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Carillon Concerts

Enjoy an enchanting one-hour musical performance of carillon bells on a warm summer evening and watch lights illuminate Evening Island.

Through a regularly scheduled series of concerts each summer, carillonneurs from around the world delight Garden visitors with the captivating music of the 48-bell Theodore C. Butz Memorial Carillon. Meet the performers and enjoy a free carillon tour and demonstration before the concert—you can even try your hand at ringing the bells.

Since 1986, the carillon has remained both a noted landmark and a source of remarkable music at the Garden. Crafted in Holland, the tower's bronze bells and playing device with a range of four octaves constitutes one of the few hand-played carillons in the nation.

Preconcert carillon tours and demonstrations 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. (every 15 minutes)

Mon
4
Jun
Brandon Blazo

Brandon Blazo is a former assistant university carillonneur at the University of Michigan, where he studied with Professor Margo Halsted. In Provo, Utah, he successfully passed the examination for carillonneur membership in the Guild of Carillonneurs in North America. He has performed in summer concert series across Michigan and played the chime at the Church of the Immaculate Conception in Lapeer, Michigan. Blazo is director and senior counsel at Discover Financial Services.

Mon
11
Jun
Hunter Chase

Hunter Chase studied the carillon as an undergraduate at the University of Chicago, first under Oliver McDonald and later with Jim Fackenthal. For three years, he served as president of the Guild of Student Carillonneurs at the University of Chicago, a student organization dedicated to instruction and promotion of the carillon. He continues to play regularly at the University of Chicago. In 2017, he won fifth prize in the Thomas Rees International Carillon Competition, in Springfield, Illinois. He holds bachelor's and master's degrees in mathematics and is currently a graduate student at the University of Illinois-Chicago studying model theory.

Mon
18
Jun
Helen Hawley

Helen Hofmeister Hawley received her carillon instruction at the University of Kansas as a student of Albert Gerken. She is a carillonneur member of the GCNA (Guild of Carillonneurs in North America) and is currently a member of the Barnes Committee. She has performed carillon recitals in 16 states, including International Festivals in Springfield, Illinois, and at the Bok Tower in Lake Wales, Florida, as well as in Belgium and the Netherlands. She represented the GCNA with a recital at the World Carillon Congress at St. Rombouts Cathedral in Mechelen, Belgium, and has played GCNA Congress recitals at Iowa State University in Ames, Iowa, and at Clemson University in South Carolina. Hawley holds both bachelor’s and master of music degrees in organ performance from the University of Kansas and has done post-graduate study in Cologne, Germany, as a recipient of the Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst (DAAD) scholarship awarded through the Fulbright Committee. She currently serves as minister of music at Westminster Presbyterian Church, Grand Rapids, Michigan, where she directs all of the choirs, a wind ensemble, and a string ensemble, and is the principal organist.

Mon
25
Jun
Sue Bergren

Sue Bergren is principal organist at Our Saviour's Lutheran Church in Naperville, Illinois. She earned a master’s degree in organ performance from Northern Illinois University after having worked for several years in a non-musical technical environment. She is also a certified carillonneur and plays regularly on the Naperville Millennium Carillon. As an active carillon recitalist, she has been a guest recitalist in the International Carillon Festival at the Rees Memorial Carillon in Springfield, Illinois, guest recitalist in the International Carillon Festival at Bok Tower Gardens in Lake Wales, Florida, and recently played several recitals in Australia. She served on the GCNA board of directors for six years, and was co-editor of Carillon News for more than ten years. She is also the owner of American Carillon Music Editions, a publishing company of carillon music.

Mon
2
Jul
Carol Anne Taylor

Carol Anne Taylor is director of children’s choirs and carillonneur at the Cathedral Shrine of the Virgin of Guadalupe in Dallas, Texas. She is also assistant organist/choirmaster and director of children’s choirs at St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church in Dallas. In addition to Carol Anne's work with children, she has served as associate director of music/accompanist for the Sunday Spanish Mass at St. Patrick Catholic Church, Dallas. While earning her master of music degree at the University of North Texas, she was invited by audition into the organ studio of Madame Marie-Madeleine Duruflé-Chevalier, visiting professor of organ (1992). Carol Anne serves on the board of directors for RSCM America and the Guild of Carillonneurs in North America. As recipient of the 2010 Ronald Barnes Memorial Scholarship, she arranged 15 hymns in a collection entitled The Spanish Liturgical Year for Carillon. An avid runner, Carol Anne has completed 39 marathons including the 2016 Boston, Chicago, and New York City marathons. Carol Anne resides in Dallas, Texas, with her husband, Sterling Procter.

Mon
9
Jul

Eddy Mariën is an instructor at the Royal Carillon School Jef Denyn in Mechelen, Belgium. He is also the carillonneur for St. Rombout’s Cathedral in that city, as well as the carillonneur for the cities of Meise and Halle.

Mon
16
Jul

Joanna Stroz

Mon
23
Jul
Laura Ellis

Laura Ellis is an associate professor of music in the School of Music at the University of Florida. She teaches undergraduate and graduate organ, harpsichord, and carillon and performs regularly on the 61-bell Eijsbouts carillon housed in Century Tower on the UF campus. Ellis is a graduate of Luther College in Decorah, Iowa, and holds a master of music degree in church music and a doctor of musical arts degree in organ performance from the University of Kansas. Her major organ teachers have been William Kuhlman and James Higdon. While in residence at the University of Kansas, she studied carillon with Albert Gerken. A carillonneur member of the Guild of Carillonneurs in North America (GCNA), Ellis serves as director of the Music and Publications Committee. In June 2010, Ellis achieved carillonneur status in the guild by performing a successful advancement exam in Naperville, Illinois. She has performed throughout the United States, the Netherlands, Canada, and Australia and has provided solo recitals for the International Carillon Festival in Springfield, Illinois, and the annual congress of the GCNA.

Mon
30
Jul
Margaret Pan

Margaret Pan began studying carillon in 2007 with Robin Austin at Princeton University and passed the carillonneur’s exam of the Guild of Carillonneurs in North America (GCNA) in 2008. She graduated from the Royal Carillon School in Mechelen, Belgium, in 2012 as a student of Eddy Marien, Koen Cosaert, and Erik Vandevoort, and was a carillon fellow with Geert D'hollander at Bok Tower Gardens in Lake Wales, Florida. Currently, Margaret is a freelance carillonneur in the Boston area, and she practices and plays regularly at Cohasset and Norwood. She has played recitals across North America, Belgium, and the Netherlands, including at the International Carillon Festival in Springfield, Illinois, and the 2014 GCNA congress in Denver, Colorado. Margaret won first and second prizes respectively at international carillon competitions in Springfield, Illinois, and Groningen, the Netherlands. She also serves as juror on the GCNA exam committee. Margaret holds physics and astrophysics degrees from MIT and Caltech and is currently back at MIT doing research on planetary dynamics and planet formation in our and other solar systems.

Mon
6
Aug
Bob van der Linde

Bob van der Linde received his first organ lessons from Roy Kroezen in Zwolle. He received a bachelor’s degree in 2017 and is studying for his master’s degree in organ and church music at the HKU University of the Arts in Utrecht, the Netherlands, and carillon at the Netherlands Carillon School in Amersfoort. He won prizes in carillon competitions in Goes, Breda, and Springfield. Bob is organist/conductor at the Old-Catholic Church in Hilversum and the Anglican Church in Zwolle, and his newest position is as city carillonneur of the Eusebius tower in Arnhem.

Mon
13
Aug
Steven Karp

Steven Karp is assistant professor of mathematics at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, where he also enjoys the use of their two carillons. He obtained his Ph.D. in mathematics from the University of California, Berkeley, in 2017, where he studied carillon with Jeff Davis. Karp became a carillonneur member of the Guild of Carillonneurs of North America in 2017, and will play recitals this summer in Ottawa, Toronto, and Chicago. He is a native of Vancouver, British Columbia.

Mon
20
Aug
PHOTO: Wylie Crawford

Wylie Crawford has been the resident carillonneur at the Chicago Botanic Garden since 1986, when he played for its carillon’s dedication. The senior university carillonneur at the University of Chicago, Crawford served 32 years as the university carillonneur, and was the first city carillonneur for the Millennium Carillon in Naperville, Illinois. He has also toured as the Spirit of the Bells with the Cast in Bronze program. He is president of the World Carillon Federation (www.carillon.org), a federation of international associations that organizes conferences in countries with a carillon culture. Crawford served as its treasurer from 1990 until 2006, when he became the second North American ever to be elected president. He has been the membership chair for the Guild of Carillonneurs (GCNA) for more than 30 years and has served as the GCNA’s vice president. He has recently taken up a more portable instrument—the ukulele!

Mon
27
Aug
Joey Brink

Joey Brink is the sixth university carillonneur at the University of Chicago, where he performs on the 72-bell Rockefeller Memorial Carillon and directs a carillon studio of 20 students. He serves on the board of the Guild of Carillonneurs in North America and co-chairs the Johan Franco composition committee to promote new works for carillon. Brink began his carillon studies at Yale University with Ellen Dickinson in 2007; graduated with greatest distinction from the Royal Carillon School in Mechelen, Belgium, in 2012; and studied further with Geert D’hollander at Bok Tower Gardens in 2015. He received first prize at the International Queen Fabiola Carillon Competition in Mechelen, and has toured North America and Europe extensively as a performer. Brink is regularly a recitalist at congresses of the Guild of Carillonneurs in North America and the World Carillon Federation, most recently as a soloist with the Barcelona Municipal Symphonic Band. He performed the 50th anniversary recital at University of California, Riverside, and the inaugural recital at Salisbury University. He released his first album, Letters from the Sky, alongside his performance at Chicago’s Ear Taxi Festival, in 2016. He is additionally interested in the design of practice carillons, and has published and presented on his work to improve the functionality and affordability of practice instruments. He and his wife, Vera Wünsche Brink, perform duet carillon recitals, and are avid outdoor enthusiasts, spending much of their free time camping, hiking, and canyoneering on the Colorado Plateau.

Mon
3
Sep
Jim Fackenthal

Jim Fackenthal has worked for many years at the University of Chicago as a cancer researcher and served as associate university carillonneur. Fackenthal began carillon studies with David Caldwell at the University of Rochester in 1984, and two years later became a Carillonneur Member of the Guild of Carillonneurs in North America (GCNA).  Since then he has played numerous carillon recitals throughout North America.  He is currently an active member of the piano program and the Early Music Ensemble at the University of Chicago, where he plays various string and wind instruments.  He holds a bachelor's degree in biology/geology from the University of Rochester and a Ph.D. in molecular biology from Indiana University. Fackenthal is a former member of the GCNA board of directors, has served as a juror on the GCNA Examination Committee and is the former co-editor of the GCNA publication Carillon News.