Virginia Arts Festival Carillon

To mark its 20th anniversary, the Virginia Arts Festival unveiled a 23-bell mobile carillon, something of a mobile ambassador that will be playable by everyone. It’s roughly the size of a semi truck with a car carrier, serving as both mammoth musical instrument and sculptural art. The bells are mounted on a frame that spells out “VAF” that will be driven to venues to ring home the point that each event is associated with the arts festival. The instrument is engineered so that a person can play it at a keyboard or ring the individual bells by pulling levers. Like the festival itself, it will cater to all ages and levels of musical ability — playable by the most gifted carillioneurs and inquisitive children alike.

In their own words »

“I am thrilled with the instrument that Verdin has created to celebrate the Virginia Arts Festival’s 20th season,” says Perry Artistic Director, Rob Cross. “This iconic structure speaks to the tradition that church bells have played in the history of greater Norfolk. The use of the letters VAF as the structure is a nod to modern design. I believe it is a beautiful marriage of the past and the future. The bells can be played by a traditional hand bell choir, an individual keyboard player or members of the community. What a wonderful way of continuing our goal of taking the Festival “Beyond the Concert Hall.”