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43rd Annual Summer Carillon Concert Series

Each Friday evening in July, the 48 bells of McDonogh School’s carillon will ring out in song in the 43rd Annual Summer Carillon Concert Series. The free concerts (July 2-30) will be held rain or shine from 7:00 to 8:00 p.m. Guests are invited to 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 each concert.

The 2021 recitalists are:

  • July 2: Carlo van Ulft, Thomas Rees Memorial Carillon, Springfield, Illinois
  • July 9: Buck Lyon-Vaiden, McDonogh School, Owings Mills, Maryland
  • July 16: Frank DellaPenna, Cast in Bronze, Pottstown, Pennsylvania
  • July 23: Joey Brink, Rockefeller Memorial Carillon, Chicago, Illinois
  • July 30: Roy Kroezen, Centralia Carillon, Centralia, Illinois

The 2021 performances can be streamed at

Please note the following guidelines in effect this summer:

  • The main entrance gate to McDonogh School will open at 6:00 p.m.
  • Please wear masks when indoors (restrooms and the chapel/tower) and maintain physical distancing with those outside your group.

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.