Are you the midnight musician? How wonderful!
Thanks to a gift from Paul and Carol Collins, we have been privileged to have two Collins Carillon Fellowships at Bok Tower Gardens this year. These advanced students stay at Pinewood Estate and gain experience playing, composing, arranging and training under our Carillonneur Geert D’hollander. They also perform our live carillon concerts Mondays through Wednesdays in season. As an added perk, they get to enjoy lots of valuable after-hours rehearsal time in the Tower – a rare treat for carillonneurs whose instruments are located where playing hours are restricted.
“This must be the only carillon in the world where, if you play at 11 pm, you will later hear, ‘Are you the midnight musician? How wonderful!’ instead of ‘Grrr…please stop, we’re trying to sleep!'” muses Margaret Pan, our Collins Carillon Fellow from October to January.
“What made my fellowship a uniquely fantastic learning experience was to be able to experiment and rehearse each evening on such a nice instrument, ask Geert (with his great expertise and experience) all my questions the next day, and put everything into practice in concerts every week.”
When not pursuing her passion for the carillon, Margaret researches planetary dynamics in our solar system and beyond. She holds degrees in physics and astrophysics from M.I.T. and Caltech, and has returned to M.I.T. this spring to continue her research. She was the recent subject of a Paul O’Neill short documentary film: Margaret Pan: Astronomer, Carillonneur.
Michael Solotke is our April-May Carillon Fellow. Michael began playing carillon as a member of the Yale Guild of Carillonneurs in 2010. In 2012, he participated in an Intensive Package summer study program at the Royal Carillon School “Jef Denyn” in Mechelen, Belgium, where he studied with Geert D’hollander, Eddy Marien, and Koen Cosaert. In addition to the carillon, Michael plays the trombone and piano. He graduated from Yale in 2013 with a B.S. In Molecular Biophysics & Biochemistry and currently lives in New York City. Aside from his work in the life sciences industry, he enjoys the outdoors, reading about science, and Belgian beer.
Our thanks also to last year’s Collins Carillon Fellow Julie Zhu, who returned for two weeks in January during her winter break at Hunter College, where she is pursuing her MFA in Art. And congratulations go out to our other 2014-15 Collins Carillon Fellow, Joey Brink, who landed the highly-coveted position as Carillonneur at the University of Chicago!