Margo Halsted, Adjunct Professor of Music at UCSB, will present a carillon recital on Sunday, August 7, 2016 at 2 p.m. at UCSB's Storke Tower. Ms. Halsted 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!
Margo Halsted has consulted for eight new carillons and two new chimes. During her long career she was the carillonist at the University of California, Riverside and then the University of Michigan, where she received Emeritus status upon retirement.
Ms. Halsted has degrees in music and education from Stanford University as well as a masters degree in Carillon Performance Practice from the University of California, Riverside. She was awarded a diploma from the Netherlands Carillon School.
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.
Want to learn more about Storke Tower and the history of the UCSB carillon? Please take a look at this 2014 UCSB Current interview
with UCSB's Carillonist, Margo Halsted.