Bells of Perth Ring Out
Perth’s Carilloneur, Dr Ian Cassells will play a wide range of music during 2019. The Recitals will be played on Perth’s largest musical instrument, the bells of St John’s Kirk. The Kirk will be open to the public during the Recitals so that people can hear the music as well as see Ian on the large screens inth e Kirk. The bells can also be clearly heard from the streets and cafes around the Kirk. St John’s has more bells than any other church in Britain (63 bells) and although not all of them are still played,
Perth’s Carillon of bells is a magnificent instrument. The Recitals are informal and it will be possible to come in and out of St John’s throughout the 40 –
45 minutes that Ian will be playing. So if you have not seen a Carillon of Bells being played or would like to enjoy Ian’s skills once more, do come along to St John’s Kirk.
List of Dates & Programme topics can be downloaded below
Recitals Supported by Perth Common Good Fund
Carillon CD ' The Bells of Perth'
A CD featuring the musical bells of St John’s Kirk is now available.
It features a variety of tunes played by carillonneur Dr Ian Cassells on the Kirk’s 63 bells. As part of a digital heritage project, it is the first time since the seventies that Perth’s largest musical instrument has been recorded
University music and audio engineering students and staff at Perth College UHI used their skills to produce the digital recording .
Nick Green, Audio Engineering and Theatre Arts sector manager explained “St John’s contains one of the best Carillons in Scotland, if not the UK. With so few chromatic playable instruments left, our students (Brian Connor, Luke Duffin, Micah Nye (BSc Audio Engineering) and Rowan Parker (MMus music)) had a rare opportunity to grow their experience of location recording in a diverse setting and learned how to deal with individual challenges that may be presented on a project.”
Peter Honeyman, Creative and Cultural Industries Subject Network Leader at the University of the Highlands and Islands, added: “I first came across this terrific instrument in Perth nearly fifteen years ago. The local digital heritage archive project is a piece of our communities’ musical history the university is proud to be part of. Additionally, we now have an archive record of each bell which can be used in sound design, music composition and performance teaching and future research.”
Each bell was recorded individually for archival purposes. Some of the bells date to the late Medieval period, with research suggesting the largest of the bells was cast in Scotland in about 1340.
The CD is highly acclaimed, described by a Cambridge campanologist as “unquestionably the best recording of bells (of any type) that I have heard. The clarity, presence, sonority and beautiful reverb decay have been captured perfectly, and the elimination of distracting sounds from the town and mechanism of the carillon makes this a reference recording. Huge congratulations to all involved. Dr. Cassell's arrangements and delivery of pieces well known, and less known, are wonderful and bring to life this unique musical instrument, which deserves the wider audience that this CD will bring”.
Anyone wishing to purchase this CD should send an email to