Laurance Hearne Armour Memorial Carillon, Part II

Exciting news over here! I’ve got more info on the bells of Grace Episcopal Church of Chicago! You may recall in my first post on these bells that these formed a chime for the church in the early twentieth century and later formed the basis of the carillon at the Seabury-Western Theological Seminary, then later […]

Bells for the Pope

The media is all abuzz about the Pope’s visit to Washington D.C., New York, and Philadelphia. No one has covered the bells in the churches he’s visited, though, so I’ll share what I know! On September 23rd, Pope Francis gave a Mass at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, […]

An Awesome Experience

You know that sensation when you experience something truly breathtaking, something awe inspiring? It turns out that a sense of awe can support communities. Paul Piff and Dacher Keltner explained their recent findings on the connection between feeling awe and altruistic acts. The more awe people experience, the more altruistic they are. Awe-provoking experiences make […]

Laurance Hearne Armour Memorial Carillon

Staying true to my city, I’ve been doing some investigation on the carillon at Northwestern University. A few years ago Northwestern bought the buildings owned by the Seabury-Western Theological Seminary. Included in those buildings were a chapel and a tower with a 35-bell carillon. These bells have changed hands more than once…so our story will […]

Mozart Visited a Carillon and He Wrote Nothing for it

In the carillon world we divide our music into categories, one of them being music by “real composers.” Demeaning to all the fine folks who compose carillon music, unfortunately. We’ve used this term to denote music written by those who primarily write music for other instruments and have significant recognition outside the carillon world: John […]

Rockefeller Memorial Carillon

Yesterday I made the climb to revisit two friends, the Rockefeller Memorial Carillon and Jim Fackenthal, the associate university carillonneur. This carillon is a real treasure—it is easily one of the most beautiful in the world (listen here) and the second largest by weight (72 bells weighing in at over 100 tons!). John D. Rockefeller, […]

Oil, Meat, and Plumbing Fixtures

What do the industries of oil, meatpacking, and brass fixture manufacturing all have in common? All three had American heirs that donated money to cast a carillon. Not only that, but these three resultant carillons are in Chicago. It dawned on me this morning that the three carillons in Chicago dating from before the 1950s […]