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Tower Bell Concert in West Newton
Tower Bell Concerts in West Newton This Summer
To celebrate recent improvements to its set of 11 tower bells, the First Unitarian Society in Newton (FUSN) will offer three concerts this summer. Free to the public, concerts will take place 7:00 – 8:00 pm on July 17, July 31, and August 16.
The public is invited to bring lawn chairs, blankets, and picnic suppers to the church grounds at 1326 Washington Street, West Newton, across from the police station. Listeners will be able to enjoy the music from throughout West Newton Square. The concerts will take place rain or shine. Indoor seating will be provided in case of rain.
The concerts will be played by a group of local musicians (called chimers) who regularly play the FUSN chime on Sunday mornings. Music will span a spectrum of genres, including popular, classical, religious, and show music.
The 11 bells comprise a “chime” and were cast in 1916 by the McShane Bell Foundry of Baltimore. They hang near the top of the tower of FUSN’s historic building. They range in weight from 575 pounds to 3,350 pounds, with a combined weight of almost seven tons. The chimers play them by pushing down 11 wooden hand levers on a playing stand, each attached by a cable to the clapper inside a bell. There is no electrical assist; playing is totally by human effort.
In January 2012, workers from the McShane Bell Foundry came to FUSN and installed new springs, stainless steel cable connections, and turnbuckles. These enhancements give the chimers better control over the striking of the bells, including dynamics. The result: better sounding music.
Contact: Bob Feldman, Robert.Feldman@ymail.com, 508-740-5390