Special outdoor concerts planned at Grand Valley

The Chime Master traveling carillon
The Chime Master traveling carillon
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A special concert to commemorate our nation’s birthday, and another concert featuring a traveling musical instrument that weighs 26,000 pounds, are part of the International Carillon Concert Series at Grand Valley State University. All of the concerts, which feature performances by internationally renowned carillonneurs from Denmark, the Netherlands and the U.S., are free and open to the public, rain or shine.

The Chime Master traveling carillon will be featured at a July 3 concert on the Allendale Campus, with an 8 p.m. performance by Gijsbert Kok, from the Netherlands. The special carillon provided fascination and musical entertainment throughout Europe for 16 years before being purchased by a company in Ohio. It was built in the Netherlands in 1991 and was sized to the dimensions of a standard shipping container and flatbed truck to allow transport to a variety of concert venues.

The Chime Master concert will be held in parking lot G, near the West Campus Drive entrance to campus off 48th Street, to provide ample space for visitors to get up close to an instrument that is usually perched high in a tower. It is part of the 17th Annual Cook Carillon International Concert Series, held on the Allendale Campus Sundays at 8 p.m., from June 19-August 21.

The Cook Carillon will also be part of a nationwide, simultaneous bell-ringing ceremony Monday, July 4. Let Freedom Ring 2011 will be initiated at the Liberty Bell in Philadelphia with 13 tolls rung at 2 p.m. At that moment, carillons, church bells, city halls, courthouses, national monuments, and ships at sea will join in the celebration. Other participating sites include Arlington National Cemetery, the USS Arizona National Memorial at Pearl Harbor, the National Cathedral, Old North Church in Boston, West Point Chapel, and every ship in the U.S. Navy, Coast Guard, and the Merchant Marine. Grand Valley’s University Carillonneur Julianne Vanden Wyngaard will follow the 13 tolls with a short concert of patriotic selections to celebrate Independence Day with joyful music from the Cook Carillon.

The 11th Annual Beckering Family Carillon International Concert Series, held on Grand Valley’s Pew Grand Rapids Campus Wednesdays at noon, is from July 6-27. For more concert information, including details of each performance, call (616) 331-3484, or visit www.gvsu.edu/artscalendar.