Margo Halsted dead at 84

March 8, 2023
Margo Halsted
Margo Halsted

Margo Halsted died February 22. Born Margo Armbruster on April 24, 1938, in Bakersfield, California, she was first introduced to the carillon as an undergraduate student at Stanford University. From Stanford she earned a bachelor’s degree in music (1960) and a master’s degree in education (1965). In 1975 she earned a Master of Music degree from the University of California Riverside. Halsted passed the Guild of Carillonneurs in North America (GCNA) carillonneur examination at the 1967 congress in Ottawa, Canada, and earned a diploma from the Netherlands Carillon School, Amersfoort, in 1981. She was active within the GCNA over many years, serving as assistant secretary, a member of the board of directors, chair of several committees, and editor of the guild’s newsletter. Halsted was awarded honorary membership in the GCNA and twice received the GCNA’s Certificate for Exceptional Service. She was also awarded the University of California Berkeley Medal, Bell and Citation Awards from the World Carillon Federation, and was an honorary member of the Belgian Carillon School, Mechelen.

Over the course of her career, Halsted served as associate carillonneur for Stanford University, 1967–1977; lecturer, university organist and carillonist for University of California Riverside, 1977–1987; assistant professor and later associate professor at the University of Michigan, 1987–2003; with additional service at Michigan State University and University of California Santa Barbara, teaching more than 200 students to play the carillon. At the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, she taught and performed on the university’s two carillons in the only masters degree program for carillon in the United States. She was named Associate Professor Emerita in 2003.

Halsted concertized around the world, consulted for carillon projects in the United States and abroad, and lectured/presented at five World Carillon Federation conventions. She composed music for the carillon and published numerous articles about the instrument and served as contributing editor for the carillon for The Diapason from 1981 until 1991.

Margo Halsted was preceded in death by two weeks by her husband Peter LeSourd. Memorial gifts for may be made to the Armbruster Fund, an endowment that she started to benefit the University of Michigan’s carillon program (


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