A free carillon concert at Wesley United Methodist Church on Sunday, Sept. 15, will kick off a three-month celebration marking the 50th anniversary of the church’s building on Center Street.
The concert will begin at 4 p.m. and homemade ice cream will be served in the Fellowship Hall following the program.
Featured will be Nancy Miller of West Unity as carillonneur. A musician and music educator, Mrs. Miller has been playing the carillon for 49 years.
Attendees can listen from their cars or under tents set up on the church grounds (bring chairs). In case of rain, the audience can move indoors into the Narthex.
Wesley’s Markey Memorial Carillon is one of only about 150 true carillons in the United States. It was made possible by a bequest from the estate of J.C. Markey. Construction of the 125 foot tall tower was begun in the fall of 1969 and dedicated in November 1970. The tower houses 51 bells (two non-ringing) covering four octaves, with the largest bell weighing 1,408 pounds. The bells were cast by the Petit and Fritsen Foundry in Holland.
The tower consists of four 80-foot-tall curving supports housing a vibration-free suspension tree for the bells. A stainless steel spire with faceted glass cylinder and cross are mounted at the top.
Other activities for the church building’s 50th anniversary include Kerry Patrick Clark in concert on Nov. 17 at 6:30 p.m.; a program by the Black Swamp Orchestra on Dec. 14 at 1 p.m., and a special rededication service on Nov. 24. All are open to the public.
Wesley United Methodist Church is located at 903 Center St. in Bryan.