The Grand Valley State University annual Summer Carillon Series is set to begin as the Cook Carillon Tower marks 20 years on the Allendale Campus.
The 2014 Cook Carillon Series runs each Sunday at 8 p.m., from June 29-August 17 on the Allendale Campus, and includes an Open Tower event July 20. The series kicks off with a performance by Julianne Vanden Wyngaard, Grand Valley university carillonneur.
The tower was named for major donors and longtime Grand Valley supporters Peter and Pat Cook, who have since passed away, in 2010 an 2008 respectively. Built and installed in 1994, the tower measures 100 feet to the top of its spire. Graced with a clock face on each of its four sides, an automatic play system chimes every quarter hour. More than a clock tower, it also houses a carillon consisting of 48 bronze bells cast in the Netherlands. They vary in tone, based on size and weight. The bells range from 7.5 inches to more than 51 inches, and weigh from 14 to nearly 3,000 pounds.
Arranged in chromatic series, the bells are played by a carillonneur who climbs 61 steps to the playing cabin, just below the bells and clock mechanism. The bells are connected by cables to a keyboard and pedal board that permit loud or soft expression through a variation of hard or soft strikes by fists and feet.
Grand Valley’s annual Summer Carillon Series provides many opportunities to hear performances by some of the world’s finest carillonneurs. Video cameras mounted in the carillon playing chambers provide live images, which are transmitted to large monitors at the base of the tower, giving audiences a visual treat as well.
The Beckering Family Carillon Series will run each Wednesday in July at noon, on the Pew Grand Rapids Campus.
See the full schedule for both carillon series of concerts at www.gvsu.edu/artscalendar, or call the Department of Music and Dance at (616) 331-3484.