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Middlebury College’s 34th Anniversary Carillon Series Begins July 5

June 18, 2019

Free Performances Provide the Hallmark Sounds of Summer Life on Campus

Middlebury, VT—The beautiful sounds of ringing bells will fill the air again this summer, as the 34th annual Middlebury College Carillon Series treats audiences to free performances in and around Mead Memorial Chapel. Each year, musicians from around the world come to Middlebury to perform in the Chapel’s soaring tower, high above the College campus. All of the concerts are free and open to the public, and can be enjoyed on the steps of Mead Chapel or on the surrounding lawns.


2019 Carillon Series Schedule

Sergei Gratchev, Carillonneur for the Middlebury Russian School and City Carillonneur, Hulst, Netherlands: Friday, July 5 at 6:00 PM
Tatiana Lukyanova, Carillonneur at the Congregational Church, New Britain, CT and Former Associate Carillonneur, St. Petersburg, Russia: Friday, July 11 at 6:00 PM
George Matthew Jr., Carillonneur, Middlebury College and Norwich University: Friday, July 19 at 6:00 PM
Ellen Dickinson, Carillonneur for Trinity College Hartford, CT and Yale University: Friday, July 26 at 6:00 PM
Elena Sadina, Instructor, Middlebury College Russian School and Royal Carillon School, Mechelen, Belgium: Friday, August 2 at 6:00 PM
Austin Ferguson, Carillonneur for the Plummer Carillon, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN: Friday, August 9 at 6:00 PM
George Matthew Jr., Carillonneur, Middlebury College and Norwich University: Friday, August 16 at 3:00 PM. Please note special time to precede Language Schools Commencement.

About Middlebury’s Carillon

A carillon is a musical instrument typically housed in the bell tower of a church or other municipal building. Its sound is produced by at least 23 cast bronze, cup-shaped bells, which are played serially to produce a melody, or sounded together to play a chord. The carillonneur plays by striking a keyboard with black and white keys and foot pedals that can help produce different kinds of sound. Each key is connected by wire to a bell clapper so different bells are rung depending on which key is struck.

  • It is a 75-step climb up to Mead Memorial Chapel’s bell tower. With 48 bells, Middlebury’s instrument is considered a traditional carillon.
  • The pitch of Middlebury’s heaviest bell is E in the middle octave. It weighs 2,300 pounds, roughly the same as the Liberty Bell.
  • In 1915, the instrument was begun with 11 bells by the Meneely bell foundry in Watervliet, New York. Nine bells remain from that work.
  • In 1986, the instrument was enlarged to its present size with bells made by Paccard-Fonderie des Cloches in Annecy, France. The enhanced carillon was presented in 1986 as a gift from then Chairman of the Board of Trustees Allen Dragone ’50 and his wife Jane. 27 bells remain from that work.
  • In 2001, 12 bells were recast or replaced by Meeks & Watson of Georgetown, Ohio.
  • One of the bells in Middlebury’s carillon is inscribed with the following quote by Lord Alfred Tennyson: “Ring in the valiant man and free the larger heart, the kindlier hand! Ring out the darkness of the land, ring in the Christ that is to be!”


The Carillon Series is organized by Middlebury College Carillonneur George Matthew Jr. with support from the Mahaney Arts Center.

All performances take place at Mead Memorial Chapel, located on the campus of Middlebury College at 75 Hepburn Road. Free parking is available on Route 125/College Street, and on Old Chapel Road. In the case of inclement weather, the concerts will still take place, and audiences are welcome to listen from the chapel steps and front landing. For further information, call (802) 443-3168 or visit

Mahaney Arts Center
Middlebury College
South Main St./Route 30 South
72 Porter Field Rd.
Middlebury, VT 05753
(802) 443-3168 phone
(802) 443-2834 fax