This recital was given at St John's Kirk on Monday 1st May 2023, at 12 noon.
It was an occasion when we welcomed many visitors to the Kirk to watch and listen on the large screens - many taking the opportunity to explore the building as they enjoyed the performance.
For those who were unable to join us at that time, a recording is has been made and the recital will be played again on the Kirk's screens and streamed on the website,
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