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Carry on, carillon

June 26, 2019
people in lawnchairs on the quad in front of Rush RheesFree carillon concerts are back this summer, with music from top performers from around the world every Monday in July. (University of Rochester photo / J. Adam Fenster)

The Hopeman Memorial Carillon Recitals series—a summer tradition at the University of Rochester—continues on Mondays in July, as concert-goers gather on the grounds of the Eastman Quadrangle to hear international and national carillon artists perform on the historic campus bells.

“These charming carillon concerts are Rochester summer’s best kept secret,” says Doris Aman, music department instructor and coordinator of the Carillon Society.  “Listening to the bells interact with the birds, the breeze, meeting old friends at the Quad with a picnic sharing stories, our families of all ages and even the puppies can enjoy the series.”

This summer’s line-up includes musicians from the United States, Europe, and Canada. Kicking off the four-part series on the evening of July 8 will be Belgian carillonneur Carl Van Eyndhoven, with a multifaceted program including improvisations of jazz standards and the music of John Lennon.

Other performers include Andrée-Anne Doane, a carillonneur at St. Joseph’s Oratory in Montreal, who will play a French-Canadian program including a variety of folk tunes; Margaret Pan, featuring classical baroque and folk songs by J.S. Bach, Debussy, Alice Gomez, and Jean Miller; and the world-renowned Geert D’Hollander, performing a combination of baroque, classical, and special and rarely-heard carillon compositions from the Anton Brees Carillon Library.

This year’s series is dedicated to Andrew Stalder ’48, a long-time sponsor of the carillon concert series who had been a violin major at the Eastman School of Music until he left to serve in World War II. Stalder, who died in February 2018 at the age of 96, trained on the Hopeman Memorial Carillon and by 1983, passed the juried examinations of the Guild of Carillonists of North America. He performed on the Rochester instrument until 1992, when he retired.

The free outdoor concerts on the Eastman Quadrangle are open to the public. The programs begin at 7 p.m., rain or shine, and last about an hour. Attendees are encouraged to bring folding chairs, blankets, snacks or picnics, and relax on the lawn of the Eastman Quadrangle to enjoy the carillon concerts. The performers are available to greet the audience on the steps of Rush Rhees Library 15 minutes after the completion of the program.

  • Monday, July 8: Carl Van Eyndhoven plays the carillon for the cities of Tilburg and Mol in Belgium. He is head of research—music and drama—at the Faculty of the Arts, Leuven University, and president of the Bela Bartok Archives of Belgium, and Expertise Center for the Heritage of Music and Performing Arts—CEMPER. Van Eyndhoven is renowned for his jazz improvisations on carillon and has performed in Japan, Denmark, Ireland, Poland, and Germany.
  • Monday, July 15: Andrée-Anne Doane is the carillonist at the Saint Joseph’s Oratory in Montréal. She has recorded solos and duets with Claude Aubin on the Carillon of St-Joseph’s Oratory, a CD titled Chantent les Cloches. Doane has performed in several Carillon series throughout North America, including in Ottawa and Toronto; Wellesley, Massachusetts; Ames, Iowa; and Gainesville, Florida.
  • Monday, July 22: Margaret Pan is a freelance carillonneur and has given recitals across the United States, Canada, Belgium, and the Netherlands. She is also a planetary scientist at MIT.
  • Monday, July 29: Award-winning carillonneur Geert D’Hollander, the fourth carillonneur at Bok Tower since it was dedicated by President Calvin Coolidge in 1929, also served as a carillon composition teacher at the Royal Carillon School in Mechelen in Belgium.

The Hopeman Memorial Carillon, one of only seven carillons in New York state, was installed in 1973 and consists of 50 bells cast in bronze by Royal Eijsbouts Bellfoundry of Asten in the Netherlands. The sounds of the carillon can be heard on campus throughout the year.

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Category: The Arts