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Santa Barbara carillonist to play second concert in AU summer series
7/06/10

Alfred University’s Summer 2010 Carillon Recital Series continues Tuesday, July 13, with Margo Halsted, adjunct professor at the University of California (UC)-Santa Barbara, where she teaches and plays the carillon.

The program begins at 7 p.m. at the Davis Memorial Carillon on campus. Admission is free and the performance will go on rain or shine. Guests may sit on the lawn adjacent to the carillon. Feel free to bring along chairs and blankets to enhance your listening pleasure.

Halsted will perform “Fanfare en Rondeau” by Jean-Joseph Mouret; folk songs from Japan, Germany and Ireland; four pieces for carillon; “The Entertainer” by Scott Joplin; “A Medley of Familiar Songs”; and the prelude from “Songs of Spain” by Isaac Albeniz.

Halsted has been active in the carillon world for the past 43 years. She received degrees from Stanford University and a maser’s degree in carillon performance from UC-Riverside, as well as a diploma from the Netherlands Carillon School. Her teachers were James B. Angell, Lowell Smith, and Leen ‘t Hart. In 1999 she was invited to be a scholar at the Smithsonian National Museum of American History.

She has held carillon positions at Stanford University, UC-Riverside, Michigan State University and the University of Michigan School of Music (from which she retired in 2003 with emerita status).

The Guild of Carillonneurs in North America presented Halsted its Certificate of Extraordinary Service and elected her an Honorary Member. Thirty of her students have passed the exam to become full members of the Guild, and a number of them currently hold carillon positions.

Other honors Halstead has received include the University of California, Berkeley Medal, “For Service to the Carillon Art,” an award from the World Carillon Federation for her musicological research, and listings as a music educator in the current editions of “Who’s Who in America” and “Who’s Who in the World.”

Halsted has been a consultant for eight new carillons and chimes, as well as for renovations and enlargements of others. She has performed in all parts of the world.

Alfred University’s Wingate Memorial Carillon Recital Series continues each Tuesday in July at 7 p.m. The next two performances will feature Laura Ellis, University of Florida School of Music, Gainesville, July 20, and Jeremy Chesman, Missouri State, Springfield, MO, July 27.

The series honors Dr. Ray Winthrop Wingate (1886-1968), who was a professor of music at Alfred University for 56 years. After the installation of the bells in 1937, he was appointed the University carillonneur and continued in the position until his death. He arranged more than 5,000 selections for the carillon and composed nine suites. The Margaret Merrill and Ray W. Wingate Memorial Carillon Foundation funds the series.

The carillon at Alfred University is made of a double row of rounded oak levers, called batons (which are struck with loosely clenched fists), with a pedal board (octave and a fifth). The ground floor display by the carillon has information on its history. Guests are welcome to climb the 69 steps to the top to enjoy the view and watch the guest artists at work.