Each year First Church hosts a free Carillon Concert Series. All are welcome to attend and bring a chair or blanket and sit on the south lawn of the church, on the lawn of the public library next door, Blue Back Square or across the street on the Town Green. In the event of inclement weather, the concerts will be held in the Meeting House. All concerts run from 6 to 7 pm on Thursdays in July.
2017 Concert Lineup
Thursday, July 6th, 6-7 pm
Kristin O’Connor had an early introduction to the carillon; as a young child, she received carillon lessons from mentors at St. James’ Episcopal Church in Danbury, CT, and her grandmother shared a love for the instrument, having played at Wellesley College years ago. Kristin played carillon for St James’ Church from age seven through her early adult years, including recitals in their summer concert series as well as an outdoor concert with Danbury Symphony Orchestra. During this time, Kristin was also a carillonneur for Canterbury School (New Milford, CT).
Kristin transferred her carillon background to mallet percussion, with the marimba as her primary instrument through her collegiate studies. Kristin received a Bachelor of Science degree from Western Connecticut State University in Music Education and Percussion, and taught privately and as an adjunct instructor with high school performance ensembles in the Danbury area. Kristin has now shifted her focus to vocal music and folk music, having taught elementary general music in the public schools for 6 years. Kristin received her Masters in Music Education with an Emphasis in Kodály Pedagogy, along with Kodály Certification Levels I, II, & III, from The Hartt School. Kristin currently teaches K-5 Elementary Vocal Music at Braeburn School in West Hartford, CT, where she enjoys working with a passionate community of young musicians. Kristin’s latest instrument of study is the hammered dulcimer and in her free time she enjoys folk-based singing with other local music teachers, as well as her studies in meditation and energy healing techniques. Kristin is excited to spend three weeks in South Africa with Village Harmony this August.
Thursday, July 13th, 6-7 pm
Tatiana (Tanya) Lukyanova earned her Bachelors degree in piano and organ performance at the Novosibirsk State Conservatory (Russia) with professors Natalia Melnikova and Natalia Baginskaya and Masters Degree in organ and carillon at the St. Petersburg State University with Daniel Zaretsky and Jo Haazen, followed by postgraduate organ studies at St. Petersburg State Conservatoire “N. Rimsky-Korsakov”, and carillon studies at the Royal Carillon School in Mechelen, Belgium.
In addition to her degree work, Tanya also taught organ and carillon at the St. Petersburg State University (2008-2012) and served as the carillonneur of the Peterhof Museum (2009 to 2011).
In December 2012 Tanya moved to United States and is currently the organist and accompanist at the South United Methodist Church in Manchester, CT and the carillonneur at the First Church of Christ Congregational in New Britain, CT. She also works with her husband Chris Walton, who is an organ builder. In June 2014 she passed her Carillonneur membership exam at the Congress of the Guild of Carilloneurs of North America, achieving carillonneur member status.
Thursday, July 20th, 6-7 pm
Paul Butler holds a degree in music from Wesleyan University. He has also received extensive instruction in the cello and in South Indian (Carnatic) classical music. His other musical passions include the original performance practice of early American hymnody. By day, Paul is a vice-president with TD Bank, N.A.
Thursday, July 27th, 6-7 pm
Michael Solotke is a Connecticut-based carillonneur who has performed across North America and Europe. He began playing carillon as a member of the Yale Guild of Carillonneurs in 2010, where his instructor was Ellen Dickinson. In 2012, he participated in an Intensive Package summer study program at the Royal Carillon School ‘Jef Denyn” in Mechelen, Belgium, where he studied with Geert D’hollander, Eddy Marien, and Koen Cosaert. At the June 2013 congress of the Guild of Carillonneurs in North America, Michael passed his carillonneur exam advancement recital and became a Carillonneur Member of the GCNA. In 2016, Michael completed a one-month carillon residency at Bok Tower Gardens in Lake Wales, Florida.
Michael holds a B.S. in Molecular Biophysics & Biochemistry from Yale, and is currently a medical student at the Yale School of Medicine. His interests outside of carillon and medicine include the outdoors, playing the piano and trombone, and Belgian beer.