Norwich University bell concerts kick off July 2


June 22, 2016

Bring a picnic and a lawn chair to the Upper Parade Ground on the beautiful campus of Norwich University and enjoy free outdoor concerts performed on the Charlotte Nichols Greene Memorial Carillon.

Concerts will be held rain or shine on six consecutive Saturdays from July 2 to August 6. There will also be a special Fourth of July concert. All concerts begin at 1 p.m. Following each original, hour-long performance, guests are invited to tour the bell tower and view a demonstration of the instrument.

Programs feature a variety of classical, folk, traditional, and contemporary music arranged specifically for carillon.

The largest musical instrument in the world, the carillon is played with both hands and feet. Notes are played by striking levers stoutly wired to the clappers of a tower’s many bells. Norwich’s carillon, one of only two such instruments in the state of Vermont, comprises 47 bells, the largest of which weighs 3500 pounds.


July 2: Elizabeth Vitu and Laurent Pie

Carillonneur, Perpignan and Carcasonne, France

July 4: George Matthew Jr.

Carillonneur, Norwich University and Middlebury

July 9: Laura Ellis

Carillonneur, University of Florida, Gainesville

July 16: Elena Sadina and Sergej Gratchev (husband and wife duo)

Instructors, Middlebury Russian Language School and Belgian Carillon School

July 23: Sergej Gratchev and Nikita Gratchev (father and son)

Middlebury Russian Language School and City Carillonneur, Hulst, Netherlands

July 30: Charles Semowich

City Carillonneur, Albany, N.Y.

August 6: Toru Takao

Carillonneur, Emmerich, Germany

Fun facts about carillons:

  • The art of bell-tuning was perfected in northern Belgium in the 15th Norwich’s bells were cast and tuned at foundries in Belgium and France.
  • Every carillon has a name. Norwich’s is called the Charlotte Nichols Greene Memorial Carillon.
  • To be considered a “true” carillon, the instrument must have at least 23 bells. Norwich’s original carillon had 36 bells, and in 1959 it was expanded to 47.
  • The largest bell in a carillon plays the lowest note and is called the “bourdon.” Norwich’s bourdon is four feet in diameter and weighs 3,500 pounds.

For more information about the concert series, please contact George Matthew at or 802-247-9873.

About Norwich University˜

Norwich University is a diversified academic institution that educates traditional-age students and adults in a Corps of Cadets and as civilians. Norwich offers a broad selection of traditional and distance-learning programs culminating in Baccalaureate and Graduate Degrees. Norwich University was founded in 1819 by Captain Alden Partridge of the U.S. Army and is the oldest private military college in the United States of America. Norwich is one of our nation’s six senior military colleges and the birthplace of the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) 

In fulfillment of Norwich’s mission to train and educate today’s students to be tomorrow’s global leaders and captains of industry, the Forging the Future campaign is committed to creating the best possible learning environment through state-of-the-art academics and world-class facilities. Norwich University will celebrate its bicentennial in 2019. Learn more about the campaign and how to participate in the “Year of Transformation” here:    

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