Thomas Rees Memorial Carillon

Last updated
Thomas Rees Memorial Carillon
Thomas Rees Memorial Carillon.jpg
Thomas Rees Memorial Carillon located in Washington Park, Springfield, Illinois, USA
General information
Type Carillon
Architectural style Brutalism
Location Washington Park, Springfield, Illinois, United States
Coordinates 39°47′22″N89°41′00″W / 39.7893333°N 89.6834722°W / 39.7893333; -89.6834722 Coordinates: 39°47′22″N89°41′00″W / 39.7893333°N 89.6834722°W / 39.7893333; -89.6834722
InauguratedJune 1962
Renovated1978, 1987, 1993, 2000, 2008
Cost$200,000
Renovation cost$90,000 (2008)
OwnerSpringfield Park District
Height132 feet
Technical details
Lifts/elevators1
Design and construction
ArchitectBill Turley
Other designers Petit & Fritsen (bell casting)

The Thomas Rees Memorial Carillon is a carillon located in Washington Park in Springfield, Illinois. The brutalist tower stands 132 feet and is constructed from concrete, brick and steel. It was dedicated in 1962 and designed by Bill Turley. Each year the carillon hosts the International Carillon Festival which features world-renowned carillonneurs.

Contents

History

The Thomas Rees Memorial Carillon is located in Springfield, Illinois' Washington Park and was dedicated in June 1962. [1] [2] [3] A trust fund bequeathed by local newspaper publisher Thomas Rees - he published the Illinois State Register from 1881 until 1933 - provided the money for the construction of the carillon. [2] The trust fund provided $200,000 to build and maintain a carillon in Springfield. [3] Rees had traveled through the Netherlands and Belgium where he discovered his enjoyment of the sounds produced by carillons. [2]

The carillon has been periodically closed and renovated through its lifetime. In 1978, the transmission system was updated and in 1987 the carillon experienced a major renovation. [4] The 1987 work was done, in part, to install a new transition system for the bells. [4] The Rees Carillon was closed for a period in 1993 while it underwent a major structural renovation. [4] In 2008 the Rees Carillon underwent renovation that replaced seven of the bells' clappers at a cost of $90,000. [3]

Design

The Rees Carillon is a free-standing open tower which features 67 bells that have a total weight of 82,753 pounds (37,536 kg). [3] The tower was designed by architect Bill Turley, who had several other Springfield commissions including the present-day Hoogland Center for the Arts and the Springfield YMCA. [5] The bronze bells vary in size with the largest bell, the G-flat, weighing 7.5 short tons (6.8 t) and the smallest bell weighing 22 pounds (10.0 kg). [3] [4] The tower stands in the park surrounded by gardens and a reflecting pool. [1] The carillon originally featured 66 bells but a 67th bell, B-flat, was added in February 2000. [3] [6] The bells were cast by Petit & Fritsen in Aarle-Rixtel from the Netherlands. [3]

The Rees Carillon stands 132 feet (40 m) and features three observation decks within its open interior. [6] [7] [8] The tower is constructed from concrete, brick and steel. [8] The Rees Memorial Carillon is claimed to be one of the world's largest; the Springfield, Illinois Convention & Visitor's Bureau claims it is the 3rd largest, while the local public television affiliate simply asserted it as "one of the world's largest" in 1997. [1] [2] Additionally, author Don Davenport stated it was the world's 5th largest carillon in 2002. [7] The Rees Carillon was also featured in a slideshow on Midwest Living's website where it was called "one of the world's largest carillons". [9] The Thomas Rees Memorial Carillon is an example of brutalism. [10]

Festival and tours

The Rees Memorial Carillon hosts a week-long international carillon festival each summer, typically held during the week that concludes with the first full weekend in June. [1] [3] [11] The International Carillon Festival is typically held in June and features concerts during the evenings of festival week. [1] [3] [11] World class carillonneurs come to the United States to play the International Carillon Festival. [11] The 2011 festival was held from June 5–12 and was the festival's 50th anniversary. [3] Though the carillon was dedicated in 1962, the first International Carillon Festival at Washington Park was in 1961. [12] In the 2007 edition Chase's Calendar of Events called the Rees Memorial Carillon's International Carillon Festival "the world's best known carillon festival." [12] Tours of the carillon are available during the spring and summer; [9] The Springfield Park District's website includes tour and concerts times. Winter tours are available by appointment only. [11] Entrance to the Thomas Rees Memorial Carillon requires paying a nominal fee. [1] [11] Visitors to the carillon can travel to the top by elevator where a scenic view of Springfield awaits. [1]

See also

Related Research Articles

Carillon musical instrument consisting of several bells, often in a tower

A carillon is a musical instrument that is typically housed in the bell tower (belfry) of a church or municipal building. The instrument consists of at least 23 cast bronze, cup-shaped bells, which are played serially to produce a melody, or sounded together to play a chord. A traditional manual carillon is played by striking a keyboard – the stick-like keys of which are called batons – with the fists, and by pressing the keys of a pedal keyboard with the feet. The keys mechanically activate levers and wires that connect to metal clappers that strike the inside of the bells, allowing the performer on the bells, or carillonneur/carillonist, to vary the intensity of the note according to the force applied to the key.

Sather Tower "The Campanile", bell tower at UC Berkeley

Sather Tower is a bell tower with clocks on its four faces on the campus of the University of California, Berkeley. It is more commonly known as The Campanile for its resemblance to the Campanile di San Marco in Venice. It is a recognizable symbol of the university.

Netherlands Carillon

The Netherlands Carillon adjacent to Arlington National Cemetery was a gift from the people of the Netherlands to the people of the United States in 1954. The gift was made to thank the United States for its aid during and after World War II. First installed at a nearby site in 1954, the 49-bell carillon was moved to the present tower in 1960. A 50th bell was added following Dutch- and American-sponsored renovations in 1995, and dedicated on May 5, the 50th anniversary of the liberation of the Netherlands.

Harkness Tower tower

Harkness Tower is a masonry tower at Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut. Part of the Collegiate Gothic Memorial Quadrangle complex completed in 1922, it is named for Charles William Harkness, brother of Yale's largest benefactor, Edward Harkness.

Yale Memorial Carillon

The Yale Memorial Carillon is a carillon of 54 bells in Harkness Tower at Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut.

Burton Memorial Tower

The Burton Memorial Tower is a clock tower located on Central Campus at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor at 230 North Ingalls Street. Housing a grand carillon, the tower was built in 1936 as a memorial for University President Marion Leroy Burton. This carillon is the world's fourth-heaviest, containing 53 bells and weighing a total of 43 tons.

Bok Tower Gardens United States historic place

Bok Tower Gardens is a contemplative garden, and bird sanctuary located north of Lake Wales, Florida, United States. It consists of a 250-acre (100 ha) garden, the 205-foot (62 m) tall Singing Tower with its carillon bells, Pine Ridge Trail, Pinewood Estate, and a visitor center. The tower is built upon Iron Mountain, one of the highest points of peninsular Florida, estimated to be 295 feet (90 m) above sea level. It is a National Historic Landmark that is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, nationally significant for its association with Edward W. Bok and its designers.

Washington Park (Springfield, Illinois) United States historic place

Washington Park is a park in Springfield, Illinois, listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Located at 1400 Williams Boulevard, the park features walking trails, a botanical garden, large duck pond, rose garden, carillon, and carillon concerts. The park was purchased for city use in 1900, and construction began in 1901. Substantial drainage and dredging were required to turn the wetland portions of the future park into ponds and grassy space. Washington Park is operated by the Springfield Park District.

Springfield Municipal Group

The Municipal Group of Springfield, Massachusetts is a collection of three prominent municipal buildings in the city's Metro Center district. Consisting of a concert hall, City Hall, and a 300-foot-tall (91 m) clocktower, the Group is a center of government and culture in the city.

Royal Carillon School "Jef Denyn" carillon school in Mechelen

The Royal Carillon School "Jef Denyn" in Mechelen, Belgium, is the first and largest carillon school in the world. The Belgian government defines it as an "International Higher Institute for the Carillon Arts under the High Protection of Her Majesty Queen Fabiola." The school has trained many of the foremost carillonneurs of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries and houses a rich archive and library.

Carillon in Berlin-Tiergarten

The Carillon in Berlin-Tiergarten is located in a freestanding 42m-tall tower next to the House of World Cultures, near the Chancellery in the northeastern part of Berlin's central Tiergarten park. It is a large, manually played concert instrument, comprising 68 bells weighing a total of 48 metric tonnes connected to a keyboard spanning 5½ fully chromatic octaves; the largest bell weighs 7.8 tonnes. The carillonneur sits in a playing cabin in the middle of the bells and plays with his fists and feet on a baton-and-pedal keyboard. The purely mechanical action makes it possible to play all dynamic gradations, from very soft to very loud.

Loughborough Carillon grade II listed military museum in Loughborough, United kingdom

Loughborough Carillon is a carillon and war memorial in Loughborough, Leicestershire, England. It is in Queen's Park, and is a well-known landmark, visible from several miles away. It is 152 feet high.

Cleveland Tower

Cleveland Tower is a tower and carillon on the campus of Princeton University. Inspired by Boston College's Gasson Hall, the Ralph Adams Cram design is one of the defining architectural features of the Collegiate Gothic Graduate College. The tower was built in 1913 as a memorial to former university trustee and U.S. President Grover Cleveland. A bust of the former president is the centerpiece of the grand chamber at the tower's ground level.

Campanile (Iowa State University)

The Iowa State University Campanile is located on Iowa State's central campus, and is home to the Stanton Memorial Carillon. The campanile is widely seen as one of the major symbols of Iowa State University. It is featured prominently on the university's official ring and the university's mace, and is also the subject of the university's alma mater.

Century Tower (University of Florida) United States historic place

The Century Tower is a 157-foot-tall (48 m) carillon tower in the center of the University of Florida campus in Gainesville, Florida.

Belmont Tower and Carillon

The Belmont Tower and Carillon is an iconic structure on the campus of Belmont University in Nashville, Tennessee. The Tower is listed in the National Register of Historic Places as part of the Belmont Mansion registration and is prominently featured in the university logo. The current Belmont University Tower and Carillon chimes each hour from 9:00am–8:00pm.

John Courter was an American composer, organist, and carillonneur who served as a professor of music at Berea College in Berea, Kentucky, from 1971 until his death on June 21, 2010. A native of Lansing, Michigan, Courter earned a bachelor's degree in choral music education from Michigan State University in 1962 and a Master's of Music degree in organ in 1966 from the University of Michigan. He also studied at the North German Organ Academy and held diplomas from the Netherlands Carillon School.

Jo Haazen is a Flemish musician and carillonneur.

Ulla Laage is a Danish carillonneur and composer. She was the first carillonneur to hold a full-time carillon performance position in Denmark, and one of a small number of women to hold a professional carillon post in Europe during the twentieth century.

References

  1. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 "Thomas Rees Memorial Carillon", Springfield Illinois Convention & Visitor's Bureau, official site, retrieved January 22, 2012.
  2. 1 2 3 4 "Thomas Ress Memorial Carillon in Springfield", (video), Prairie Fire, episode #542, WILL ; PBS , May 8, 1997, retrieved January 22, 2012.
  3. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Nevel, Jason. "Carillon festival will show off new lighting system", State Journal Register , June 3, 2011, retrieved January 22, 2012.
  4. 1 2 3 4 "History", "Carillon" - Springfield Park District, official site, retrieved January 22, 2012.
  5. "Hoogland Center for the Arts", Springfield, Illinois: Historic Sites Commission, official site, retrieved January 22, 2012.
  6. 1 2 "On the Cover", Illinois Parks and Recreation, 05, July/August 1984, retrieved January 22, 2012.
  7. 1 2 Davenport, Don. In Lincoln's Footsteps: A Historical Guide to the Lincoln Sites in Illinois, Indiana, and Kentucky, (Google Books link), Big Earth Publishing, 2002, p. 132, ( ISBN   193159905X).
  8. 1 2 Volkmann, Roberta and Volkmann, Carl. Springfield's Sculptures, Monuments, and Plaques, (Google Books link), Arcadia Publishing, 2008, p. 75, ( ISBN   0738551651).
  9. 1 2 "Springfield, Illinois: Lincoln Country", (slideshow), Midwest Living , retrieved January 22, 2011.
  10. "Thomas Rees Memorial Carillon", Emporis , retrieved January 22, 2012.
  11. 1 2 3 4 5 "International Carillon Festival", Springfield Park District, official site, retrieved January 22, 2012.
  12. 1 2 "Chase's Calendar of Events 2007, (Google Books link), McGraw-Hill, 2006, p. 304, ( ISBN   0071468188).