AU Press Releases

Wingate Memorial Carillon Recitals begin July 11

Alfred University’s Davis Memorial Carillon will begin pealing the music of Johann Sebastian Bach, English folk songs and even pop melodies drawn from Disney movies when the 2017 Wingate Memorial Carillon Recital Series begins on July 11.

The concerts are free and open to the public.

Visiting artists who will ascend the tower to play the 47-bell carillon are: John Widmann, who opens the concert series at 6:30 p.m. July 11; Titiana Lukyanova, playing the bells on July 18; Janet Tebbel, July 25; and Linda Dzuris, Aug. 1. With the exception of Widmann’s opening concert, the remaining three concerts will begin at 7 p.m.

Listeners will recognize many familiar musical selections, drawn from both the classical and pop repertoires. They will include Bach’s Toccata and Fugue in D minor, “Somewhere over the Rainbow” and Borodin's "Dance of the Polovetsian Maidens." It’s a safe bet that every concert will include something for everyone to enjoy.

Alfred University’s Wingate Summer Series honors the first university carillonneur, Dr. Ray Wingate, professor of organ, who served as carillonneur from the arrival of the first 35 bells on campus in 1937 until his death in 1968. More than 20 additional bells were added over the years, some replacing original bells, and a new keyboard was installed in 1953, covering four octaves from C to C. Pedals span one octave, plus a musical fifth.

The original tower on which the bells were hung was an oil derrick, hearkening back to the days when the Alfred and Wellsville areas were part of the northeast oil and gas fields mined for carbon-based fuels.  The current steel tower was built in 1953, and modified in 1980.

The Wingate Memorial Carillon Series is generously funded by the Margaret Merrill and Ray Winthrop Wingate Memorial Carillon Foundation. This summer series is dedicated to Margaret Wingate Rase (1919-2016), president of the Foundation for 49 years.

Concerts are held rain or shine. Guests are advised to bring folding chairs and warm clothes.