Grand Valley summer carillon concerts set

Tour the Cook Carillon tower during a special event July 1
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Tour the Cook Carillon tower during a special event July 1
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Grand Valley State University will feature the music of the bells at two summer concert series.

The 18th annual Cook Carillon Concert Series on the Allendale Campus runs each Sunday at 8 p.m., June 24 – August 19. The 12th Annual Beckering Family Carillon Series, on the Pew Grand Rapids Campus, provides concerts Wednesdays at noon, July 11 – August 1. Each open air concert features an internationally renowned carillonneur. All concerts are open to the public with free admission and will take place rain or shine. Free parking is available at both campuses.

The Cook Carillon series will also feature several special events. An Open Tower Concert on July 1 will begin at 7 p.m. to provide an extra hour to get an up close and personal tour. Visitors can go inside the tower, climb the 61 steps to the playing cabin, and view the bell chamber which houses the 48 bells. University Carillonneur Julianne Vanden Wyngaard will host visitors, provide interesting details about the carillon and answer questions. Take a peek here.

On July 4, the Cook Carillon will be part of a nationwide, simultaneous bell-ringing ceremony to help commemorate the nation’s birthday. Let Freedom Ring 2012 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. In addition, Grand Valley’s carillonneur Vanden Wyngaard will follow the 13 tolls with a concert of patriotic selections.

A traveling carillon that weighs 26,000 pounds, will be featured at the August 12 concert in Allendale, performed by George Gregory, from Texas, and Vanden Wyngaard. The ChimeMaster 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. This concert will be held in parking lot F, located south of the Recreation Center, to provide ample space for visitors to get up close to an instrument that is usually perched high in a tower.

For more information about each performance, visit www.gvsu.edu/artscalendar or call (616) 331-3484.