Berea College’s Summer Carillon Concert on Monday, July 4 at 7:30 p.m., will feature Gordon Slater, retired Dominion Carillonneur of Canada who played the Peace Tower Carillon in Ottawa for 31 years.
Slater’s program will begin with “Suite XIV,” arranged by Berea’s founding carillonneur, the late John Courter. The concert will include the patriotic pieces “America the Beautiful,” You’re a Grand Old Flag” and “The Yankee Doodle Boy” all arranged by Slater.
Slater has played piano, organ and carillon since childhood and in school began studying bassoon and conducting. His first carillon experience was as assistant to his father, James, who was Carillonneur at Metropolitan United Church in Toronto. Gordon Slater studied at the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Music and held a position as a church Organist and Choir Director as well as four Carillonneur positions. He has conducted orchestras, choirs, bands and musicals in Toronto and Ottawa and is now retired from the position of Dominion Carillonneur of Canada after 31 years of service playing the Peace Tower Carillon in Ottawa. He tours widely as a carillonneur and clinician, has been music director of Divertimento Orchestra since 1987 and plays bassoon and contrabassoon with the Ottawa Symphony Orchestra. Mr. Slater holds the Berkeley Medal from the University of California at Berkeley for distinguished service to the carillon.
The 56-bell John Courter carillon in Draper Tower is Kentucky’s largest. Seating in the Quadrangle is provided, and a video monitor will allow audience members at ground level to view the performer in action. Concerts last for one hour, and admission is free.