Friends of the McGaffin Carillon in University Circle News

Winter Milestones
This may be the McGaffin Carillon's quietest season, but its supporters have been very busy. The first pledge to fund one of the key components of the renovation has been made: Thanks to Mildred Russin and the Estate of Frank J. Svoboda for promising a new world-standard clavier, which contains the keyboard and foot pedals for the carillonneur to play the instrument. FMC has also received a generous gift specifically for researching major funding sources for the $1 million project.

As FMC approaches its first official birthday on March 13th, to date 72 Founding Friends have joined the organization. They are among more than 100 donors of gifts from $20 to $10,000. In total, over $60,000 has been raised towards ongoing programming and our goal of refurbishing the carillon and expanding activities.

We look forward to an exciting Spring 2016 series of recitals and a special Friends event. 

David Osburn Joins the Friends
Board of Directors

David Osburn with the carillon bells.Pianist, organist, carillonneur, and former radio announcer and producer David Osburn studied under premier North American carillonneur Percival Price at the University of Michigan. He studied organ with the Cleveland Museum of Art’s Walter Blodgett.

Osburn’s broadcast career included news and classical music programming on the former NBC stations WKYC-FM and WKYC-AM (now WTAM 1100). His music teaching and performance career blossomed following NBC’s sale of its Cleveland stations. He taught piano in his Middleburg Heights music studio for forty years, where he also restored and installed a Holtkamp pipe organ. He is in his twenty-sixth year as carillonneur of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Cleveland Heights.

Osburn performs annually at St. Christopher’s by-the-River in Gates Mills, Ohio, including amusing the crowd for the Blessing of the Hunt with such selections as “Back in the Saddle Again.” For twenty-four years, on the 4th of July, Osburn has played a concert on the carillon at St. Christopher’s. The Independence Day Parade always includes a car for the recitalist with a large sign saying “Carillonneur.” Welcome, Carillonneur!

Want to Help? Become a Volunteer Friend of the CarillonVisitors climb the spiral staircase to the tower.
More than 250 visitors toured the McGaffin Tower last year! Do you want to learn more about its carillon? Want to be part of University Circle’s exciting new nonprofit organization? We are looking for volunteers. Hours and participation are flexible. Volunteers may assist guiding tower tourists, or serve as ambassadors at our events to "usher" and answer basic questions about the bells, the tower, and program. The carillon music library needs to be organized as we envision the repertoire needs of a Student Guild. Clerical help could smooth the way for newsletter and fundraising mailings. Contact us at if you are interested. There will be an informational meeting in the spring to learn more.

"Founding Friend" Window Still Open
We launched Friendships last May, and made March 2016, the first anniversary of our incorporation as an independent 501c3 nonprofit, the final month to become a Founder. If you would like to be a Founding Friend, please visit our website and become one! 

Support at all levels and by any means —check, credit card, appreciated stock or legacy gift—will help FMC realize its vision of the McGaffin Carillon’s restoration and expanded programming. Contact if you wish to discuss your gift or would like information about designated gift or memorial opportunities.

Did You Know? Our Carillon is on CDs
The bells of the McGaffin Carillon have been heard on three recordings released by Cleveland's award-winning Telarc producers. Two are recordings with the Erich Kunzel and The Cincinnati Pops: The Sound of Music (CD80162 1988), where the Cragin Peal is heard to start the wedding procession, and in the Largo religioso sostenuto molto tenuto molto finale from Act I of Tosca in Pops Plays Puccini (CD80260 1991) where a bell tolls during the singing of the Te Deum. The third is a recording with Lorin Maazel and The Cleveland Orchestra of the Berlioz Symphonie Fantastique (CD80076 198CD case for the Cleveland Orchestra recording.2). In the fifth movement Berlioz specifies two bells ringing in the distance during the Dream of the Witches' Sabbath. In this recording, the distance was about 1,500 feet between the McGaffin Tower and Severance Hall. Multiple audio and video cables were run from the tower to Severance Hall. The orchestra's percussionist played the two bells from the carillon clavier while watching Maazel on a video monitor. Luckily, a predicted thunderstorm didn't happen. That would have added even more drama to an already exciting piece of music and recording session.

The joyous Cragin Peal, sadly, is not functional at this time. Our renovation will restore this three-bell peal that can be heard in Cleveland Heights when rung for weddings. We also plan a digital audio and video system to stream performances from the tower in the future.

Upcoming Events


Friday Lunchtime Spring Concert Series Begins

A Big Thank You

FMC Thanks all of our Partners, Donors, and  Friends for their support during 2015. Your generosity has helped to make this year a great success.
Our Partners-Our Donors-Our Founding Friends

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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