November, December 2019 Carillon Recitals Announced
Mercersburg Academy announces carillon recital dates for November and December 2019. 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 November 10, and guest carillonneurs Buck Lyon-Vaiden and John Widmann will perform November 17 and Christmas Eve, December 24 (at the stroke of midnight), respectively.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Read more information about the Swoope Carillon.