Wesley Arai, Associate Carillonist at UC Berkeley, will present a carillon recital on Sunday, July 24, 2016 at 2 p.m. at UCSB's Storke Tower. Mr. Arai will perform arrangements of popular songs and classical favorites, as well as pieces written expressly for carillon. Admission is free. Please join us on the lawn, bring a blanket or chair, and enjoy the concert in the Santa Barbara sunshine!
Wesley Arai studied carillon with Jeff Davis at the University of California, Berkeley, where he received B.A. degrees in Mathematics and Statistics with a minor in Music. Originally from Los Angeles, Wesley returned to his hometown to pursue graduate studies at the University of California, Los Angeles, earning an M.A. degree in Mathematics. During his time as a graduate student, he played the carillon at the University of California, Santa Barbara regularly.
Wesley passed the advancement examination of the Guild of Carillonneurs in North America in 2008. He has toured extensively as a guest recitalist throughout North America and is an annual recitalist at the Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist in Spokane, Washington.
In addition to the carillon, Wesley has studied piano, trombone, and voice, and has performed in a number of different concert bands, marching bands, jazz bands, orchestras, and choral groups. He enjoys arranging music and occasionally performs some of his own arrangements on the carillon. Wesley currently works as an actuary for an insurance company in Los Angeles and serves as Associate Carillonist at the University of California, Berkeley.
About the Storke Tower Carillon
UCSB's Storke Tower and its carillon were a gift from Thomas Storke, former publisher of the Santa Barbara News-Press. The instrument consists of 61 bells cast by Petit & Fritsen of the Netherlands, with the bells weighing from 18 pounds to 2.5 tons, and spanning five octaves. The UCSB carillon is a much larger modern copy of historical instruments that were invented approximately 500 years ago in the Low Countries of Europe. Tower bells had previously been used for signaling time and for additional signals such as "Close the City Gates", "Go to church", and "An enemy is coming." Eventually, the number of bells was increased and were hooked up to a keyboard to facilitate the performance of music. A melody was often played to attract the attention of the townspeople before the hour bell tolled the time throughout the day. A carillon is played with the fists and feet, and the action is completely mechanical. To vary the dynamics of the music, the performer must strike the key harder or use a lighter touch, much like a piano.
The bell tower will be open following the performance for listeners to tour the carillon and to observe how the instrument is played. If they wish, each visitor will also be allowed to strike a bell.