Alum Tiffany Ng Weighs in on St. Martin's Carillon in NYT

31 Oct, 2018

Alum Tiffany Ng Weighs in on St. Martin's Carillon in NYT

As St. Martin's decides on how to repair its structurally unsound carillon and church building, a larger conversation about America's "de-churching" and plans to sell some of church's real estate is in play.

Tiffany Ng, a BCNM alum who currently works at the University of Michigan, drew from her expertise on carillons to weigh in on St. Martin's dilemma. She made note of the history of the church, mentioning that it was the first carillon in the world to be played by a black musician, Dionisio A. Lind.

From the article:

St. Martin’s was taken over by a black congregation under the Rev. John Howard Johnson, who led a boycott of retailers on 125th Street, a main street for shopping in Harlem, who resisted hiring or promoting blacks.

A fire in 1939 left the building badly damaged, but as Father Johnson’s parishioners made plans to rebuild, they commissioned the carillon. The Rev. David Johnson, Father Johnson’s son and successor at St. Martin’s, proudly called the carillon “the poor people’s bells.” The expert who played the carillon in July called it something else: “A cultural treasure” and “an irreplaceable historical instrument.”

Read the rest of the New York Times article here.