The Charles and Georgia Robertson
Baird Memorial Carillon at
Texas Tech University
Lubbock, Texas

Original bell installation in tower

View of the west tower on the Administration Building
at Texas Tech University with two of the larger carillon
bells visible.  The bells are played from a console located
below the bells, behind the tower windows.

Schedule of Carillon Recitals for the Summer of 2009
(All programs start at 8 p.m. unless otherwise noted;
benches are available in the Administration Building courtyard,
or bring your own lawn chairs and picnic)

Sunday June 7th - Roy Wilson and Cole Shooter, Lubbock, TX
Sunday, June 14th - Judson Maynard, Denton, TX
Sunday, June 21st - Judson Maynard, Denton, TX
Sunday, June 28th - Denise Koncelik, Wichita Falls, TX
Saturday, July 4th (at 9:00 a.m.) - Roy Wilson and Cole Shooter, Lubbock, TX
Sunday, July 5th - Roy Wilson and Cole Shooter, Lubbock, TX
Sunday, July 12th - Will Balch, Katy/Austin, TX
Sunday, July 19th - Arla Jo Anderton, Lubbock, TX and Soo Min and Soo Hyun Chae, Seoul, South Korea
Sunday, July 26th - Denise Koncelik, Wichita Falls, TX

Bell Tower
                and Full Moon July 6 2009

The Carillon Bell Tower at Texas Tech University, with full moon rising in the clouds - July 6, 2009
Photo by Eric Blackwell

The carillon was removed in late 2004 to allow structural and decorative repairs on the tower.
The bells were taken for refurbishment by the Ohio firm Meeks and Watson, and a new playing
console and a matching practice console were constructed.  Additional new bells were cast,
bringing the total number to 43.
The bells are being returned to the tower (August 19, 2005)!  The new playing console was
hoisted into the playing cabin on August 18th.  Final assembly and testing should be completed
in a few weeks.  The new matching practice console will be housed in the Texas Tech music department
in the studio of Dr. Jane Ann Wilson.

Carolyn Kennedy and Provost
          Bill MarcyFirst bell ready for installationFirst bell ready to be pulled into tower

The three photographs above show (left) Texas Tech Provost Bill Marcy and his assistant Caryolyn "Carillon" Kennedy,
(middle) the largest bell (bourdon) ready for hoisting to the tower, and (right) the bell nearing the workmen on the tower.

Heartfelt thanks to Texas Tech Provost Bill Marcy, his assistant
Carolyn (now known as "Carillon"!) Kennedy, the CM Foundation,
and the many "friends of the carillon" who have made all of this possible.

The Bourdon - "Big
              Bertha" - 800 lbs!

Our thanks to Provost Bill Marcy for this amazing telephoto picture of the largest bell (the bourdon) being eased into the tower.
The bell, which sounds the C# pitch, weighs about 800 pounds.

New playing console in
              shipping trailer

The new carollon playing console in its shipping trailer, prior to disassembly to allow the parts to be lifted
to the tower by crane, carried through a small trap door, and then reassembled in the playing cabin.
An identical console for practice use has been provided through the generosity of the CH Foundation of Lubbock.

Whitechapel Bell Foundry markings

The larger bells were originally provided by the Van Bergen company of Greenwood, South Carolina.
During refurbishment, Bill Meeks (of Meeks and Watson) noticed the hand-done lettering at the top of
the "Van Bergen" bells:  WBF for Whitechapel Bell Foundry (in England), and "Greenwood via Charleston"
below, indicating routing for shipping to the Van Bergen distribution center.  The Whitechapel Foundry
has confirmed making the bells for Van Bergen.

Carillon-related articles from the Texas Tech campus newspaper, the Daily Toreador
(may require free registration for access)


Dedicatory Plaque for the Carillon at the base of the Tower

NOTE:  Much of the material below pertains to the "original" carillon installation prior to the 2005 refurbishment and expansion.

Click Here for Pictures from the Carillon Clean-up Day, October 4, 2003


Carillonneur Arla Jo Anderton at the Texas Tech University carillon console
(before its replacement with a new console in August 2005)

 Click here to hear a segment of Londonderry Air played by Arla Jo Anderton

Judson Maynard
          at new carillon console in 2007

Judson Maynard at the new carillon console in 2007

Click here to hear "In Memoriam - Nine Eleven" by John Courter, played by Judson Maynard on June 14, 2009

          Wilson July 4 2009

 Carillonneur Roy Wilson playing the Matador Song on the new console on July 4, 2009

Click here to listen to his playing of the Matador Song


Some of the 36 bells which made up the Texas Tech Carillon
before the 2004-2005 renovation
(The roller bars and cranks connected to the bell clappers are
directly linked by wires to the peg-like keys of the console)
Click here to see a diagram of a typical carillon action mechanism
from the Guild of Carillonneurs in North America website
(and then use your browser's back arrow to return to this page)
The New Carillon
          Bells - July 4, 2009

Part of the new expanded carillon bell set (the netting is designed to keep the pigeons
out of the bell tower!)

A view of the back of the pre-2005 Texas Tech carillon console.  Note the wires extending from
the console through the ceiling where they connect to the roller bars and "cranks" which
cause the bell clappers to strike the appropriate bell when its key is struck.

Carillonneur Judson Maynard (standing) with Mary Jeanne van Appledorn
at the Texas Tech carillon console after Dr. Maynard's performance of one of Dr. van
Appledorn's compositions for carillon, June 2003.  Dr. Maynard was for many years
University Organist and Carillonneur at Texas Tech and was instrumental in playing,
teaching, and maintaining the instrument.

Some Comments about Carillons by Arla Jo Anderton, President of the Guild
of Carillonneurs in North America, 2002-2003

A carillon is a musical instrument composed of at least 23 carillon bells, arranged in chromatic sequence, so tuned as to produce concordant harmony when many bells are sounded together.  It is played from a keyboard that allows expression through variation of touch.  The keys are struck with the half-closed hand.  In addition, the larger bells are connected to foot pedals.

Texas Tech's Carillon:  Ruth Baird Larabee, in her will, requested that part of her estate be used to purchase and install a carillon in memory of her parents.  They had donated funds to the University of Michigan for its grand carillon in Burton Tower.  Mrs. Larabee left farmland and oil royalties to Texas Tech University.  A small portion of her estate was used to install the carillon.

The 36 bell Charles and Georgia Robertson Baird Memorial Carillon was installed in the west tower of the Texas Tech University Administration Building in 1976.  The largest bell (the bourdon) weighs approximately 800 pounds.  The smallest bell weighs about 8 pounds.  The 15 larger (lower pitched) bells were cast in 1974 by the van Bergen company in South Carolina. The 21 bells of higher pitch were cast by the French carillon maker Paccard in 1976.   The approximate value of these beautiful-sounding bells is $250,000.  Installation of the bells was personally supervised by Harry (Harramus) van Bergen, Sr., who was 70 years old at the time.  It is said that he became disgusted with the young helpers hired by Texas Tech for the project because they kept going on breaks while he wanted to get on with the work!

For many years the carillon has been played before the Carol of Lights ceremony (a pre-Christmas tradition at Texas Tech).  It also has been played at 1:00 p.m. each July 4th, in conjunction with a ceremonial ringing of the Liberty Bell in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

The 2003 summer carillon recital series is a renewal of what was for many years a summertime tradition at Texas Tech.

Wonderful recent news is that through the encouragement and support of Dr. Mary Jeanne van Appledorn, Carillonneur/Organist Dr. C. Roy Wilson is now working with several musicians, teaching them to play the carillon.

Dr. C. Roy Wilson at the Texas Tech carillon console - note his hand position for
striking the peg-like "keys" known as "batons".

Link to the Guild of Carillonneurs in North America (GCNA)

The Duke University Chapel Carillon

Playing the Carillon: An Introductory Method, by John Gouwens

Texas Tech University

Department of Music at Texas Tech

This page last updated on June 20, 2013
Photos and MP3 Music files of the carillon by Eric Blackwell, M.D.
except as otherwise noted