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. The 2017 Concert Schedule coming soon!
2016 Concert Schedule
Thursday, July 7, 6 – 7 pm with Gerald Martindale
Gerald Martindale was appointed Carillonneur of the historic Metropolitan United Church of Toronto in 1997 and retired from that position in March 2016. Since that time he has been playing the Exhibition Place carillon regularly. He earned a Bachelor of Musical Arts degree from the University of Windsor and holds Associate Diplomas in Organ from the Royal Conservatory of Music of Toronto and the Royal Canadian College of Organists. In November 2012 he passed his Associate Carillonneur Exam administered by the Guild of Carillonneurs in North America. He studied carillon with Dr. Sydney Shep, former Carillonneur of the University of Toronto. On a private basis, Mr. Martindale teaches piano and organ. He also sings in 2 community choirs and rings with the Metropolitan United Church Handbell Choir. For the past 16 years, Mr. Martindale has been active as a background performer for movie and television productions, having acted in over 300 productions. In July 2015 he concluded his 18th annual carillon concert tour of the United States. While on his 6th concert tour of Europe in August 2014, he performed 23 recitals throughout Denmark, Sweden, Germany, Holland, Belgium, and France.
Thursday, July 14, 6 – 7 pm with Daniel Kehoe
Daniel Kerry Kehoe has a carillon career spanning 41 years. He began playing in September 1974 while a student at Trinity College. He initially studied with carillonneur Raymond Keldermans in his home town of Springfield, Illinois. College summers were spent as a performing tourguide at the Rees Carillon in Springfield, where he has twice returned to perform in the International Carillon Festival. From 1982 until 2007 Mr. Kehoe was the first appointed College Carillonneur at Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut. He joined the music staff of the Simsbury United Methodist Church in July 2007. In 1978 he studied briefly with Mr. Piet van den Broek at the Royal Carillon School in Mechelen, Belgium. Since that time Mr. Kehoe has performed extensively on towers throughout New England and the eastern seaboard. He has recorded two albums on the carillon, “Summer Sounds at Seven” and “A Carillon Christmas,” and is a Carillonneur member of the Guild of Carillonneurs in North America. In 2005 Mr. Kehoe conducted the premiere of his first commissioned work for choir, organ, handbells, and orchestra entitled “Journey Suite.” Mr. Kehoe is the founder and director of the Around Town Singers, a community chorus in north central Connecticut. See www.AroundTownSingers.org for more information.
Thursday, July 21, 6 — 7 pm with George Matthew, Jr.
George Matthew, Jr. has been carillonneur of Middlebury College and Norwich University in Vermont since 1986. Previously Mr. Matthew served from 1968 to 1998 as carillonneur of First Presbyterian Church, CT. A church organist since the age of 13, he is also organist at St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church of Middlebury, Vermont.
Mr. Matthew has made 36 carillon concert tours of the USA and 13 of Europe, performing in Belgium, the Netherlands, Denmark, Germany, Switzerland, France, England, Ireland, Scotland, and Russia. In August 2005, he played two carillon concerts on the new carillon of St. Peter and St. Paul Cathedral, in St. Petersburg, Russia. Mr. Matthew is the first American to play carillon in Russia.
He has composed and arranged about 100 pieces for carillon, including a number of ragtime piano works; his rather unusual European debut was an all-ragtime program in Ostende, Belgium. His popular ragtime piano performances and accompanying lectures are in demand at area community centers and colleges.
A Carillonneur member of the Guild of Carillonneurs in North America (GCNA) since 1980, Mr. Matthew has served on the Carillon Directory Committee, the Student Advancement Committee, and the Bellfounding in America Committee (of which he was chairman). He made the US presentation in Zutphen, Netherlands in 1990 at the World Carillon Federation.
He has studied carillon with Arthur Bigelow and Frank Law, organ with Hugh Ross and Ernest White, and composition with David Barnett. He is a graduate of Columbia, Bridgeport, and Wesleyan Universities.
Thursday, July 28, 6 – 7 pm Kristin O’Connor
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 5 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 Pk-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. Kristin is excited to be playing the carillon again, now as a carillonneur with First Church in West Hartford, CT.