Memorial recital connects university through music

Waco resident Jennifer Hughes, her son JC and her daughters Julia and Jetta relax in the Founders Mall grass during the Memorial Carillon Recital at Pat Neff Hall.
Matt Hellman | Lariat Photo Editor

By Jennifer Kang

People of different backgrounds and ages gathered in front of the Pat Neff Hall bell tower as Baylor’s carillonneur Lynnette Geary played a memorial recital on Sunday for the 10th anniversary of the terrorist attacks in 2001. A carillon is a set of fixed chromatically tuned bells sounded by hammers controlled from a keyboard.

The recital started off with contemplative pieces, such as “Doxology” by Geneva Psalter and “A Somber Pavan” by Ronald Barnes. Geary played hymns for all members of the armed forces, while finishing off with a song that was written for the Sept. 11 attacks and another song called “In Paradisum” that expresses blessings for the dead.

In 2001, Geary heard of the attacks and felt that playing the carillon was the only thing she could give back. Geary played her first memorial recital in 2002 and has played every year since.

“This is a message of hope, not despair,” Geary said. “This is a moment to think about what has happened and where we can go from here.”

Geary said she feels music is a great way to connect everyone and remember that it is not only the Sept. 11 victims that must be thought about, but also the families and service members.

“There’s an expression that says that music can convey more than words and can go deeper than words,” Geary said. “That’s what I want to convey, the emotion and thoughts that go with that incident.”

This memorial concert was a way for people to come and reflect upon what has happened in the past and to take a moment of silence in memory of those who died.

“Don’t multitask,” Geary said. “Pay attention to this one thing for a few moments and think about what has happened to these people.”

Waco residents also came to pay homage to those involved in the Sept. 11 attacks.

Waco resident Dee Jarrett said this memorial recital was a way for her to just think about and remember what happened on Sept. 11.

“I hope people can just see how important it is to remember those people that lost their lives in innocence from an act of terrorism,” Jarrett said.

Raleigh, N.C., freshman Karen Sultan said it was a special moment because someone took the initiative to commemorate the Sept. 11 attacks.

“The biggest reason why I wanted to come to this recital was because it was commemorating the September 11 tragedy,” Sultan said. “I also like the setting of the recital, because people who aren’t sitting right in front of the carillon can still hear it from far away.”

As a piano performance major, Sultan said the music is one of the best ways to connect with others, no matter what culture or background they come from.

“I think it’s special that someone takes notice of the majestic sounds of the carillon and notices this form of music,” Sultan said. “It’s an unconventional way of performing music, but I think it can speak to people.”