Friends of the McGaffin Carillon in University Circle Spring 2016 News

Spring Friday Lunchtime
Concerts through June 10

There have been snowy days and balmy days in the season ending this coming week. Concertgoers who saw Leon Bibb’s piece on WEWS TV5  have come from as far aw
ay as Akron, some tailgating with their lunches on the parking lot. Cleveland-area organist Buck McDaniel, composer of Covenant Cycle, premiered by Van Parker on May 13, brought friends and visited with tower tourists afterward.
   Concerts resume for the summer on Friday, July 8.

Donor Spotlight: The Hacketts
In 1967, the McGaffin Tower, built to hold a cast-bell carillon of several octaves, had been empty for 56 years. The Reverend Alexander McGaffin’s widow left money in her will to help fund a carillon. Their only child, Elizabeth McGaffin Ferries, added a donation. And a campaign committee led by lifelong Cleveland Heights resident George Hackett of the former Hackett & Arnold real estate company went to work to raise the remaining funds.
    George’s widow, Phyllis, remembers that George just thought this was a cool idea. He loved music, singing in the tenor section of the semi-professional men’s chorus The Singers’ Club of Cleveland for fifty years. Phyllis recalls George’s sense of pride in finally making the planned carillon for this architectural landmark a reality.
    The McGaffin Carillon was dedicated 48 years ago this month, on June 9, 1968.
    When it was new, and Phyllis visited people in University Hospitals across the street, she saw them smile when they began to hear the carillon play. “It became like a magnet to draw people to the area,” she said. “People would dress up in their best outdoor summer attire and fill rows of chairs on the lawn to hear the concerts.”
    Phyllis, who has spent many years of volunteer time in the Covenant Cache Thrift Shop at the base of the McGaffin Tower, looks forward to a restored carillon and many more years of its “magnetic” effect. To further the cause, she has asked her son and daughter to mark gift-giving occasions with donations to the carillon.
   When George died, March 13, 2000, a colleague in volunteer work remarked on his “service, kindness, vision, caring, and humility.” We salute George’s vision for the McGaffin Carillon and thank his family for helping the instrument in the next chapter of its life. FMC was incorporated, coincidentally, on March 13, 2015.

Keith A. Kallay Elected to FMC Board of Directors
 A CPA, Keith has worked in finance and accounting at Eaton Corporation since 2009. He spends some of his evenings and weekends teaching related courses at Lakeland Community College. Keith soon begins his new post as treasurer of the Cuyahoga Heights School District.
  An avid runner, Keith has completed over eighty marathons, including five Boston Marathons. So for Keith, climbing the multiple spiral staircases of the McGaffin Tower is the proverbial walk on the beach.  
  This served Keith well recently: As Chair of Trustees and President of the Society for the Church of the Covenant, he coordinated the efforts of Case Western Reserve University student volunteers to dust, sweep, and remove debris from the clavier level of the McGaffin Tower, and rope-hauled a full-size shop vac from the clavier level up to the bell deck.
  Keith also serves on the board of the Medical Center Company and has been an active supporter of Special Olympics. Welcome to our board!

“This is the coolest volunteer opportunity EVER!”
 “This is the coolest volunteer opportunity EVER!”
  So said a tired, dusty Case Western Reserve University upperclassman to FMC president Denise Horstman after a major spring cleaning of the 140-foot-high McGaffin Tower—much needed as our tower visitor numbers grow.
The tower is blesssed to be sitting in the midst of a campus whose students give back to their community generously of their time and very hard work. Six students were among volunteers on a chilly Saturday morning, April 2, who arrived around 9 a.m. and worked for hours with rags, bags, cartons, and shop vacs to clear debris and dust from the walls, windows, floors, and, last but not least, carillon.
    Arriving back at the 80-some-foot clavier level, having climbed down from the bell deck of the 140-foot-high tower, one exclaimed, “What a head rush! I feel so ALIVE right now!”

Upcoming Events


Friday Lunchtime Summer Concert Series Begins

A Big Thank You

FMC Thanks all of our Partners, Donors, and  Friends for their support.
Our Partners-Our Donors-Our Founding Friends

New Donor
The Estate of 
Francis J. Svoboda

New Founding Friends
Dolores Thompson Acree
Nancy Acree
Robert L. & Delilah M. Acree
Alexster L. &
Kristen B. Callahan
Caleb A. Callahan
Jason S. & Erin R. Callahan
Samantha B. Callahan
Keith A. & Virginia S. Kallay
Sheryl & Charles Modlin
Laura Palcisko
German & Elizabeth Thompson
Marjorie Laverne Thompson
Shirley Ann Thompson
Carolyn Thompson Williams

FMC’s vision is to PEAL:

Preserve and Revitalize the only cast-bell carillon within the City of Cleveland
Enrich the Quality of Life in the University Circle community by transforming the soundscape with music and providing free concert events
Advance Education and Collaboration through the creation of student carillon guilds
Light a Torch of Creativity by commissioning new music and events

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