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Percival Price Symposium


The Percival Price Symposium is an annual conference acknowledging the legacy of the first Dominion Carillonneur, Percival Price, through performance, teaching, and understanding of the history of the Peace Tower Carillon and carillon art in North America. The event takes place in October to correspond with the month of Price’s birth and death (October 7, 1901, and October 1, 1985, respectively). The themes of the Symposium place the history of the Peace Tower Carillon within the context of the North American carillon culture.

2017 Percival Price Symposium: Canadian Carillon

The 2017 Price Symposium will take place on Saturday and Sunday, October 14 and 15. 

Guest artist: Roy Lee, carillonneur at the Metropolitan United Church in Toronto and regular carillon performer at Soldiers’ Tower, University of Toronto.

Topic: Canadian Carillon – The 2017 Symposium will celebrate Canada’s sesquicentennial, the 90th anniversaries of both the Peace Tower Carillon and the University of Toronto’s Soldiers’ Tower Carillon, and the 95th anniversary of the Metropolitan United Church Carillon.


2017 Poster Symposium Percival Price

Saturday, October 14

  • 10:00 a.m.: Reception, Centre Block, Room 238-S (Commonwealth Room)
  • 10:30 a.m.: Lecture: “Da Capo: The Early Carillons of Percival Price’s Hometown,” Commonwealth Room
  • 11:30 a.m.: Group photo, Centre Block, Room 253-D (Railway Room)
  • 12:00 p.m.: Box lunch, Railway Room
  • 12:30 p.m.: Guest artist recital: Peace Tower Carillon
  • 1:00 p.m.–2:30 p.m.: Warm-up for master class players, Dominion Carillonneur’s office, East Block, Room 367 or Centre Block tour for non-players
  • 2:30 p.m.–4:00 p.m.: Master class, Peace Tower Carillon

Sunday, October 15

  • 9:00 a.m.–10 a.m.: Warm-up for master class players, Dominion Carillonneur’s office, East Block, Room 367 or Centre Block tour for non-players
  • 10 a.m.–11:00 a.m.: Master class, Peace Tower Carillon
  • 11:00 a.m.–11:30 a.m.: Open Tower for visiting carillonneurs
  • 12:00 p.m.–1 p.m.: Annual Canadian Student Carillon Recital: Peace Tower Carillon

Master Class Participation

The Peace Tower Carillon was installed by Gillett & Johnston in 1927 and still has the original bells, tower, and practice keyboards. It is an instrument of 53 bells spanning 4½ octaves, all of which are playable from the manual: G, A-C-C-C-C-C. The pedal range (29 notes) is G, A-C-C-C. The carillon transposes down a minor third, so the bourdon is an E of 22,400 lbs (10,160 kg). The touch is quite heavy. The six largest bells are located below the keyboard and the rest are above.

For each of the master classes, a maximum of eight players may perform a piece or section of a selection lasting no longer than two minutes. The players will have an opportunity before the master classes to try their selections on the practice keyboard in the office of the Dominion Carillonneur (East Block, Room 367)..

Arrangements will be made for the audiovisual transmission of the Saturday session to observers in the Commonwealth Room. For the Sunday morning class, in addition to the performers, the playing room may accommodate another five observers.

Previous Years Symposia


Patrick Macoska, director of music and carillonneur at St. Mary's of Redford Catholic Church in Detroit, Michigan, and Chairperson of the Tower Construction and Renovation Committee for the Guild of Carillonneurs in North America.


The Singing Tower


Richard P. Strauss, past carillonneur of the National Cathedral, Washington, D.C., and City Hall, Albany, NY, and leading carillon technician and designer.


Grand Carillon


Robin Austin, carillonneur, Springfield, Illinois and past University Carillonneur, Princeton University.


The Carillon as a Civic Voice


Carlo van Ulft, carillonneur, Centralia, Illinois, past professor of the Royal Carillon School, Mechelen, Belgium, and founder and director of the North American Carillon School.


The Evolution of North American Carillon Music: Old World to New


George Gregory, carillonneur of Central Christian Church, San Antonio, TX, music professor, honoured GCNA musician, and past student and close friend of Ronald Barnes.


The Music of Ronald Barnes


Gordon Slater, Dominion Carillonneur, 1977–2008.


Robert Donnell, Dominion Carillonneur, 1939–1975, and his own tenure


Milford Myhre, past president of the GCNA and World Carillon Federation (WCF), carillonneur emeritus of the Bok Tower.


Émilien Allard, Dominion Carillonneur, 1975–1976


William De Turk, last student of Percival Price, past President of the Guild of Carillonneurs in North America (GCNA), GCNA Archivist, former carillonneur of the Bok Tower, Florida.


Percival Price, Dominion Carillonneur, 1927–1939
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