam, professor of music and chair of the keyboard division at Iowa State University, has traveled the globe performing at festivals and competitions in Asia, Austria, Canada, Europe, and the United States. Tam released her carillon compact disk, The Bells of Iowa State, in 2004 and represented the Guild of Carillonneurs in North America in performance at the World Carillon Federation Congress in the Netherlands.
  • Monday, July 21
    Laura Ellis, an associate professor of music at the University of Florida, has performed solo carillon recitals in the Netherlands and throughout the United States. Ellis is on the board of directors for the Guild of Carillonneurs in North America and serves as director of the organization’s music and publications committee.
  • Monday, July 28
    Klaas de Haan, composer and award-winning carillonneur, regularly performs in towns and cities throughout the Netherlands, including Bolsward, Amsterdam, and Heerenveen. Haan is also the canto-organist of the Morgenster-Church in the city of Hilversum in the Netherlands.

The Hopeman Memorial Carillon Summer Recital Series is sponsored by the Department of Music at the University of Rochester. For more information, contact (585) 275-2828. For information about the carillon, or to hear the bells online, go to

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Category: The Arts