2023 GCNA Congress
The 80th Annual Congress of the Guild of Carillonneurs in North America will be held at St. Stephen's Church in Cohasset, Massachusetts, from June 14 to 17, 2023, with pre-congress activities on June 13 (afternoon and evening).
Congress teaser video (originally presented June 2022)
The Planning Committee of the GCNA Congress 2023, this year held at St. Stephen’s Church in Cohasset, Massachusetts, invites you to attend. This year’s Congress will feature recitals on our 57-bell carillon, workshops, masterclasses and other activities and promises to be informative, rewarding and fun. Congress will include lunches on site, and a banquet on Thursday evening at the Red Lion Inn, a rewarding location within a five-minute walk of St. Stephen’s Church.
St. Stephen’s Church was home to Sally Slade Warner, and one of our recitals will feature music from her catalogue of arrangements and other works. The carillon, originally installed in 1924 with 23 Gillett and Johnston bells and almost immediately upgraded by adding twenty bells in 1924 and 8 more low bells in 1928, had a major renovation and enlargement under Sally Slade Warner’s direction in 1989 to its current size of 57 bells. The carillon is in excellent playing condition, and is a joy both to play and listen to.
Cohasset is a seacoast community located about 13 miles south of Boston. The church is located on Cohasset’s Town Common, and close to Cohasset Harbor. We are preparing a welcoming, relaxing and fun Congress, and hope that you will join us.
See you in Cohasset in June!
2023 Congress Planning Committee:
Schedule at a glance
GCNA congresses are open to everyone (whether a GCNA member or not).
Register by April 30 to secure the early bird discount rate of $235! The rate of $255 applies to registrations after April 30.
The registration fee includes lunch on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, as well as the Banquet which will be held on Thursday evening at the Red Lion Inn, a five-minute walk from the church.
Grants to Attend Congress: The GCNA is pleased to offer grants to cover the costs of congress registration fees for certain members, such as first-time attendees and members who have recently passed either exam. For all the details, click here. If you are applying for a grant, please do NOT register for congress until you receive approval for the grant. Note: the grant application deadline is April 30.
Registration closes on May 31. After that date, please contact the congress host (John Whiteside) directly to see if your attendance can still be accommodated.
Transportation and Accommodation
There is no public transit that goes to the center of Cohasset, where St. Stephen’s is located. The MBTA Commuter Rail Greenbush line, which runs from South Station in Boston through parts of Quincy and Braintree, has a Cohasset station, which is 2.1 miles from the church, and a North Scituate station, which is 1.8 miles from the church.
Rental cars are available at Boston Logan Airport, and many other locations throughout the city.
Attendees have many accommodation options. Although there is no official congress hotel, the congress planning committee expects that the following three hotels in Rockland will be popular with attendees, as they seem to have the best pricing and are easily accessible by bus from the airport for those who do not wish to rent a car. (The Plymouth to Brockton Bus runs a scheduled service from Logan Airport to Cape Cod destinations that includes a stop at the Rockland Park and Ride, approximately a five-minute walk from the Rockland hotels.)
For reference, St. Stephen's is located at 16 Highland Avenue, Cohasset, MA 02025.
Attendees may also consider other hotels in the area, including:
To view a map showing St. Stephen's and all of these hotels, click here.
There are also Airbnb options in the Cohasset, Hull, Scituate, and surrounding area. Here is a sample Airbnb search for June 13-17.
Post-Congress Field Trips
There are two optional post-Congress field trips on Saturday, June 17, departing from Cohasset after the Congress ends at noon:
1. FIELD TRIP TO NORWOOD TOWN HALL to visit the 50-bell Gillett and Johnston carillon, recently completely refurbished by Ben Sunderlin. This carillon is unique in that its bells, and transmission, remain unchanged from the time the carillon was installed, giving us a picture of how bells of this period, with similar transmissions, would have played. But, to those of us who play this carillon regularly, its charm comes not from the action, which is heavy, but from the sound of the bells, which is delightful, and which speak directly into the playing cabin with no electronic interference. This carillon is worth a visit.
Town Hall will be available from 1:00 to 4:30. There are many lunch spots in Norwood within walking distance of Town Hall, in a variety of eating styles, or sign up for a box lunch, at a cost of $20.
2. FIELD TRIP TO WELLESLEY COLLEGE to see the 32-bell carillon, built by Gillett and Johnston. Although this carillon is small, it has a beautiful tone. Wellesley is a well-known women’s college, and has an active and wonderful Carillon Guild, directed by Margaret Angelini, that attracts students to join and learn the joys of the bells. Many of those students will be in attendance at our Congress 2023 Cohasset, and it is well worth the trip to get your hands on the instrument they learned to play upon.
The Wellesley Carillon will be open from 2:00 to 6:00. There are a few restaurants in Wellesley Square, within walking distance of the carillon, or sign up for a box lunch, at a cost of $20. You will need to attest that you have been fully vaccinated in order to go to Wellesley. Please follow this link to fill out the college form. Here are some instructions for filling out the form properly: Use your cell number, should the College need to contact you urgently. Your Wellesley contact is Margaret Angelini, GCNA Congress Visit, and her email address is email@example.com. The date of visit is June 17, 2023.
Transportation for the post-Congress field trips: When you register, please indicate whether you need transportation. Bus transportation could be as high as $100-125 per person, so the host hopes to be able to organize car pools to get interested people to Norwood or Wellesley and back.
COVID-19 Notice - as of mid-March
All congress attendees must abide by the COVID-19 mitigation laws and policies in effect at the time of the Congress.
According to current Covid policies, masks are optional at the Church, and proof of vaccination is not required, though we encourage everyone to follow current vaccination guidelines while attending public activities. Rates of transmission in Massachusetts are low, so no Covid restrictions are in place. The State, or the Town, may change those policies if local conditions warrant such a change.
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