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Michael Li / Sun Assistant Photography Editor

May 2, 2017

Cornell Chimes to Play Grateful Dead Commemoration Concert

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Exactly 40 years after the Grateful Dead rocked Barton Hall in one of their most famous performances ever, The Cornell Chimes will be playing some of the band’s famous songs on Monday at 6 p.m. from atop McGraw Tower.

Liz Field, communications specialist at Cornell Information Technologies and a self-described “Deadhead” said she wanted to commemorate the show at Barton Hall because it was “one of the most beloved shows in the Grateful Dead’s 30-year touring history.”

“I asked the chimesmasters if they would play a song,” she said. “At first, it was a simple request, but I’ve since become the promoter of the event, working closely with The Chimes on setting up the event, publicizing it and handling questions from people on the event page and in the press.”

After Field reached out to Chimesmaster Serim An ’17, Cornell Chimes began planning arrangements for the concert.

“We didn’t have any Grateful Dead music in our repertoire, so we had to spend some time listening to the music and trying to make it work for the chimes, because we only have 21 bells so not every song is possible to play,” An told The Sun, adding that practice would begin on Tuesday.

An and past chimesmasters chose their favorite Grateful Dead songs, some of Field’s suggestions and other hits from the 1960s and 1970 for the concert.

“For this specific concert, I arranged two songs, but there are four other chimesmasters who arranged music specifically for this concert,” she said. “We were all really excited about how so many people are excited about this event. The Grateful Dead has never been played on the chimes before and there are so many people coming on the Facebook page.”

Field and many others are eagerly anticipating the concert.

“It was such a wonderful surprise to see that within 24 hours there were more than 1,000 people interested in the event” on Facebook, Field said.

More than 2,500 people have said they are interested in the event on Facebook as of Monday night.

The debut of The Cornell Chimes concert coincides with the release of bootlegged recordings from the 1977 Cornell show, compiled into a disc set called “Get Shown the Light.”

The recording of the show will be available for download on May 5.