The Dominion Carillonneur

Historically, the role of Canada’s Dominion Carillonneur has been to play the 53-bell Peace Tower Carillon throughout the year, including special performances for festive events like Canada Day and for solemn occasions such as state funerals, commemorations, and Remembrance Day. The Carillonneur also serves as a subject-matter expert, sharing information about the instrument and its rich history with the public and the media. The position of Dominion Carillonneur has been held by Dr. Andrea McCrady since 2008.

Since the carillon playing room is now closed for the rehabilitation of the Peace Tower, the Dominion Carillonneur is keeping busy with other aspects of her role, including teaching, research, and adapting contemporary and historical music for the carillon.

Dr. Andrea McCrady
Dominion Carillonneur
Photo: Roberta Gal, PSPC-SPAC

Dr. Andrea McCrady was appointed Dominion Carillonneur of the Peace Tower Carillon in 2008. She began playing the carillon in 1971 at Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut (B.A., 1975). While in Europe on a postgraduate fellowship, she studied at the carillon schools in the Netherlands, Belgium and France. She was carillonneur at St. Joseph’s Oratory while studying medicine at McGill University, in Montréal, followed by her hospital residency in Toronto, where she played the carillon at the University of Toronto and the Canadian National Exhibition. From 1990 to 2008, she coordinated the carillon program at the Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist in Spokane, Washington, where she also practised family medicine. In 2008, she retired from medicine upon receiving a Bachelor of Music magna cum laude from the University of Denver. She is an adjunct professor of carillon studies at Carleton University in Ottawa. Dr. McCrady served for many years on the board of the Guild of Carillonneurs in North America (GCNA), and as its president in 1988–1989. She has co-chaired the GCNA Ronald Barnes Memorial Grant Fund and the Heritage Music Committee. She served as secretary of the World Carillon Federation (WCF) from 1990 to 1996, and performed at the 1996, 2002, 2014 and 2021 WCF congresses.