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By Connor Yearsley
At 5 p.m. today the bells in the belfry of Pat Neff Hall will knell as part of the homecoming festivities.
Lynnette Geary, resident carillonneur (pronounced CARE-uh-lahn-oo-er), and one of her students, junior from Spring, Texas, Jonathan Castillo, will perform the annual homecoming carillon recital.
Geary said she’s lost track of how many years she’s been performing this recital now, but she’d guess at least 16.
“I like being part of it,” Geary said. “We’ve done this every year. It’s fun to have the carillon be a part of the celebration.”
She took over performing the recital from her friend and predecessor, Herbert Colvin, who performed it beginning when Baylor first acquired the McLane Carillon in 1988.
“It’s supposed to be a recital of music that’s easily accessible to the audience,” Geary said. “It’s fun to listen to. That’s why the music was chosen.”
As is customary at Baylor, the program will begin with the “Doxology” and end with “That Good Old Baylor Line.”
The program will also include “The Undulating Chimneys of Casa Batlló,” which is one of the movements from “Gaudi’s Chimneys” by John Coulter, “Preludio Cou Cou” by Matthias van den Gheyn, “Selections from Fiddler on the Roof” by Jerry Bock, “A Sweet Soft Samba” by Geert D’hollander, “Saints Fight” and “Old Fight,” both arranged by Herbert Colvin.
Castillo will perform “The Undulating Chimneys of Casa Batlló” and Geary will perform the rest of the program.
Geary said several pieces on the program are challenging for different reasons.
“The van den Gheyn is challenging because the emphasis in the lines is constantly changing,” she said.
She also said attention to dynamics and sixteenth-note evenness are important considerations in that piece. She said it has a fun theme, though.
Geary said “A Sweet Soft Samba” is challenging because it has a lot of syncopated rhythms and some awkward passages. She said it pays homage to George Gershwin, so there are
passages that work well on the carillon.
Geary said she had to modify “Selections from Fiddler on the Roof” to take out some of the notes in the left hand that overwhelm the melody.
She has some ideas on what the audience will like best.
“Probably the ‘Fiddler on the Roof’ because they know those pieces,” she said. “Maybe the samba because it’s a lot of fun to listen to. It’s kind of jazzy. Most of the time people like the things they know.”
Geary encourages people to come listen to the recital.
“I think they would enjoy the music,” she said. “It’s easy on the ears. And Jonathan’s piece, too, is a nice piece. It’s technically challenging but he plays it well.”
The McLane Carillon, named after the instrument’s donor, in the tower of Pat Neff Hall has become a fixture on the Baylor campus. Many students have heard the Westminster chimes strike the hour from the tower since 1988.
A carillon is a keyboard instrument with dowel-like keys connected to the clappers of correspondingly-tuned bells in the belfry above. When the keys are pushed down, the clappers are drawn to strike the bells.
The keyboard and bells together make up the carillon. The McLane Carillon has a range of four octaves, starting on low C and going up to high C.
Geary said Founders Mall, between Pat Neff Hall and Waco Hall, is a good place to listen to the recital. Programs will be placed in a basket on the steps of Pat Neff Hall for people to pick up.
“Come and enjoy it,” Geary said. “You can bring a sandwich.”
She also would remind people that it’s short and that they don’t have to dress up.
The recital is free and open to the public.