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  • Title: Tower Bell Foundation
    Descriptive info: .. Tower Bell Foundation.. The bells of Minneapolis City Hall and Hennepin County Courthouse.. The Tower Bell Foundation holds bell concerts regularly at Minneapolis City Hall-Hennepin County Courthouse.. The Foundation is also heading up an effort to expand and/or renovate the bells.. The Foundation is chaired by.. Tony Hill.. , who also produces the concerts.. You can look up the concert schedule online here or find out about other activities of the Foundation.. The Tower Bell Foundation's activities.. An.. overview.. of the Foundation's activities.. Minneapolis City Hall-Hennepin County Courthouse bells.. concert schedule.. Information about our 15 bells,.. with photos of each bell.. Learn about our efforts to.. save the bells.. Hire us to play your.. private event.. in the Rotunda.. Read about the.. installation of the bells.. and the first performances in 1896.. Read our newsletter.. Spring 2005.. Fall 2005.. Summer 2008.. Learn about our.. links to other bell players and installations.. Send.. e-mail.. to the producer of the bell concerts.. Other bell-related links.. AllChimes.. org.. - The Tower Bell Chimers Web Site.. The Guild of Carillonneurs in North America.. Our concerts are possible through the cooperation of the.. Municipal Building Commission.. , the joint city-county entity that manages the building.. The largest bell in an instrument is called the bourdon.. The bourdon in our tower is 5 feet 8 inches in diameter and weighs 7300 pounds.. It sounds the note Bb below middle C.. Naturally, the politicians who built the tower dedicated it to themselves.. Standing next to the bourdon is Jean Mellem, one of our volunteer chimes players.. Below is another view of the same bell with the Hubert H.. Humphrey Metrodome in the background through one of the four open colonnades of the City Hall tower.. The bell at center was given by the Dayton family in memory of David Draper Dayton.. This was part of an addition of four bells, the other three of which are in the picture at the top of this page, done in 1923-24 which added to the range of the bells sufficiently to permit the playing of the national anthem.. Another member of the Dayton family, Donald C.. Dayton, led the next major renovation of the bells in 1972.. The bells were automated in that round and are now played from an electric keyboard (below) from the Rotunda.. Tony Hill, Chair of the Tower Bell Foundation, plays "The Star Spangled Banner" at the conclusion of the New Year's concert in the first hour of 1999..  ...   surrounded by marble, stained glass, and sculpture.. In October 2001, Sharon Sayles Belton, mayor at the time, tries her hand at the keyboard.. She was dressed as the Statue of Liberty for a children's party,.. The Tower Bell Foundation always encourages new talent.. Anna, who attended the same party with her brother Raleigh, plays "Home on the Range.. " (Send a letter of interest to the address below if you'd like to join our roster of players.. The gargoyles which surround the elevators are permanent audience members for our concerts.. (The one at right is called "Razz.. ").. Some facts about the bells.. The bells of Minneapolis City Hall and Hennepin County Courthouse were cast by the Meneely Company of Troy, New York in 1895 and 1923.. A fifteenth bell was cast in 1972 by the Petit & Fritzen foundry of Aarle-Rixtel, Netherlands, and installed by the Verdin Co.. of Cincinnati.. The largest bell (pictured above) weighs 7283 pounds; the smallest bell (pictured at top) weighs only 285 pounds.. The total weight of the 15 bells is 31,697 pounds - nearly 16 tons.. The bells have a range of an octave and a fifth (bearing in mind that 'fifth' doesn't mean the same in music as it does in mathematics), a total of twelve "white notes".. There are three "black notes".. The bells are played a step higher on the keyboard, not unlike a clarinet or trumpet.. The sound of the bells is carried to the Rotunda instantaneously by an amplification system.. Until the U.. S.. Courthouse was built in 1996, it was impossible to hear the bells on the sidewalk below the tower.. Now the sound bounces off the Courthouse and can be heard on the 4th Street side of City Hall.. It is possible to prop open the 4th Street doors to City Hall and hear this reflected sound while playing the bells.. (The amplifier must be turned down as well.. ) This causes an odd 1.. 5 second delay for the player.. The building is deeded right down the middle between the City of Minneapolis and Hennepin County.. The side of the building along 3rd Avenue is the city side, and the side along 4th Avenue is the county side.. The property line passes right through the belfry, meaning some of the bells are on land owned by the city and some on land owned by the county.. Tower Bell Foundation.. B27 City Hall.. Minneapolis, Minnesota 55415.. (612) 673-5311.. fax: (612) 465-2416..

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  • Title: Tower Bell Foundation
    Descriptive info: FACTS ABOUT THE TOWER BELL FOUNDATION.. and its activities.. BELL CONCERTS.. WHO.. The foundation is a group of community members concerned about the condition and use of the bells.. Some of the members are professional musicians; others are former officeholders.. A few are simply concerned citizens.. The foundation uses a team of volunteers and also some of the finest pianists in the city to play the bells.. The summer concerts are sponsored by downtown businesses.. In a typical year, we have more than a dozen business cosponsors.. The patriotic concerts are sponsored by the James Ballentine VFW Club.. Some of the other sponsors we have worked with in the past include the Minneapolis Central Labor Union for Labor Day and the Sons of Norway for Syttende Mai.. WHAT.. The foundation produces a schedule of about 58.. concerts.. per year.. Half of these are the summer pops series, a noontime program of popular music every Friday from May through September.. The foundation also has concerts on patriotic and religious holidays.. Occasionally, the foundation participates in ceremonies held in the Rotunda of the Municipal Building.. WHEN.. All concerts are from noon to 1:00 p.. m.. , except Easter Sunday, which is from 7:00 to 8:00 a.. ; Good Friday and Christmas Eve, from 4:30 to 5:30 p.. , and New Year's, from 11:00 p.. to 12:30 a.. WHERE.. All concerts are held on the historic bells of Minneapolis City Hall and Hennepin County Courthouse.. The sound can be heard over a good portion of downtown Minneapolis, chiefly where the tower can be seen.. Some prime listening locations are the north plaza of the Hennepin County Government Center, the park opposite the Star Tribune, the plaza of the Federal Courts Building, and the front lawn of the Public Service Center.. The sound is also piped into the Rotunda of the building, where the player sits.. WHY.. The foundation noted the relative little use of the bells and proposed concerts as a good use of the instrument.. We started with one concert in May 1990.. Following that success, we decided to hold three more concerts that year.. Since the Municipal Building Commission had recently eliminated the traditional concerts, the foundation decided to take over production of those as well, beginning in December 1990.. In 1991, the foundation held its first series of regular Friday concerts.. In 1993, the foundation was incorporated and produced its first comprehensive schedule of 41 concerts.. It seems that were it not for our efforts, the bells would sit idle.. HOW.. The foundation relies on volunteer labor and contributions from the community to carry out its concert schedule.. The foundation has no paid staff and receives no public funds.. CHIME RENOVATION.. Some of the members are professional musicians; others are retired officeholders.. The foundation proposes hiring some of the finest campanologists (bell experts) in the world to fix the bells, bring them up to modern tuning standards, and if that is successful, to manufacture additional bells.. The foundation would like to raise funds for and oversee the renovation of the bells.. The bells are considerably out of tune and are held in place by deteriorating hardware.. As a long-range goal, the foundation would like to see the bells built into a larger instrument, complete with a return to manual playing.. The foundation proposes to raise funds for the tuning of the bells immediately.. The tuning would take place as soon as adequate funds were raised.. Following an evaluation of the  ...   tuning, return transportation, storage, and reinstallation in the tower.. QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS.. What about the separation of church and state?.. The foundation believes that since more than 80% of the concerts are secular in nature, approval of our concert schedule by the Municipal Building Commission does not violate the doctrine of separation.. The foundation itself is not a government agency.. The religious concerts reflect multiple religious traditions.. Why are the bells out of tune?.. The bells have never been in tune.. Fourteen of them were cast by the Meneely company of Troy, N.. Y.. , a firm which never learned to tune its bells.. They simply cast their bells to an approximate tuning standard.. Most other founders had long since cast their bells to more precise standards.. Modern methods make it possible to bring our historic bells up to contemporary standards.. What if the tuning is not a success?.. We know that the tuning will greatly improve the sound quality of the bells.. However, it is not possible to know if the tone will be improved sufficiently to permit addition of new bells to the instrument.. The foundation will evaluate the sound after the tuning is completed and then make a decision whether or not to proceed with expanding the bells into a larger instrument.. If the tuning is not a success, the foundation will proceed with renovation of the existing bell structure and reinstall the newly-tuned bells in the belfry.. What will the bell renovation cost?.. That depends on what the foundation chooses from the proposals of the various bell foundries.. The tuning process will likely cost approximately $60,000.. Construction of a large chime will take the total pricetag closer to $500,000.. The cost could vary depending on the number of new bells and the inclusion of optional features in the design.. The foundation's expectation is that the cost will be in the range of $400,000 to $700,000.. Can the tower hold more bells?.. There is no reason to believe it couldn't.. The existing bells weigh 30,000 pounds.. If 43 new bells were added (one of the bellfounders' proposals), their total weight would be only 5,000 pounds, since the new bells would be higher in pitch and therefore smaller than the existing bells.. Since the tower is made of solid granite, it does not appear that the increased load would cause a problem.. The foundation expects to retain a structural engineer to give a definitive answer to the question if the decision to proceed with addition of new bells is made.. Also, there is plenty of room in the belfry for new bells.. Who would play the enhanced chime?.. The foundation hopes that the people who play the bells now would learn to play the manual chime.. The foundation would also like to recruit interested community members and music students to learn the bells, possibly recruiting a teacher or offering scholarships to a chime school.. The foundation would also like to occasionally host.. visiting artists.. from other bell installations in the world.. No bell installation in the United States.. is in as prime an urban setting as the Minneapolis City Hall chime.. With every playing, the chime is heard not only by people who sought the experience, but also by thousands of people downtown who would hear the music as part of the environment.. For further information contact: Tower Bell Foundation B27 City Hall Minneapolis, Minnesota 55415 (612) 673-5311 fax: (612) 465-2416.. Return to the the home page of the..

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  • Title: 2013 Tower Bell Foundation Concert Schedule
    Descriptive info: 2013 Concert Schedule.. All concerts Noon to 1:00 p.. except as noted.. All concerts are free and open to the public.. Monday, January 21.. King's Birthday.. Thursday, February 14.. Valentine's Day.. Monday, February 18.. Washington's Birthday.. Sunday, March 17.. St.. Patrick's Day.. Tuesday, March 26.. Passover.. Thursday, March 28.. Holy Week.. Friday, March 29.. Good Friday (4:30 p.. Sunday, March 31.. Easter Sunday (10:00 a.. Friday, May 3.. Summer pops.. Friday, May 10.. Summer pops.. Friday, May 17.. Syttende Mai.. Sunday, May 19.. Special summer (2-4 PM).. Friday, May 24/TD>.. Monday, May 27.. Memorial Day.. Friday, May 31.. Friday, June 7.. Summer pops (11:30 AM-Noon & 1-1:30 PM).. Sunday, June 9.. Friday, June 14.. Flag Day.. Friday, June 21.. Friday, June 28.. Svenskarnas Dag.. Thursday, July 4.. Independence Day.. Friday, July 5.. Sunday, July 7.. Friday, July 12.. Friday, July 19.. Friday,  ...   13.. Monday, October 14.. Columbus Day.. Thursday, October 31.. Reformation Day.. Monday, November 11.. Veterans Day.. Thursday, November 28.. Thanksgiving.. Friday, November 29.. Hanukkah.. Thursday, December 19.. Holiday pops.. Friday, December 20.. Christmas week.. Monday, December 23.. Tuesday, December 24.. Christmas Eve (4:30 p.. Wednesday, December 25.. Christmas Day.. Thursday, December 26.. Kwanzaa.. Tuesday, December 31.. New Year's Eve (11 p.. -12:30 a.. Optimum listening spots:.. 4th Street Plaza, U.. Courthouse, 300 S.. 4th St.. 5th Street Plaza, Hennepin County Government Center, 300 S.. 6th St.. Lawn, Public Service Center, 250 S.. Private park opposite the.. Star Tribune.. , 5th St.. and Portland Ave.. Listeners are welcome in the 4th Street Rotunda of City Hall, where the bells are played, at all concerts held during business hours.. For further information contact: Tower Bell Foundation B27 City Hall Minneapolis, Minnesota 55415 (612) 673-5311..

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  • Title: The bells of Minneapolis City Hall and Hennepin County Courthouse
    Descriptive info: Biographies of our bells.. Here are the vital statistics for each of the bells that comprise our instrument.. Bell No.. 1 - Middle C.. Weight (lb.. ):.. 7283.. Diameter (in.. 68.. Year cast:.. 1895.. Founder:.. Meneely Bell Co.. , Troy, N.. True note:.. Bb below middle C.. INSCRIPTION:.. This Building Was Erected by the Board of Court House and City Hall Commission Organized April 25, 1887.. Commissioners.. Geo.. A.. Brackett Jno.. DeLaittre John C.. Oswald Wm.. S.. Chowen Oliver T.. Erickson Lars Swenson.. David M.. Clough Edward M.. Johnson John Swift Edgar F.. Comstock Titus Mareck Wm.. D.. Washburn.. Charles P.. Preston, Secretary.. Architects Frank B.. Long --- Frederick Kees.. 2 - D above middle C.. 5400.. 64.. Middle C.. 3 - E above middle C.. 3780.. 56.. D above middle C.. 4 - F above middle C.. 3240.. 52.. 5.. E above middle C.. 5 - F# above middle C.. 2556.. 49.. 1924.. Donated by the Edward M.. and Effie R.. Johnson Foundation 1923.. Trustees.. Mary Case Barney.. William C.. Johnson.. Samuel E.. Forest.. 6 - G above middle C.. 2160.. 46.. F above middle C.. 7 - A above middle C.. 1620.. 42.. G above middle C.. The Gift of the Pioneer Fireproof Construction Co..  ...   Bb above middle C.. 11 - C# above high C.. 704.. 31.. 1972.. Petit & Fritzen Bellfoundry, Aarle-Rixtle, Netherlands.. B above middle C.. 12 - D above high C.. 594.. 30.. High C.. The gift of Sarah M.. Preston, daughter of Chas.. P.. Preston.. D.. 13 - E above high C.. 453.. 27.. D above high C.. We the pupils of the Minneapolis Public Schools Give This Bell That The Star Spangled Banner May Say to Our Citizens Liberty and Peace for All.. 14 - F above high C.. 387.. 26.. Eb above high C.. This bell given as a testimonial to J.. H.. Auld, municipal chime player, whose efforts made possible the four additional bells which were erected AD1924.. Donated by Public Spirited Citizens.. 15 - G above high C.. 285.. 23.. Here is the layout of the bells within the tower:.. Source of bell weights: Bells no.. 1, 5, 11, 13, 14, and 15 are from founders' records.. Bells 2-4, 6-10, and 12 are from an estimate by Meeks, Watson & Co.. , adjusted based on total weight of the original 10 bells per founder's records.. Tower Bell Foundation B27 City Hall Minneapolis, Minnesota 55415 (612) 673-5311 fax: (612) 465-2416.. Return to the.. Main page..

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  • Title:
    Descriptive info: TOWER BELL FOUNDATION CHIME REVITALIZATION PROGRAM The Tower Bell Foundation proposes to raise funds for and direct the revitalization of the landmark chime of Minneapolis City Hall and Hennepin County Courthouse.. The goal is to make the Minneapolis City Hall-Hennepin County Courthouse Chime one of the premier musical instruments of its kind in North America.. There are three essential aspects of this program: 1) Tuning the existing bells; several of the bells are out of tune.. Any work on the bells should begin with this step.. 2)  ...   of the bells included automation; this permits the bells to be rung on the quarter hour but loses some of the musicality of the bells when played in concert.. The foundation proposes retention of the present automated system to drive the existing bells to be played both manually and automatically.. The new bells would only be playable manually.. The foundation will also continue its concert series until the actual work on the bells begins.. Tower Bell Foundation B27 City Hall Minneapolis, Minnesota 55415 (612) 673-5311 Fax: (612) 465-2416..

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  • Title: Tower Bell Foundation
    Descriptive info: Use of bells for private events.. In 2005, the.. began renting the Rotunda of Minneapolis City Hall & Hennepin County Courthouse for.. private events.. , such as weddings, funerals, and receptions.. Once the Municipal Building Commission has approved such a rental request, the event organizers may contract with the Tower Bell Foundation to provide bell playing at these events.. For event attendees, hearing the bells as they approach or leave the building can add a dramatic note to whatever celebration is taking place and underscores the historic associations with the building.. The Tower Bell Foundation charges $100.. 00 per hour for this playing with a minimum of one hour.. This is in addition to the rental fee for use of the Rotunda charged by the Municipal Building Commission.. Here are some guidelines:.. Only players supplied by the Tower Bell Foundation may play the bells.. Our players are trained in the use  ...   bells is for them to be played while guests are arriving.. They are best heard outside.. Since attendees to events in the Rotunda generally arrive through the 4th Street entrance, they will hear the bells for several minutes as they approach the building.. When a large number of people are gathered inside the Rotunda, it is nearly impossible for the bells to be heard there.. Event organizers may request special music of the player, preferably in advance; however, due to the limitations in the range of the instrument, not all music can be suitably rendered on our bells.. Therefore, it is better if organizers can have a list of alternate selections to be played.. It is better still to let the player pick appropriate music given the nature of the event and his or her experience and repertory.. The bells are not suitably tuned in order to play along with other instruments..

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  • Title: Press coverage of the premiere of the bells, March 1896
    Descriptive info: These are actual transcripts of articles printed in the Minneapolis Journal and the Minneapolis Tribune the week the bells were installed and first played.. The bells shiny and new and ready to be hoisted into the tower.. Courtesy Minnesota Historical Society collections.. Minneapolis Tribune, March 11, 1896, p.. 5.. MUSIC IN THE AIR.. MELODIOUS SOUNDS FROM THE COURT HOUSE TOWER.. The Largest Chime in the United States Introduced to the People of Minneapolis The Bells Were Hung Sooner Than Expected The Burst of Music Was So Unexpected as to Be Almost Startling Several Tunes Were Played From All Indications the Bells Are in Tune Details for Future Ringing Still to Be Arranged.. Ring out, great bells, in purest bliss, Ring luck to Minneapolis.. And high o er head a million times, Portray the poet s rhythmic rhymes, In chimes, Chimes, Chimes, Chimes.. While far beneath, as ceaseless flows, The living population goes For years to come ten thousand times, To listen to the pealing rhymes, Of chimes, Chimes, Chimes, Chimes.. The great chimes of the court house and city hall is [sic] now a reality.. Yesterday, when everybody was quite certain that it would be a week before the bells were in condition to ring, the chime suddenly rang out at about 4 o clock in the afternoon, and the sweet burst of gaint [sic] music swelled out until the air was as full of melody, as it had been with snowflakes in the morning.. Pedestrians on the street, everywhere, people in carriages, business men, everybody dropped everything to listen.. That is everybody except the people at work in the court house and city hall, for strange to say, the sound was hardly heard within the massive building high over which the bells were swinging [sic] and reverberating with every stroke of the huge live oak clappers.. As far as could be judged from the streets below, the chime is a great success.. The tones were unusually sweet, and even the low notes where in most chimes the coarse tones kill the music of the whole chime, the notes seemed muffled and pleasant to the ear.. In fact, the music was so entrancing that people who were not interested in music stopped to listen to the unique harmony wafted from the tower.. It is safe to say that 10,000 eyes were directed toward that tower as the bells were ringing yesterday afternoon.. So far there have been no particular arrangements for the ringing of the chime.. The trio of bells will strike in a partial chime every quarter hour, automatically, and on the full hour it is hoped that an air can be played.. It will cost considerable, however, to keep a man around to play the chime, as the bells are rung by hand with little levers, which are marked with the notes of the scale.. Several applications for the position are already filed with the board of county commissioners.. A number of airs were tried yesterday, the first being "America," "The Blue Bells of Scotland," "Old Black Joe," "Home Sweet Home," and other favorites were tried and were recognized by people many blocks away.. The wind was blowing directly away from the business center of the city, and yet the music was plainly heard in the business districts.. Away over across the river at the University the music was plainly heard, and the airs were distinguishable.. The success of the bells is a pleasant surprise.. The only other chime in the city is that of the Church of the Redeemer, but the court house chime is as superior to that as a grand church organ is superior to an old melodian.. The chimes of other American cities are obliged to take a back seat, and the St.. Paul court house chime dwindles into absolute insignificance beside the giant 10 bells in the huge tower of the Minneapolis court house and city hall.. ***********.. Minneapolis Journal, March 11, 1896, p.. 6.. CHIMES RING TONIGHT.. A Free Concert to be Given on the Courthouse Bells.. A concert will be given this evening between 8 and 9 o clock, in which Chester Meneely will be the sole performer.. He will play a program on the courthouse bells to which all Minneapolis is invited to listen.. The last bells were put in place yesterday afternoon, about 5 o clock, and everything is in perfect order.. The impromptu program played yesterday afternoon was enough to convince the most skeptical that the scale of bells was singularly exact and the tones clear and sweet.. The charming effect of the chime is due, however, quite as much to the excellent setting which the bells are given in the courthouse tower, being placed close under the roof, where the sound is thrown earthward through the wide interstices between the pillars which support the roof.. The program tonight is as follows, each tune to be repeated:.. "Blue Bells of Scotland.. ".. "The Harp that Once Through Tara s Halls.. "America.. "Flow Gently, Sweet Afton.. "Lauriger Horatius.. "Auld Lang Syne.. "Long, Long Ago.. "The Old Kentucky Home.. "Bonnie Doon.. Dutch National Air.. Swedish Folksong.. "Lorelei.. "Life Let Us Cherish.. "Home, Sweet Home.. Minneapolis Journal, March 11, 1996, p.. 2.. WHAT DO YOU THINK OF THE BELLS?.. To the Musicians and Music Lovers of Minneapolis:.. The chime of bells just placed in the new courthouse, will be rung Wednesday evening from 8 till 9 o clock and on Thursday afternoon from 3 to 4 o clock.. These bells have not been accepted by the undersigned, and will not be unless they are entirely satisfactory to the musicians and music lovers of this city.. The undersigned will be under obligations to all who will send to C.. P.. Preston, secretary, their opinions concerning said bells, whether said opinions are favorable or otherwise.. Unless we hear from you to the contrary, we shall assume that you are entirely pleased with the bells.. THE BOARD OF COURT HOUSE AND CITY HALL COMMISSIONERS.. Minneapolis Journal, March 12, 1896, p.. 1.. MUSIC AT YOUR DOOR.. Delivered to Any Distance by the Court House Chime.. FIRST CONCERT LAST NIGHT.. Musicians Generally Approve the Chime and Say It s in Good Tune.. The bell-ringing entertainment given by the Troy bell-ringer, Chester Meneely, last night from 8 to 9, was attended by the traditional "large and appreciative" audience.. The performance itself was out of sight, in fact as the musical critics say it was far above the audience about 290 feet.. Nevertheless it was very much in evidence through the medium of hearing.. It was the most popular entertainment ever given in Minneapolis, for it was the first attended by the whole city, and it is not recorded that anyone went before it was over.. The suburbanites were present in full number, and a telegram from Rogers, Minn.. , announces that part of the auditorium was delighted with "Bonny Doon," though the sounds were so long getting to them that they began to applaud about the time the performance had progressed to the next number.. For the benefit of the man who has not heard of the  ...   Meneely as sole performer.. The people stood in groups in the shadow of lofty buildings, windows were opened to the night air to admit of the entrance of swelling music, voices were hushed while ears were turned to listen, and as the chimes sang their message, the unnumbered audience waited in pleased quiet, until the end.. The concert offered the novel charm of hearing at a far distance, and the people of Minneapolis were not the only listeners who heard the chime as it rang "The Blue Bells of Scotland," or pealed the sweeter melody of "Flow gently sweet Afton among thy green braes.. " As an evidence of the distance at which the bells were heard, the following telegram came to THE TRIBUNE, even as the last notes of "Home Sweet Home" rang on the frosty air: It was dated, Rogers, Minn.. , "Hurrah for the chimes.. We have enjoyed America and Bonnie Doon from this distance, congratulation, and long may they ring.. Plummer and MacMullan.. Rogers lies to the Southwest [sic] of Minneapolis, a little distance beyond Osseo, something like 12 or 15 miles.. The program which occupied an hour in the ringing, was composed of song favorites, known in many lands.. The tunes were repeated, so that tardy ears could grasp the second playing, should they have missed the first.. The selections were:.. "The Harp That Once Through Tara s Halls.. Swedish Folk Song.. INTO THE PHONOGRAPH.. The first official trial of the court house chime took place yesterday afternoon for the special benefit of Thomas C.. Hough, the local phonographer.. The bells will now go on record and in a short time will be heard in the principal cities of the United States.. To hear these bells in distant places will be of special interest, as they constitute the largest chime in the world, weighing 30,000 pounds and costing $10,000.. The chime was operated by Chester Meneely.. The first piece of music recorded was, "Old Folks at Home.. The initial trial was not successful for phonograph purposes, as the instrument was not placed in a favorable position, the reproduction being too loud; this was soon remedied, however, and the recording perfected.. Other numbers rendered were "Blue Bells of Scotland," "America," "Change Melody," and "Home Sweet Home.. " The bells are in the key of Bb.. One is Ab.. , thereby making it possible to play in two different keys.. Mr.. Meneely is proud of his work and very much satisfied with the test.. He says he has never seen a tower built as favorably for chimes as that of the new court house.. The bells are 10 in number, and hang at a distance of 290 feet above the street.. The ascent of the tower is fraught with interest, particularly at night when the city lies quiet, like a sleeping animal, with only its twinkling lights and occasional rumble of a passing car to give evidence that the creature lives and is only sleeping.. At night the monster court house is deserted except for a dew officials and occasional visitors, and though the great arc lights in the marble corridors illume the long passages, there is seldom a footfall on the tesselated [sic] floor.. The building was closed to visitors last evening, saving only a favored few, and the night watch kept guard of the door.. On the rise to the tower, where the bells hang, the elevator passes four floors and stops at the fifth.. Then, with the glimmering lantern going before, the way lies through the unfinished halls where the jails and dungeons lurk in the shadow, past black iron cages, of which there are 42 to serve as resting places for the criminals and felons, past the gloomy, awesome cells, in which shall be lodged the worst and most unmanageable of the miscreants, then on into the vastness of the unfinished spaces over the county side of the court house, until the foot of the tower is reached, and a narrow wooden door is the only means of ingress to the shaft.. Up the narrow, winding stairs, past the openings which look on the city below, up, up, with panting breath and labored steps, until the belfry hangs in mid air.. Through its roof protrudes the bell rope, which is operated by a huge lever, and above it hangs the chime, ready to respond to the sturdy stroke of the bell ringer, for every stroke a tune, for every tune a waiting ear.. The repertory of the bells is not limited [sic] and through the changing seasons will ring the merry chimes.. By request another concert will be given on the court house bells this afternoon at 3 o clock.. The following pieces will be played: Changes, "Old Folks at Home," "Old Dog Tray," "What Fairylike Music," "Chiming Bells," "Fair Harvard," "Bonnie Doon," "The Last Rose of Summer," "Duncan Gray," "Robin Adair," "Hail Columbia," "America," "Marching Through Georgia," "Two Roses," "Home Sweet Home.. Minneapolis Tribune, March 13, 1896, p.. ANOTHER BELL CONCERT.. By Special Request, An Interesting Program Will Be Rendered From the Court House and City Hall Tower This Evening.. By special request one more concert will be given on the new court house bells this evening at 8 o clock.. The following pieces will be rendered: Westminster Clock Changes; A Poor Wayfaring Man;" Long, Long Ago; Flow Gently Sweet Avon; [sic] Old Kentucky Home; March of the Men of Harleck; Bonnie Doon; The Last Rose of Summer; Duncan Gray; The Bells of London; Holland National Air; Robin Adair; Paradise Alley; Blue Bells of Scotland; Chime Again, Beautiful Bells; The Lass of Richmond Hill; America; The Harp That Once Through Tara s Halls; Home, Sweet Home.. Minneapolis Tribune, March 15, 1896, p.. SACRED CONCERT.. The New Chimes Will Ring an Afternoon Program for All to Hear.. A sacred concert will be rung by the city hall and court house chimes this afternoon at 2 o clock.. The following pieces will be played.. "Adeste Fideles," "Holy! Holy! Holy! Lord God Almighty," "Duke Street," "Nearer My God to Thee," Wilmot, "Hark! Hark! My Soul," "Evening Hymn, " "The Heavens are Telling," Schumann.. "Abide With Me," Fleming, "Vesper Hymn," Jewels, "Old Hundred.. Minneapolis Tribune, March 16, 1896, p.. GAVE A SACRED CONCERT.. Court House and City Hall Chimes Entertain Thousands of Citizens on Sunday Afternoon.. The sacret [sic] concert given yesterday afternoon on the court house and city hall chime was the incentive of brining out thousands who during the week had not been able to hear them.. Hundreds thronged through the corridors of the large building in the hope of being able to ascend the tower and view the much talked-of bells.. This priviledge [sic] was, however, not allowed them, and they had to be satisfied with enjoying only the sense of hearing.. Chester Meneely, as heretofore, manipulated the chime, and discoursed music for nearly two hours.. This evening a special request concert will be given; this will be the last concert that Chester Meneely will give, as he and his father intend to return to their home in Troy, N.. , Tuesday.. main page..

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  • Title: The Tower Bell Foundation and others in belldom
    Descriptive info: Officers and players of the Tower Bell Foundation occasionally meet up with notables and others who do the same things.. Watch this space for highlights of these activities!.. THREE MINNESOTA BELL PLAYERS.. - Dean Robinson, carillonneur of the Rochester Carillon at the Mayo Clinic (left), Tony Hill, Chair of the City Hall Carillon Committee (now the Tower Bell Foundation), Minneapolis (center), and David Johnson, carillonneur of House of Hope Presbyterian Church, St.. Paul (right), met for a photo on a Sunday afternoon in June 2001.. ENGINEERING STUDY FOR THE BELLS.. - Minneapolis engineer William M.. Volna stands next to the bourdon.. Volna is advising the Foundation on issues related to the renovation and expansion of the instrument.. BELLS CONTRIBUTED TO TWINS PENNANT DRIVE.. - The bells played for Twins home games for the last two months of the 2002 season.. Retired Twins great Tony  ...   press conference to announce the bell concerts for the Twins.. At right is Mayor R.. T.. Rybak.. BELFRY VISIT.. - Tony Hill, Chair of the Tower Bell Foundation, visits Gordon Slater, Dominion Carillonneur of Canada, in his player's nest in the Peace Tower of the Houses of Parliament in Ottawa.. Slater has been Canada's official carillonneur since age 27.. At right is the clavier, by which Slater rings the carillon's 53 bells.. The room is below the clock in the photo below.. A BELLFOUNDER FROM DOWN UNDER.. - Hervey Bagot, head of Bagot Bellfoundries in Australia, visited our tower during a tour of Midwestern bell facilities in June 1999.. A VISITOR FROM THE OTHER TWIN.. - David Johnson, carillonneur of House of Hope Presbyterian Church in St.. Paul, inspects some of the bells at our installation in Minneapolis, including the smallest bell, in August 2004..

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