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UCR Bell Tower's 50th Anniversary Carillon Concert Series

Monday, October 17, 2016
  Noon–1 p.m.

  Additional Dates (4)

Location: Bell Tower
  Parking Information

Category: Concert



Celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the Bell Tower

UCR Magazine article
"A View from the Top of the Tower" by Margo Halsted
UCR's second carillonneur recalls her fondest memories of the UCR carillon and bell tower on its 50th birthday

50th Anniversary Celebration of the UCR Bell Tower
Carillon Concert Series
David Christensen, coordinator

October 17
A Bells and Bagpipes birthday bash for the UCR Bell Tower   
Festival Music for Carillon
with piper, drummer, and dancer  
David Christensen, University Carillonneur
Read more

October 24
Joey Brink, Carillonneur, University of Chicago
Read more

October 31
Bats in the Belfry: A Halloween Concert
David Christensen, University Carillonneur
with guest carillonneur Gary Barnett
Read more

November 7
Melissa Weidner, Carillonneur, Christ Cathedral, Garden Grove
Read more


Parking: Complimentary permits available at the Information Kiosk


A carillon is a musical instrument consisting of 23 or more cast bronze cup-shaped bells, arranged chromatically and precisely tuned so that several bells can be sounded harmoniously together. The bells are sounded by striking a series of wooden levers with the side of the hand or fingers and with the feet. The bell strikes on the hour are the only automatic playing of the carillon.

The first carillon in the United States was installed in 1856 at Notre Dame University. Other carillons in California are on the Stanford University campus, at the Universities of California in Santa Barbara and Berkeley, and at Christ Cathedral in Garden Grove, formerly known as Crystal Cathedral. The UC Riverside carillon was provided by a contribution from UC Regent Phillip L. Boyd and his wife, Dorothy Marmon Boyd, in 1966, which enabled the school to purchase the 48-bell, thirty-thousand pound carillon and build a tower to house it. The carillon was ordered from the Les Fils de Georges Paccard in Annecy-le-Vieux, France. The largest bell in Europe, the 20-ton La Savoyarde at the Basilica of Sacra Coeur, Montmarte, was also cast by the Paccard foundry.

Our unique musical instrument had to be provided an equally unique case, which entailed an authorized competition among seven architectural firms. The winning design, submitted by the Los Angeles firm of A. Quincy Jones and Frederick E. Emmons, was built by the Brezina Construction Company of Pomona.

The carillon bells were raised into the nearly completed tower on June 24, 1966, with an audience of 500 people and nearly as many cameras.

o view a selection of carillon performances, go to the YouTube website and type
“UCR carillon” into the search box.

David Christensen has been University Carillonneur at UC Riverside for 30 years and plays regular weekly concerts throughout the school year. He has performed at many carillons throughout the United States and Canada, including the University of Michigan, University of Toronto, UC Santa Barbara, University of Chicago, Longwood Gardens, and Princeton University. Mr. Christensen also gives instruction in carillon and organ to UCR students. Several compositions for organ are published by the Kenwood Press.


This carillon concert series is made possible by generous contributions from the Office of the Dean, College of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences, the Department of Music and is coordinated by University Carillonneur David Christensen.

Open to: General Public
Admission: Free
Sponsor: Bell Tower

Contact Information:
Kathy DeAtley
(951) 827-3245