Dr. Richard Shadinger, professor in the School of Music and Belmont’s long-time carillonneur, will be retiring in May. To kick-off his final year at Belmont, Shadinger will be playing a concert full of his favorite tunes on the carillon Sunday, September 24 at 4 p.m. Shadinger has been playing Belmont’s infamous bells, a campus and neighborhood staple, since the carillon system returned to campus in 1986.
Located in Belmont’s Bell Tower, the 43-bell carillon is one of only 180 across the country and is played by hand, multiple times each week including large events, basketball games, Homecoming celebrations, between class changes and more. It’s seen many impressive memories and sights including annual Christmas concerts, marriage proposals and even its own rendition of the Star Wars Theme Song.
A pianist originally, Shadinger learned to play to the carillon for Belmont–having never even seen a carillon before Belmont’s arrived on campus. He showed immediate interest in the system and has taken an extreme liking to the instrument, traveling to conferences, attending weekly lessons for years and even taking a sabbatical to further his skills.
Shadinger and his talents were recently featured in an article in the Tennessean, “Belmont’s Unique Carillon Makes Lovely Music, Thanks to Richard Shadinger.”