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37th Annual Carillon Concert Series

Each Friday evening in July, the bells of McDonogh’s carillon will ring out in song in the 37th Annual Summer Carillon Concert Series. The free concerts will be held rain or shine from 7:00 to 8:00 p.m. Guests are invited to bring lawn chairs and a blanket and picnic on the grounds surrounding Tagart Memorial Chapel or enjoy the recital from inside the chapel. Children are welcome to use the Lower School playground behind Elderkin Hall. Tours of the tower will be given after the July 3 and July 31 concerts.

The 2015 Recitalists are:

  • July 3: Buck Lyon-Vaiden, McDonogh School
  • July 10: Koen Cosaert: Mechelen, Belgium
  • July 17: Julia Littleton, Alexandria, VA
  • July 24: Edward Nassor, Washington, DC
  • July 31: Hunter Chase, Chicago, IL
  • The McDonogh carillon, one of approximately 180 in North America, consists of 48 bells, ranging in weight from 24 pounds to 1.6 tons. It is one of only two of its size in Maryland.

    A carillon is connected with mechanical wires to a keyboard and a pedalboard. The keyboard is split into two rows of spindle-like wooden keys that are struck by half- closed fists. The pedalboard, similar to that of an organ, controls the two lowest octaves. Carillon music includes classical, hymns, folk, popular melodies, and original compositions.

    The bells were cast and tuned in the Netherlands by the Petit and Fritsen Foundry, which dates back to 1660.