Friends of the McGaffin Carillon
in University Circle

Welcome to the First Edition of FMC News!
The Friends of the McGaffin Carillon have much to celebrate this fall. This group formed as a small task force that began meeting in the summer of 2014. Undertaking the stewardship of this wonderful legacy, the group has sought to ensure both the restoration and maintenance of this majestic instrument while also exploring ways to make it an integral part of the University Circle soundscape in the years to come.

Upcoming Holiday Events at McGaffin Tower
We look forward to the annual fall and winter McGaffin Carillon events. For University Circle Inc's  CircleFest program on Sunday, Dec. 6, we have expanded to four Tower Tours (noon, 1, 2, and 3 p.m.) and a 3:30 p.m. recital preceding the Church of the Covenant’s 4 p.m. Carol Sing. We are hoping that this event will give us the opportunity to share the wonders of this instrument with even more of our neighbors. The Friends of the McGaffin Carillon will have a tent near the Covenant University Circle Shuttle Stop. We will offer a drawing for three personalized Tower Tours. Can you help? Contact us if you have some time to greet our visitors:
     The annual Christmas Eve McGaffin Carillon recital will take place at 7:30 p.m. on Dec. 24. Lunchtime Carillon Concerts will resume in April.

Students and UCI Executives Visit
The Alexander McGaffin Carillon may be awaiting its future restoration, but that hasn't slowed down activities at the tower. This autumn was a very busy time! A series of Lunchtime Carillon concerts filled The Circle with music on Friday afternoons. These concerts also attracted the Montessori High School at University Circle French class on Friday, Sept. 25, for a tower climb and presentation by George Leggiero on French and French Canadian carillons.
      Surprise visitor Aqu
ene Kimmel, sophomore journalism major at Case Western Reserve University (CWRU) covered the event at the last minute suggestion of her teacher, Pulitzer Prize winner James Sheeler. Ms. Kimmel returned on Sunday morning to hear more music, climb the ladder to the bell chamber (see Betty Dowd doing so in the photo below), play a few notes with her own hands and feet, and continue interviewing carillonneur George Leggiero and FMC president Denise Horstman for her class assignment and  CWRU’s Observer. Professor Sheeler has been a regular listener to the concerts from his office in Guilford House.  Read Ms Kimmel's article.

University Circle Inc. visits and tweets: In September, University Circle Inc. President Chris Ronayne brought three senior staff—VP of Planning & Real Estate Development Debra K. Berry, Planning Manager Elise Yablonsky, and Director of Marketing & Communications Lisa A. Sands—to see and hear the instrument and discuss how the restoration and expanded programming envisioned will enrich our burgeoning Uptown neighborhood. UCI twitter followers were treated to a few views of their visit.  Many thanks to University Hospitals trustee Mary Ann Harlan for helping to arrange this meeting.

Donor Spotlight
Many people have been touched by the music of the bells here in the Circle over the years. In this issue, we spotlight The Reverend and Mrs. James F. (Betty) Dowd of Dowagiac, Michigan, and St. Louis. They met at Cornell University, and have fond memories of the Cornell Chimes in the 173-foot McGraw Tower there. Hence, it was a little like coming home when they came to the Covenant and again experienced the wonderful ringing of the bells. Betty took lessons from Covenant and University Circle Carillonneur George Leggiero while they lived in Cleveland, and shared the fun of climbing the tower and playing both the carillon and practice instrument with her grandchildren, Mike and Ben Dowd and Lexi Clinebell.

Global carillon news with American Midwest connections: The McGaffin Carillon is part of an international legacy of carillons and carillonneurs. International carillon news gives us a taste of what is possible here in the Circle. A recent carillon composition contest in Zwolle Netherlands in September has just announced its winners. The 24 entries in the carillon composition competition included Joey Brink, the talented young artist recently named carillonneur of the Laura Spelman Rockefeller Carillon at the University of Chicago’s Rockefeller Chapel. Brink, who placed third with “Capriccio,” and first prize winner Julie Zhu (“Circle in the Square”), were both members of the Yale University Guild of Carillonneurs. Second prize winner was Nikos Kokolakis of Greece (“Squarcle”).
     Brink's instrument, the Rockefeller Chapel carillon, was completely restored in 2006–2008 by Royal Eijsbouts Bell Foundry of Asten, The Netherlands, maker of the McGaffin Carillon and the firm we plan to have refurbish the instrument.


Upcoming Events







Founded in 2014 and officially incorporated on March 13, 2015, the Friends of the McGaffin Carillon in University Circle is an independent 501(c)3 non-profit organization formed to support the McGaffin Carillon upkeep and programs. We deeply appreciate the nearly $16,000 in Friendships and larger donations so far from 97 Friends and Donors.

Visit to become a Founding Friend or to make a year-end contribution. Consider the gift of an FMC Founding Friendship during the holidays.

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

Email Marketing Powered by Mailchimp