Academy Carillon Recitals Resume for 2019-2020 Year
Mercersburg Academy carillon recitals from the school’s Swoope Carillon will resume on Sunday, September 8. Recitals are held most Sundays during the academic year at 3 p.m., and can be heard from the Prentiss-Zimmerman Quad on campus or the Irvine Memorial Chapel, which includes the Swoope Carillon and its Barker Tower. There is no admission charge and all are invited.
Guest carillonneur John Widmann of Frederick, Md., will give the Kurtz Family Recital on September 8; Elisa Tersigni of Washington, D.C., will perform on September 15; Tiffany Lin, of Philadelphia, Pa., will perform on September 22; and Academy Carillonneur Jim Brinson will perform on September 29.
Widmann is a frequent guest recitalist at Mercersburg. He began studying the carillon with a Mercersburg Academy student in 1986. (Unfortunately, the student’s name has disappeared into the ether of history.) Widmann became a GCNA member in 1996; he is the city carillonneur of Frederick and is a music teacher in Frederick County Schools.
Widmann’s performance is funded in part by a generous endowment established by Robert M. Kurtz Jr. ’52 in memory of his parents, Robert M. and Dorothy Betts Kurtz.
Tersigni began studying piano at age 5 and later picked up the flute and clarinet. Since 2014, she has studied carillon, first with Roy Lee at the University of Toronto (Canada); then with Eddy Marian at the Royal Carillon School in Mechelen, Belgium; and now with Dr. Robert Grogan at the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, D.C. In 2017, she passed her ACE (intermediate) carillon exam with the GCNA. She has performed on carillons in Belgium, Canada, England, and the U.S. Tersigni is a researcher of rare books at the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, as well as a letterpress printer and book artist.
Lin began studying the carillon in 2009 with Ellen Dickinson at Yale University, where she was co-chair of the Yale University Guild of Carillonneurs. In 2013, she passed the Carillonneur exam for the Guild of Carillonneurs in North America and graduated from Yale with a B.A. in Economics and Mathematics. Originally from Los Angeles, she lives in Philadelphia and is pursuing an MBA at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.
Brinson has been a member of Mercersburg’s music faculty since 2003, and also serves as the Academy’s organist, directs Magalia (the school’s female student a cappella ensemble) and the Chapel Choir, and works with the Chorale. He is a member of the American Guild of Organists, the American Choral Directors Association, and an associate member of the GCNA. Brinson is a graduate with distinction of both Union Theological Seminary’s School of Sacred Music and Rhodes College; he is experienced in choral arts, organ performance, and music history.
The school’s carillon recital series hosts performances on most Sundays during the academic year. Mercersburg’s Swoope Carillon is one of 163 traditional carillons in the U.S. and includes 50 bells.