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Carillon CD set celebrates Grand Valley's 50th Anniversary

Posted on September 15, 2010

Music from Grand Valley's carillon tower is often part of a visit to either the Allendale or Pew Grand Rapids Campus. Some of that music has now been preserved in a 2-CD set produced by music professor Mark Williams, a year in the making as part of the university's 50th Anniversary celebration.

The CD "A Carillon Celebration on the Cook Carillon," includes a special piece commissioned for Grand Valley's anniversary, "Suite IV," composed by the late John Courter, from Berea College in Kentucky. Courter passed away prior to his planned guest performance at Grand Valley's Summer Carillon Series. 

"This was the last piece John composed," said Julianne Vanden Wyngaard, university carillonneur and organizer of the annual series. "I performed the piece in Chicago in June, at the Guild of Carillonneurs conference, and it was performed in his honor at Berea College in August."

Vanden Wyngaard performs all of the music on both CDs. The Cook Carillon CD also has a sprinkling of folk tunes as well as classical carillon music. The Beckering Family Carillon CD, "A Carillon Holiday" features Christmas and holiday music. Both CDs include a performance of Grand Valley's Alma Mater, "Hail to Thee Grand Valley," composed in the late 1960s by Arthur C. Hills, Grand Valley's first fine arts faculty member.

The CD, which costs $16, is available at Grand Valley's University Bookstore, or online at by clicking on the link to 50th Anniversary Gift Items.


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