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First Summer Carillon Concert

June 21: The first concert of Berea College’s Summer Carillon Concert Series began Monday at 7 p.m. Guest carillonneur Dennis Curry of Bloomfield Hills, Mich. performed on the newly renamed John Courter Carillon in Draper Tower on Berea’s campus; seating on the College Quadrangle was provided with a video monitor which allowed persons at ground level to view the player in action.

Guest carillonneur Dennis Curry

The concert -- played on the 56-bell carillon, Kentucky's biggest -- lasted for about an hour. Admission was free.

Additional carillon concerts by guest performers are scheduled for July 19, August 16 and Labor Day, September 6.

Monday’s program celebrated the 500th anniversary of the carillon (1510-2010) and included works by Samuel Barber, Frederic Chopin, Robert Schumann, Francis Crepin and Geert D’Hollander; arrangements by Sally Slade Warner of the Irish folk song “Londonderry Air” and Hoagy Carmichael’s “Stardust;“ “Toccatina: Silver Bells” by Wendell Westcott and “Toccata Pentatonica” by John Knox. The concluding piece was a composition by Berea College carillonneur John Courter titled “O Light Most Blessed.”

Dennis Curry is Carillonneur and Associate Organist at Kirk in the Hills, in Bloomfield Hills.

A carillon recitalist in the United States, Europe and Asia, Dennis has also performed in several prestigious international carillon festivals – Springfield (2002), Historic Bok Tower & Sanctuary (2003), Løgumkloster (2007), and Centralia (2002/2009). His other musical endeavors have included Section Leader for the Detroit Symphony Chorale & Chorus, President of the Kenneth Jewell Chorale, and appearances as organist and vocalist at area churches and synagogues. He recently retired from Ford Motor Company after 38 years as Regional Manager for Environmental & Safety Engineering in Eastern/Central Europe, Central Asia, Middle East and Africa.

Curry’s carillon studies began with Dr. Frederick Marriott, longtime Kirk Carillonneur. He advanced to Carillonneur member of the Guild of Carillonneurs in North America (GCNA) in 1989. President of the GCNA for the last 6 years, Dennis has also served on the Board of Directors and as juror on the Guild's Student Examination Committee. He is a member of the Executive Committee of the World Carillon Federation (WCF), serving as its vice president. In 2001, with the support of the Kirk, he hosted the 59th Congress of the GCNA, which honored the centennials of Percival Price and Frederick Marriott. He supervised the formation of the Marriott Memorial Library and the complete renovation of the Kirk carillon – the world's largest (77 bells).

In 2011, Curry will host WCF's World Congress, celebrating the 75th Anniversary of the GCNA – which should be the largest gathering of carillonneurs in history.

Visitors were able to greet the evening’s artist at the entrance to the Draper Building after the concert.

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