Carillon Recital at Concord Friday, May 1
Athens, W.Va. – The Office of the President is hosting a carillon recital at 7 p.m. on Friday, May 1 at Concord University. The recital is free, and guests may enjoy the performance on the deck of the Alexander Fine Arts Center where refreshments will be served. Guests are also invited to bring folding chairs and enjoy the recital on the lawn of “The Campus Beautiful.” The alternate location in the event of rain will be the lobby of the Fine Arts Center.
Robin Austin, carillonneur for Princeton University, will be performing a wide variety of selections including folk songs and classical pieces. Austin also performed at the dedication ceremony for the Marsh Carillon on July 30, 1997, when over 300 people gathered to hear the inaugural concert.
Austin was appointed Princeton University Carillonneur in 1993. He began carillon studies in 1979 with Frank P. Law and passed his advancement examination for the Guild of Carillonneurs in North America (GCNA) in 1981. He then completed a year of study with Jacques Lannoy, directory of L'Ecole Francaise de Carillon, earning the carillonneur's diploma in 1982. He has been a recitalist on numerous carillons throughout North America and Europe. He represented the GCNA at the World Carillon Federation's 1995 meetings in Chambiry, France. Austin holds a B.A. from West Chester University and a M.S.S. from Bryn Mawr College.
Concord would not have the euphonious bells had it not been for President Emeritus Joseph F. Marsh. His dream of a world-class carillon at Concord University 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 he 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 (now Marsh Hall) 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.”
Now, a special fund, “Friends of the Carillon,” has been established to provide support for carillon recitals. Information will be available the evening of the concert if guests wish to make a contribution.
Jesse Ratcliffe from Hinton, a student who attends Concord University, is organizing the event. He is majoring in organ and history and his anticipated graduation date is December 2009. He also “programs” the carillon to play at predetermined times. “I would like to encourage member of civic and community organizations, as well as local churches to attend,” he stated. “The concert will be very entertaining!”
PHOTO 1: Mr. Austin at the keyboard of the carillon at Princeton University
PHOTO 2: Mr. Austin stands near one of the bells in the carillon at Princeton University.
CONCORD UNIVERSITY NOTES: Persons with disabilities should contact Nancy Ellison, 1-304-384-6086 or 1-800-344-6679, extension 6086 if special assistance or help is required for access to an event scheduled by the University on campus.