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Local Carillonneurs to Perform in Annual Concert Series

Each Friday evening, from July 3 through July 31, the bells of McDonogh’s carillon in Tagart Memorial Chapel will ring out in song in the 42nd Annual Summer Carillon Concert Series. The free concerts, featuring carillonneurs from the Mid-Atlantic region will be held rain or shine from 7:00 to 8:00 p.m. Guests are invited to picnic on the grounds surrounding the Chapel and physical distancing between groups is required. The 2020 performances can also be streamed at

The 2020 recitalists are:

  • July 3: Andy Zhang, New Haven, Connecticut
  • July 10: James Brinson, Mercersburg Academy, Mercersburg, Pennsylvania
  • July 17: Buck Lyon-Vaiden, McDonogh School, Owings Mills, Maryland
  • July 24: Thomas Gurin, Raleigh, North Carolina
  • July 31: John Widmann, City Carillonneur, Frederick, Maryland

Please note: this year, restrooms are unavailable, the playground is closed, and tours of the bell tower will not be given.

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