Mercersburg Academy hosted three Sunday recitals from the school’s Swoope Carillon Sundays in November, featuring school carillonneur James A. Brinson (November 4) and guest carillonneurs Janet Tebbel (November 11) and John Widmann (November 18). Recitals are held most Sundays during the academic year. The next recital is scheduled for Sunday, December 2, at 2 p.m., when Brinson will perform prior to the fall concert of the Mercersburg Area Community Chorus. The chorus concert begins at 3 p.m.
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.
Tebbel (whose visit was officially the Kurtz Family Recital) is the carillonneur of two carillons in the historic Germantown section of Philadelphia. She has served as carillonneur of the First United Methodist Church of Germantown, and has also been the carillonneur of the Miraculous Medal Shrine since 2002. Tebbel began her carillon studies at the University of Michigan and continued to play at the University of Rochester in New York while earning a master’s degree in organ at the Eastman School of Music. She spent a year at the Royal Carillon School in Mechelen, Belgium, and earned a final diploma from the school.
Tebbel’s performance was 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.
Widmann, of Frederick, Md.,is a frequent guest recitalist at Mercersburg and will perform October 28 recital. 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.
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. 100 Academy Drive, Mercersburg, PA 17236 GPS Address: 10951 Buchanan Trail West, Mercersburg, PA 17236 717-328-6173