For years we've been listening to concerts on the 49-bell Netherlands Carillon near the Iwo Jima Memorial in Arlington without knowing that we could do more than just listen.
During the two-hour concert programs on Saturday afternoons, according to an announcement from National Capital Parks, visitors can take the stairs up the 127-foot tower to watch the carilloneur perform. There's an added treat: a panoramic view of Washington's monumental center.
The concerts will be performed each Saturday at 2 p.m. through Sept. 24, plus Memorial Day and Independence Day, and last for two hours.
The 49 bells, ranging in weight from 37 1/2 pounds to 12,654 pounds, are rung manually without any electricity. The carillon, including its bells, was a gift to the United States for aid to Holland during World War II.
All of the carilloneurs are volunteers. Three are from the Washington-Baltimore area: Edward M. Nassor of Springfield, who played last Saturday; Robert Grogan of Wheaton, who will play June 25 and Sept. 3, and William Lyon-Vaiden of the Baltimore suburb of McDonough, who will play May 14. The season's champion will be Frank P. Law of Valley Forge, Pa., who is scheduled to play May 28, June 28, July 2 and 4, Aug. 27 and Sept. 24.