Schedule of 15-Minute Mini-Concerts
(Subject to change. All times Eastern.)
During Standard Time: Daily at 5:30 p.m.
During Daylight Savings Time: Daily at 7:15 p.m.
Also Saturdays and Sundays at 12:30 p.m.
Other Concerts on Special Occasions
Stop by "the campus beautiful" and hear the unique sounds of the 48 tuned, bronze bells of the Marsh Memorial Carillon at Concord University in Athens—West Virginia's only true carillon!
Joseph Marsh's dream of a world-class carillon on the Concord University Administration Building has a 40-plus-year history behind it. The "Baker Bells" ringing out across the campus of Dr. Marsh's alma mater, Dartmouth College, made quite an impression on the young student and beginning faculty member.
When Dr. Marsh returned to Concord College as its new President in 1959, he dreamed of bringing those "melodious sounds" to campus. He attempted to get funding for a carillon when the Administration Building was renovated in the early 1960s, but was unsuccessful. Nevertheless, he had the roof of the building remodeled in such a way, with reinforced steel and a slot for bell cables, that a carillon could be built "someday."
Fast forward to Christmas time 1995, when Dr. Marsh, now retired, came into the office of President Jerry Beasley. Dr. Marsh had been setting aside money for years so that, as a provision in his will, the University could install his cherished carillon. Instead, he told Dr. Beasley, "I want to do this while I'm still living and can enjoy it."
A contract was let to the van Bergen Company of South Carolina for carillon construction, and to the Paccard Foundry of Annecy, France, to cast the bronze bells. (The committee found no bellmaking foundry in North America capable of the job.) Kreps & Kreps Architects of Charleston, W.Va., were retained to help with design, and Swope Construction of Bluefield, W.Va., went to work turning the blueprints into reality.
The largest bell was cast in February 1997, with Dr. Marsh throwing the switch in Annecy to start the furnace that spewed forth the mixture of virgin copper and tin into the mold. In the centuries-old European tradition, the molds were broken after the bells were cast. By July 1997 the bells had been hand-tuned and shipped across the Atlantic. On July 30 a dedication ceremony on the Concord front lawn revealed Dr. Marsh as the donor, and featured a "blessing of the bells" by the pastor of Concord United Methodist Church.
On October 10 the bells had been hoisted and installed into the handsome bell tower, the installation of the clavier, keyboards, and computer were complete, and over 300 people gathered to hear the inaugural concert by R. Robin Austin, Carillonneur at Princeton University.