AU Press Releases

Canadian carillonneur to perform fourth recital in AU summer series

Gordon Slater of Ottawa, Canada will be the fourth performer in Alfred University’s Wingate Summer Carillon Series on Tuesday, July 26.

This free recital starts at 7 p.m. and will include works by Weiss and de Visee and pieces such as "The Bells of St. Mary’s," "Shenandoah," and "America the Beautiful."

The recital will be held rain or shine. Indoor seating will be available in Howell Hall in the event of rain.

Slater has served as church organist and choir director as well as four carillonneur positions. He has conducted orchestras, choirs, bands, and musicals in Toronto and Ottawa. He retired from the position of Dominion Carillonneur of Canada after 31 years of service playing the Peach Tower Carillon in Ottawa.

Slater now tours widely as a carillonneur and clinician. The music director of Divertimento Orchestra since 1987, Slater plays bassoon and contrabassoon with the Ottawa Symphony Orchestra.

The Wingate Memorial Carillon Recital 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 5,00 selections for the carillon and composed nine suits. The Margaret Merrill and Ray W. Wingate Memorial Carillon Foundation fund the series.

The carillon at Alfred University is made of a double row of rounded oak levers, called batons (which are stuck 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.