Carillon Recital Dates Announced for September

Friday, September 17, 2021
Jim Brinson

Mercersburg Academy’s Irvine Memorial Chapel is pleased to announce the return of guest carillonneur performances this month. Recitals take place on the school’s Swoope Carillon on most Sundays during the academic year; recitals begin at 3 p.m. 

Academy Carillonneur Jim Brinson will perform on September 12 and 26 and guest carillonneur Buck Lyon-Vaiden will perform September 19.

Brinson has been a member of Mercersburg’s music faculty since 2003, and also serves as the Academy’s organist, directs Magalia and Octet (the school’s male and female student a cappella ensembles) and the Chapel Choir, and works with the Chorale. He is the inaugural holder of the school’s Bess Simon Teaching Chair. Brinson is a member of the American Guild of Organists, the American Choral Directors Association, and an associate member of the GCNA. He 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.

Lyon-Vaiden, of Owings Mills, MD, retired from the foreign language department of McDonogh School in 2007. He became interested in the carillon while a student at the University of the South (Sewanee) in Tennessee, where he began studying in 1963 under Albert Bonholzer. An associate member of the Guild of Carillonneurs in North America, Lyon-Vaiden has been playing the McDonogh Carillon since its installation in October 1978 for various school events and weddings in that school’s Tagart Memorial Chapel. He has coordinated the McDonogh summer carillon recital series since its inception in 1979 and continues to serve as school carillonneur there.

Recitals can be heard from the Prentiss-Zimmerman Quad on campus or the Irvine Memorial Chapel, which includes the Swoope Carillon and its Barker Tower. Due to COVID-19 protocols, recitals are currently closed to the public but can be heard from neighboring streets adjacent to campus around the Borough of Mercersburg. 

Buck Lyon-Vaiden

Mercersburg’s Swoope Carillon is one of 163 traditional carillons in the U.S. and includes 50 bells. The carillon series 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. 

Read more information about the Swoope Carillon.

For more information on this story, please contact Lee Owen ( in Mercersburg’s Office of Strategic Marketing and Communications.