Singing Tower Carillonneur Geert D’hollander has been hard at work over the past few weeks arranging Latin-themed music for the carillon and a six-trumpet ensemble. This hard work is in celebration of Cinco de Mayo, a holiday honoring Mexican culture and heritage.
Geert first introduced the idea of performing in duet with other instruments during the most recent Easter Sunrise Service March 31 when he played alongside a brass quintet. These performances mark the first time in the Gardens’ 84-year history this has ever been attempted.
“I’ve been doing this for years on my carillons in Belgium and Berkeley, CA,” D’hollander said. “I wanted to do something new this year, and given my past experience and the possibilities here in the Tower, I thought this formula was perfect.”
Some of the Latin-themed arrangements include: Contigo en la Distancia, Cielito Lindo, La Cucaracha, La Bamba, Que Rico el Mambo, and Mexican Hat Dance.
Visitors are encouraged to bring a picnic dinner or can purchase authentic Mexican food from the Mayan Grill food truck that will be on hand. In addition to standard refreshments, the Gardens’ Hilltop Café will offer event-themed beverages for sale including Corona, Modelo, Dos Equis, and frozen margaritas.
Jennifer Beam, Director of Visitor Services and Programs at the Gardens, says holding more cultural- and community-based events is a way to remain relevant and accessible. “Bok Tower Gardens was Edward Bok’s gift to all Americans, so we want to make sure everyone has the opportunity to enjoy them,” Beam said. “Hosting inexpensive, cultural-based events for our community is one of the ways we can do that, and with Geert’s musical talents on the carillon almost anything is possible.”