Special Spring Carillon Concert at Concord, Tuesday, April 5 at 5 p.m.

For Immediate Release: 
Mar 16 2005

Special Spring Carillon Concert at Concord, Tuesday, April 5 at 5 p.m.

Athens, W.Va. – A special spring carillon concert will be given on the campus of Concord University, Athens, on Tuesday evening, April 5, beginning at 5 p.m., by well-known guest carillonneur, George Matthew Jr. of Brandon, Vt.

The concert is free, and the public is encouraged to attend. Seating will be provided on the deck of the Alexander Fine Arts Center where, transmitted from a camera in the Playing Cabin, a television screen will show Matthew energetically striking the batons of the clavier that link the keyboard with wires to clappers ringing the 48 tuned bells.

Matthew has prepared a program to appeal to a general audience. His selections will include patriotic, folk, popular, classical and ragtime tunes, plus a couple of “surprises” for West Virginians.

Since 1986, Mr. Matthew has been carillonneur for Middlebury College and Norwich University in Vermont, and he also is the organist of the Congregational Church in Middlebury. He has made 25 carillon concert tours in the United States and 11 in Europe, performing in Belgium, the Netherlands, Denmark, Germany, Switzerland, France, England, Ireland and Scotland, and has composed and arranged about 100 pieces for the carillon, including a number of ragtime tunes. His rather unusual European debut was an all-ragtime carillon recital at a jazz festival in Ostend, Belgium.

A professional member of the Guild of Carillonneurs in North America since 1980, Matthew has served on several of the Guild’s committees. In 1990, he made the United States presentation at the World Carillon Federation held at Zutphen, the Netherlands. Mr. Matthew is a graduate of Columbia, Bridgeport and Wesleyan Universities, and has studied the carillon with legendary carillonneurs Arthur Bigelow and Frank Law.

The Marsh Memorial Carillon at Concord University is the only true carillon in West Virginia. Dedicated in 1997 and since then acclaimed by many visiting carillonneurs, the massive, four-octave musical instrument has 48 tuned, bronze bells cast by the old (established in 1796), world-famous “Paccard Founderie de Cloches et Carillons” in Annecy, France, and assembled by the van Bergen Company of Charleston, S.C., which was established in the Netherlands in 1795.

The bells range in size from the “bourdon” (4,310 pounds and more than 46 inches high) to a 29-pound bell seven inches high. In addition to being played manually in the traditional manner, as Matthew will do, the instrument also can be played by activating electromagnetic strikers using a piano-type keyboard and automatically at pre-determined times using a computer and its memory bank of tunes. Concord’s world-class instrument is among only a small number in the United States classified as a “concert” carillon.

This special spring carillon concert is made possible by a grant from the Fannie Kate and Betty Gardner Bailey Fund of the Community Foundation of the Virginias, Inc., and by a contribution from Steven A. Lapkin of Lake Tahoe, Calif., in memory of his father, Henry E. Lapkin Jr., who served with Concord President Emeritus Joseph F. Marsh Jr. as a Naval officer aboard the destroyer USS HALE in the Pacific during World War II.

For more information, contact Nancy Meade at 1-304-384-5224 or meaden@concord.edu.


PHOTO: Mr. George Matthew

PHOTO: Mr. Matthew plays the carillon at Middlebury College in Vermont.

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.