Rockefeller Chapel to host free concerts in celebration of carillon’s 90th anniversary

June 15-19 events held as part of the Guild of Carillonneurs in North America Congress

The University of Chicago will host the a series of free public concerts June 15-19 at Rockefeller Memorial Chapel, celebrating the 90th anniversary of the campus instrument and convening musicians and scholars from across the continent.

The events are held as part of the 79th Congress of the Guild of Carillonneurs in North America. Founded in 1936, GCNA convenes annually at carillons to put on concerts of music both old and new, present research and historical studies, and conduct business among its members. This is the third congress hosted by the University of Chicago, after 1953 and 1977.

This year marks the 90th anniversary of the University’s Laura Spelman Rockefeller Memorial Carillon, which was installed in the summer of 1932 and consists of 72 bronze bells combining to weigh over 100 tons. The opening concert on June 15 will include music composed for the anniversary, which are among the nine pieces that will receive their world premiere performance this week. More than 50 performers will play throughout the five days.

Several carillon-related presentations are also open to the public. You can view the full events schedule or see a detailed program book on Rockefeller Chapel’s GCNA website.

The concert schedule is as follows (all times CT), with events held outdoors on the Rockefeller Chapel lawn unless otherwise noted:

Wednesday, June 15

  • 5:00 p.m. – Opening concert

Thursday, June 16

  • 12:45 p.m. – “Journey” concert
  • 5:30 p.m. – “Soaring Skies” concert

Friday, June 17

  • 3:00 p.m. – “Celebrations” concert
  • 8:00 p.m. – Chamber Carillon concert, Sunderlin Mobile Carillon (indoors at Rockefeller Chapel)

Saturday, June 18

  • 10:00 a.m. – “Inspired by Olmsted” concert
  • 2:00 p.m. – “Rhymes & Chimes” concert with poems by Robert Frost, Campanile-Carillon Model (outdoors on south steps)

Sunday, June 19

  • 12:00 p.m. – Closing concert