Middlebury College’s 37th Anniversary Carillon Series Begins July 1

Free Performances are the Hallmark Sounds of Summer Life on Campus

The beautiful sounds of ringing bells will fill the air again this summer, as the 37th annual Middlebury College Carillon Series treats audiences to free performances in and around the Middlebury Chapel. Each year, musicians from around the world come to Middlebury to perform in the Chapel’s soaring tower, high above the College campus. The series is organized by George Matthew Jr., Middlebury College Carillonneur. All of the concerts are on Fridays and are free and open to the public–rain or shine–and can be enjoyed on the steps of the Chapel or on the surrounding lawns. Audiences are encouraged to bring lawn chairs or blankets.

2022 Carillon Series Schedule

  • George Matthew Jr., Carillonneur for Middlebury College and Norwich University: Friday, July 1 at 6:00 P.M.
  • Sergei Gratchev, Instructor, Middlebury College School of Russian: Friday, July 8 at 6:00 P.M.
  • Elena Sadina, Instructor, Middlebury College School of Russian: Friday, July 15 at 6:00 P.M.
  • Amy Heebner ’93: Friday, July 22 at 6:00 P.M.
  • Carla Staffaroni, MA Spanish ’20: Friday, July 29 at 6:00 P.M.
  • Tatiana Lukyanova: Friday, August 5 at 6:00 P.M.
  • George Matthew Jr.: Friday, August 12 at 6:00 P.M.
  • George Matthew Jr.: Friday, August 19 at 3:00 P.M. (please note earlier time, in conjunction with Language Schools Commencement)

About Middlebury’s Carillon

A carillon is a musical instrument typically housed in the bell tower of a church or other municipal building. Its sound is produced by at least 23 cast bronze, cup-shaped bells, which are played serially to produce a melody, or sounded together to play a chord. The carillonneur plays by striking a keyboard with black and white keys and foot pedals that can help produce different kinds of sound. Each key is connected by wire to a bell clapper so different bells are rung depending on which key is struck.

  • It is a 75-step climb up to Middlebury Chapel’s bell tower. With 48 bells, Middlebury’s instrument is considered a traditional carillon.
  • The pitch of Middlebury’s heaviest bell is E in the middle octave. It weighs 2,300 pounds, roughly the same as the Liberty Bell.
  • In 1915, the instrument was begun with 11 bells by the Meneely bell foundry in Watervliet, New York. Nine bells remain from that work.
  • In 1986, the instrument was enlarged to its present size with bells made by Paccard-Fonderie des Cloches in Annecy, France. The enhanced carillon was presented in 1986 as a gift from then Chairman of the Board of Trustees Allen Dragone ’50 and his wife Jane. 27 bells remain from that work.
  • In 2001, 12 bells were recast or replaced by Meeks & Watson of Georgetown, Ohio.
  • One of the bells in Middlebury’s carillon is inscribed with the following quote by Lord Alfred Tennyson: “Ring in the valiant man and free the larger heart, the kindlier hand! Ring out the darkness of the land, ring in the Christ that is to be!”

Read more at http://go.middlebury.edu/carillon