The Hopeman Memorial Carillon, a set of bells played from a keyboard and pedalboard, hangs in the tower of Rush Rhees Library. It is one of only seven carillons in New York State. At 50 bells, it is considered a large carillon; by comparison, the world's largest carillon in Bloomfield, Michigan, has 77 bells.
Carillonist Doris Aman and her students perform frequently throughout the year as well as to mark major University events. For more information, contact Doris at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The initial phase of the restoration began on August 24 and was completed on August 29 (see a photo essay here). The 32 smaller bells were removed and loaded on a trailer to have their clappers rebuilt/refitted in Meeks & Watson’s workshop in Ohio. The largest of these "small" bells was 12–14” in diameter and about 150 pounds. The 18 largest bells were too large to move. The clappers, however, were removed and replaced with new clappers.
In September, Meeks & Watson returned to replace the now-refurbished smaller bells. After some adjustments and a return trip, the bells are ringing again. And they sound fantastic!
The next chapter in the restoration saga will be upgrades to the keyboard, a new "umbrella" (which prevents water that collects at the base of the tower from leaking into the cabin—and on the keyboard—should the water rise above a certain level) AND a complete restoration and refurbishment of the practice carillon, which resides in Spurrier Hall.
That being said … let the bells ring out!
For more information or to make a donation, contact Jimmy Warlick in the music department at (585) 275-2828.
Images and Articles
Hand-drawn diagram of the bell tower (PDF)
Keys and frequencies of the carillon keyboard (PDF)