Crowdsourcing a time machine
By Alana Valko
This summer, the University of Michigan School of Music, Theatre & Dance will present the annual Summer Carillon Concert Series, which aims to bring accomplished carillonists from all over the world to play for the U-M and Ann Arbor communities.
Played at both the Burton Tower on central campus and the Lurie Tower on north campus, the concerts invite guests of all ages up to the top of the towers to watch and listen to arrangements of music.
University Carillonist Tiffany Ng regularly plays the carillons, while other professionals, musicians, and advanced students are often invited to play. This summer, however, carillonists from Belgium, the University of Chicago and Yale University have been invited to take part in presenting the series.
Michelle Lam, an economics PhD student who plays the carillon, hopes that the series will bring a set of performers that can offer a new take on the instrument.
“The carillon community is very small, and there are not a lot of recordings—you can’t find this kind of music on Spotify,” said Lam. “It’s nice to have music that people can only experience live.” Watch as she performs a recital of U.S. patriotic works above.
During the fall and winter semesters, the carillon is played regularly from noon to 12:45 p.m., Monday through Friday. For the spring and summer semesters, performances are sporadic due to availability of the student carollinists. This, however, allows new performers to come to campus and play.
The summer concert series offers hour-long performances, which are longer than the 30 minute concerts played in the fall and winter semesters, which allows performers to have greater freedom and offer more musicality than before.
Dates of the Summer Concert Series are listed below. Performances are held on Mondays from 7-8pm.