Mercersburg Academy will host recitals from the school’s Swoope Carillon each Sunday in February. Featured recitalists will include guest carillonneur Jesse Ratcliffe of Luray, Va., along with Academy Carillonneur James Brinson.
The school’s carillon recital series hosts performances on most Sundays during the academic year; recitals begin at 3 p.m.
Ratcliffe performs Sunday, February 3. A native of Hinton, W.Va., a one-stoplight town in the southern part of the state, he earned a bachelor of arts from Concord University and a master of music from Shenandoah Conservatory at Shenandoah University, and completed his postgraduate studies at Westminster Choir College.
Ratcliffe is the choirmaster and organist at St. James Episcopal Church in Warrenton, Va., and carillonneur at the Luray Singing Tower. An active recitalist, he has performed numerous organ and carillon recitals along the East Coast, and was invited to perform at the 2014 Edinburgh International Music Festival. He is enrolled in the North American Carillon School while pursuing a performance certificate.
Brinson, who will perform on February 10, 17, and 24, 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 vocal 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.
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. There is no admission charge and all are invited.
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.
Founded in 1893 in the heart of Pennsylvania and the Mid-Atlantic, Mercersburg is a private, coed, college preparatory boarding school with approximately 435 students (15 percent are day), grades 9-12 and postgraduate.
We offer 170 courses, including AP and Honors, more than $7 million in financial aid, 26 varsity sports, and a state-of-the-art performing and visual arts center. Located 90 minutes from Washington, D.C., and Baltimore, and within easy driving distance of New York City, Philadelphia, and Pittsburgh. 300 East Seminary Street, Mercersburg, PA 17236 GPS Address: 10951 Buchanan Trail West, Mercersburg, PA 17236 717-328-6173