Music of peace at WC carillon concert


By John Hamilton - [email protected]



WILMINGTON — Locals and students got a special treat with a free concert with a landmark of Wilmington College.

On Wednesday, as part of the Westheimer Peace Symposium, Wilmington College held a carillon concert called “For the Beauty of the Earth.”

The theme for the symposium is “Regenerative Agriculture for a Just and Peaceful Future.”

Randy Sarvis, Senior Director of Public Relations, told the News Journal the theme of peace ties to agriculture due to the importance of preserving the land for food growth in the future.

Sarvis was thrilled to see so many people come in and experience the carillon.

“The carillon has served as a beacon on campus since 1960, a focal point for vigils and outdoor programs and, indeed, for music,” said Sarvis.

Dedicated in 1960 to Simon B. Goodman, the German immigrant started a business in downtown Wilmington and resided in the city for 40 years with his wife, Bessie.

Their son, Kenneth, graduated from Wilmington College in 1921. According to Sarvis, Kenneth played bells in the college orchestra.

The bells were purchased by Bessie after Simon’s death in 1958.

“(The bells) were part of the Vatican Pavilion at the 1958 Brussels World Fair and she gave it to the College in her husband’s memory,” said Sarvis. “WC erected a 60-foot bell tower on the site of the old observatory. The carillon has been described as an especially ecumenical endeavor, as a Catholic artifact given in memory of a Jewish man to a Quaker institution.”

The music was being performed Wednesday by accomplished musician Barbara Leeds, who has had a long history with carillon dating back to her student years at WC.

Among the music in the program was “Edelweiss” from “The Sound of Music”, John Lennon’s “Imagine”, and Ludwig von Beethoven’s “Ode to Joy.”

“She played beautifully today,” said Sarvis. “The concert gave listeners an opportunity to pause on a busy day and simply enjoy beautiful music for an hour.”

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By John Hamilton

[email protected]

Reach John Hamilton at 937-382-2574

Reach John Hamilton at 937-382-2574