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Jan 10, 2012

Maastricht Conservatory is 50 Years Old

The Maastricht Bells
Dec. 23.2011: From the paper: Maastricht and Euroregio 2018
The Maastricht Conservatory is 50 Years Old
On January 27th, 2012 at 11.30AM the spectacular opening of the Golden Jubilee year of the Maastricht Conservatory, will take place on the Vrijthof Square in Maastricht. A composition of all the Maastricht church and carillon bells will sound over the city of Maastricht and will turn out to be the biggest hand bell concert of Europe, performed by children of the Maastricht elementary schools and its surroundings. This bell concert will be the kickoff of the Maastricht Conservatory Jubilee year, and the prelude to the Night of Classical Music.

Maastricht Bells 
The idea for a great bell concert came from the Conservatory who literally wants to ring in their 50th Jubilee year with all the bells in Maastricht. "Maastricht bells" is a true European composition, written by Conservatory students Yannis Katirzoglou and Christos Chalnaridis, both from Greece, Franck Bovet from France and their teacher Robert Platz from Germany.
The concert will be played by 250 church bells in Maastricht and the suburbs, along with the four carillons from the city: the town hall carillon, the St. Servaas church carillon, the Family Vossen carillon in the Kleine Stok street, and the "Paltz", the largest transportable carillon of the world which will play on the Vrijthof Square. This is an instrument of more than 10.000 kilos (4545lbs) of bronze bells and is pulled by an imposing 30 ton Mack truck, which is just as heavy as a Leopard tank. An absolute eye-catcher!
8,000 Hand Bells in Eight Colors and Eight Different Tones
More than 8.000 hand bells arrived by container ship from China in Maastricht. They consist of eight different kinds of bells in eight different colors and eight different tones. All school children from the Maastricht Elemetary Schools and children from certain surrounding district schools will receive the hand bells and all together will make music on the Vrijthof Square along with all the church bells and carillons of Maastricht. The children are divided into special sections according to the bell tones and have to ring their bells at the direction of the conductor. The Carillon players, church bell ringers, and the conductor of the hand bell orchestra all play together on a strict time schedule and are able to communicate with each other. In this manner they will all stay in sync/rhythm and together will open the Jubilee year of the Conservatory and also the Maastricht candidacy for the European Capital of Culture for 2018.
Maastricht and the Meuse-Rhine region Capital of Culture 2018
In discussion with "Tout Maastricht" (All of Maastricht), the organization which would like to involve all the Maastricht citizens in their celebration of Maastricht and the Meuse-Rhine region in order to become the Cultural Capital of Europe for 2018, came up with the idea to involve all the elementary school children of Maastricht and also the elementary school children of its surrounding schools. With all of them together, the largest hand bell orchestra in the world will be formed. This project is a prime example of how the youth can directly be involved in the Cultural Capital celebrations.
Frank Steijns
The nice thing about these hand bells is that the children are literally playing-wise being made aware of (current) music, and also simultaneously of the Cultural heritage around them. Our region is indeed the cradle for the use of carillons and bells in Europe. Around the year 800, it was Charlemagne who determined that each tower should have bells. Maastricht had one of the first carillons in the world.

Workshops will be held by conservatory students, included is a curriculum, an exhibition and a nice contest. The winner of the contest may introduce his/her favorite songs, and in the spring he/she can climb to the top of the city hall tower with family and/or classmates to see and hear how his/her songs are played all over the city. The tower is a place where seldom anyone visits but is without a doubt the best panoramic view of Maastricht. In January the conservatory students will visit the elementary schools in order to practice the hand bells with the children.

The concert will start at 11.30AM on January 27th and should be finished around 12PM. Since that day might be rather cold, the children will be given hot chocolate and waffles. In the afternoon there will be additional carillon concerts on the Vrijthof and in the evening the festivities will continue on during "The Night of the Classical Music", in the Conservatory in Maastricht.
►►►Fans Can Watch Through The Webcam! But be aware of the time difference. It is January 27th at 11:30 AM Maastricht time.
Thanks to Ineke for sending this and Johns' Translation of it

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

What a great event, I wish I could be there!
Thanks for the article,
Jennifer D.

Hetty said...

Must have been a nightmare to organise this! A wonderful idea though. Hope it all goes well.

Anonymous said...

I'll travel to Maastricht on Jan. 27th. I look foreward to experience this bell concert for such an event has never happened before. Afterwards I'll write a report for the fans.
Ineke.

Sue Berry said...

You said you will be taking video also right Ineke?

Anonymous said...

Andre --Please slow down. Your family and fans would rather have a "FIT" Andre and less concerts then see you re-lapse again.
A concert every night is not slowing down.
Wishing you a very speedy recovery.
Mary Hauser

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