|History of the Campuses and Buildings of the University of Rochester|
|United States Hotel||Prince Street Campus||Eastman School of Music||Medical Center||River Campus||Mid-Campus||South Campus||Mt. Hope Campus||Graduate, Family and Veteran Housing||Central Utilities||Other Off-Site Buildings|
|River Campus||Rush Rhees Library||Hopeman
Memorial Chime and Carillon
|Arendt Willem Hopeman Portrait and
Plaque in Rush Rhees Library
||Carillon Details from Rochester Review||Cutaway drawing of Carillon|
|Hopeman Memorial Chimes Prior to Hanging in Library Tower (September 1929)-Total Weight, Sixteen Tons|
|Carillon Bells in Library Tower|
| Bells in the 1930 Hopeman Memorial Chime | Contract
between University of Rochester and Royal Eijsbouts Ltd., bellfoundry of
Asten, 1972 |
| National Netherlands Carillon Society certification of carillon bells 1973 | Keys and frequencies of the carillon keyboard by Dr. Edwin Tan (UR PhD 2010) |
| Detail of Carillon Playing Mechanism |
|Carillon Redux: Steve Boerner's brilliant 3D graphic arts series accompanied the 2017 refurbishment|
|: Setting the Scene||Starting the Lantern||Continuing the Lantern||Lantern Deck and Upper Dome||Wrapping Up|
Carillons have existed in the Low Countries since the Sixteenth Century but only became popular in the United States in the 1920s. The first modern carillon in this country was installed in 1922 at the Church of Our Lady of Good Voyage in Gloucester, Massachusetts. The first in New York State was donated by John D. Rockefeller, Jr. to the Park Avenue Baptist Church in New York City in 1925. This church moved to Riverside Drive in 1931 with the relocated carillon having been expanded to 72 bells, the largest in the world at the time. The second instrument was installed at the Albany city hall in 1927 and the third at St. Thomas Episcopal Church in New York City in 1929. These were widely publicized and concerts were often broadcast over radio.
The new library building on the River Campus for Men was seen as an ideal location for a carillon, which had become popular in the United States in the late 1920s. Costs proved prohibitive even for a downsized chime of less than 23 bells and a single bell might have ended up being installed in the library tower when the three children of contractor Arendt W. Hopeman—a native of the Netherlands—donated a chime of 17 bells that was installed in the tower of the new Rush Rhees Library in 1930.. The Hopemans also paid to expand the lantern tower above the library dome to house the bells.
The Hopeman Memorial
Chimes were presented to the University of Rochester in 1930 by Albert A.
Hopeman, Bertram C. Hopeman, and J. Margaret Hopeman in memory of their
father, the late Arendt Willem Hopeman. The seventeen bells were installed
in the Rush Rhees Library tower by Meneely and Company of Watervliet, New
York, with Harold Gleason of the Eastman School acting as music
The ringing of the chimes was an unpaid service provided by various members of the University community. In 1930, the year the River Campus opened for students, English professor John R. Slater was placed in charge of the chimes, which he rang regularly for the next twelve years. By the time he retired in 1942, Slater had composed several hundred pieces especially for the Hopeman Memorial Chimes.
Robert F. Metzdorf became assistant bellman in 1937 and was promoted to chief bellman in 1942. He was succeeded in 1949 by Arthur Frackenpohl. G. Marshall Abbey succeed him circa 1953. In May 1954 the Bellman's Society was organized to involve students in the ringing of the chimes. It consisted of a limited number of undergraduates selected through competition, with two senior bellman in charge. The Bellman's Society disbanded sometime in the mid-1980s.
Two additional bells, a middle F sharp and upper G, were made by the Dutch company Petit and Fritsen, Ltd. and added in 1956. All necessary expenses, along with a $10,000 maintenance endowment, were borne by the Hopeman Family in addition to their original gift. By 1973, however, an extensive study pf the proper care of the chimes determined that some were beyond repair or tuning. Repair costs were high enough to consider a replacement of the entire installation. Through Schulmerich Carillons, Inc. the University was put in touch with the Royal Eijsbouts Bellfoundry Ltd. of Asten, Holland, who conducted a thorough evaluation of the bells. It was their strong recommendation that a full carillon be installed to allow for a greater range of music. The original bells were removed, and six of the decommissioned bells were transferred to Christ Church at 141 Rochester's East Avenue, where they sound daily on the hour.
The Hopeman Memorial Carillon was formally dedicated on December 9, 1973 with a concert on the Eastman Quadrangle. Its fifty bells cover four octaves and weigh a total of 6,668 pounds. The traditional "Westminster Quarters" (or "Big Ben" chime) was replaced during the University's sesquicentennial celebration in 2000 by the "Rochester Quarters," composed by former Department of Music professor Daniel Harrison. The "Westminster Quarters" returned in 2004. The carillon was restored in 2017 and today, the Hopeman Memorial Carillon is one of only seven carillons in New York State.
Contributed by Doris
Aman, Director of Carillon Activities, Arthur Satz Department of Music,
I am attaching several documents sent to me by Tim Verdin of Verdin Company https://www.verdin.com/ regarding the Hopeman Chime. These were part of the Meneely Company records entrusted to his father who recently passed away. You may find these supportive of your project as additional source documentation. The original Hopeman Chime bell array had the exact bell notes necessary to play the Star Spangled Banner. This was a marketing scheme for the Meneely Company. The original electric keyboard for the chime is stored in Rarebooks archives.
The advisor called in to inspect the bells in the 1960-early 1970's was James Lawson, then carillonneur at Riverside Carillon at New York City, friend of President Sproul. It was Lawson who suggested making a switch to the Eijsbouts carillon installation rather than repair the Meneely chime. Schulmerich and Eijsbouts become noticed due to the New York City World's Fair carillon installations. The blueprints you uploaded are from Schulmerich. More on Shulmerich and Eijsbouts at the Fair: http://nywf64.com/schulmerich02.shtml
It is pertinent to both Hopeman Chime and Hopeman Carillon that the Hopeman family were Dutch immigrants, shipbuilders by trade. They engineered the massive girder structures interior to the famous RRL library dome necessary to support the tonnage of bells additional to the stacked weight of books in Rush Rhees Library.
Many of the buildings on campus and along downtown Rochester are still graced by the intricate custom carpentry carvings of Hopeman Contractor workmen.
The bells bringing Dutch culture and music to the campus are within hearing distance to ring over family members buried in Mt. Hope Cemetery as a living memorial.
1927 "First U.S. Carillon Resounds in Albany," Democrat and Chronicle, September 19, 1927, Page 1.
Albany tonight dedicated the first municipal carillon in the country when Jef Denyen, Belgian carillonnieur, struck the opening notes on the sixty bell group in the tower of city hall.
the making of a university, by Jesse Leonard Rosenberger, with
an introduction by President Rush Rhees. Published October 1927.
Facing page 274. Artists rendering of the proposed new library building with a short bell tower above the dome.
1928 "Arendt W. Hopeman, Contractor, Expires," Democrat and Chronicle, February 27, 1928, Page 15.
1928 Arendt Willem Hopeman (April 13, 1843 - February 26, 1928) Grave in Mt. Hope Cemetery
Hoeing Given New U. of R. Post," Democrat and Chronicle,
June 17, 1928, Page 17.
The children of the late A. W. Hopeman, Miss J. Margret Hopeman, Bertran C. Hopeman and Albert A. Hopeman have offered to supply a set of chimes to be installed in the library tower of the new campus, the gift to be a memorial to their father.
News From Meeting of Trustees," Rochester Review
8(1):140-141 (June-July 1928)
Page 141: Several important gifts were announced, four of which have not been previously reported in these pages. These include ... the gift of a set of chimes for the new campus of the College for Men, from the children of the late A. W. Hopeman as a memorial to their father. Inasmuch as A. W. Hopeman & Sons Company are the general contractors for the new college, this last gift is particularly striking evidence of their personal and permanent interest in the project.
Bells Given University," Democrat and Chronicle, February
22, 1929, Page 17. | Part
Hopeman Family Presents 15 Chimes in Memory of Builder at New Campus For Tower of Library.
1929 "Steel Frame Completed for New University Library, With Tower for Hopeman Chimes," Democrat and Chronicle, February 23, 1929, Page 16.
1929 Hopeman Chime Casting Records, Meneely Company records, September 1929
Memorial Chimes to Hang in New University Library Tower," Democrat
and Chronicle, September 29, 1929, Page 19.
The chimes are the gift to the University of Rochester by Margaret Hopeman, Bertram C. Hopeman and Albert A. Hopeman, in memory of their late father, Arendt William Hopeman, who died last year.
Are Raising the Hopeman Chimes Into the Bell Tower," Democrat
and Chronicle, October 13, 1929, Page 2.
Sam Gottry Carting Co.
Campus for Men Rapidly Taking Form," Rochester Review
8(1):3-5 (October-November 1929)
Page 4: Hopeman Chimes in Place.
The erection of steel framework for the books stacks within the tower is now well under way, while in the summit, or third tier, of the upper tower–165 feet above the ground–are the Hopeman Memorial Chimes, already in place. These beautiful bells, seventeen in number, were hung more than a month ago and are undergoing final adjustment and testing at this writing. Their total weight is 32,000 pounds, or sixteen tons, while the largest bell, the second greatest ever cast in the famous Meneeley foundry, weighs 7,500 pounds and is said to be one of the deepest toned bells outside of Europe. As previously announced, the chimes are the gift of J. Margaret Hopeman, Bertram C. Hopeman and Albert A. Hopeman, in memory of their father, Arendt William Hopeman, late head of the contracting organization which is building the new college for the University.
University Carillon Wins Approval of Music Authority," Democrat
and Chronicle, June 6, 1930, Page 17
Dr. Dayton C. Miller, World Famous Physicist, Says Bells 'Finest I Have Ever Heard' After Inspecting Installation in Library Building Tower.
Hopeman Memorial Chime," Democrat and Chronicle, October 26,
1930, Page 10D.
New College for Men Has One of the Largest and Finest Chimes of Any University in Country; Pleasing Melodies Possible with Seventeen Bell Which Fill Library Tower Lantern; Two Concerts To be Given Weekly.
[Also shows pitch, diameter and weight for each bell]
1953 Correspondence between the University of Rochester and the Meneely Bell Company about the Hopeman Chime, October -- December 1953.
Donation Will Add Two Bells to Library Tower," Campus Times,
January 20, 1956, Page 1.
The Hopeman Chime, whose mellow tones are heard daily on the River Campus, is operated electrically from a keyboard just below the bells in the library tower. The largest, a B flat bell, has a diameter of six feet and weighs 7,800 pounds. The smallest, an F bell, has a diameter of two feet and weighs 390 pounds.
One of the new bells, the high G, will be even smaller. It is to be one foot, eight inches in diameter and will weigh 220 pounds. The other new bell, an F sharp, will weigh 1,870 pounds and have a diameter of three feet, seven inches
New Notes Added to UR Bells," Democrat and Chronicle, July
21, 1956, Page 15
F sharp weighing 1,870 pounds and a high G tipping the scale at 220. The bells were cast by a 300-year-old Dutch bellfounding company, Petit & Fritsen, Ltd., and installation is being supervised by one of the partners, August M. Fritsen.
1956 "Bell Concert Dedicates Newly Installed Chimes," Campus Times, October 19, 1956, Page 1.
1958 Bertram Cornelius Hopeman (December 31, 1876 - May 28, 1958) Grave in Mt. Hope Cemetery
1963 Albert Arendt Hopeman Sr. (September 27, 1880 - April 2, 1963) Grave in Mt. Hope Cemetery
Margaret Hopeman (May 6, 1873 - March 10, 1965) Grave in Mt. Hope
1965 Schulmerich Carillons at the New York World's Fair - 1964-1965, by Bradd Schiffman, NYWF64.com
Rhees Tower Sounds a New Note," Rochester Review
36(1):29 (Fall 1973)
Chimes from the University's Rush Rhees Library tower will have a new ring this fall.
They will originate from a new fifty-bell carillon made especially in Europe to replace the forty-three-year-old Hopeman Memorial Chime.
The carillon bells, which will be among the finest at any American university, will be cast in bronze by Royal Eijsbouts Bellfoundry Ltd. of Asten, Holland, and installed this fall.
The fifty new bells will weigh 6,668 Ibs., which is less than the weight of the largest single bell (7,800 Ibs.) in the present nineteen-bell chime.
Max Eijsbouts of Royal Eijsbouts Bellfoundry explained that his firm recommended comparatively smaller bells so that the greater number could be accommodated in the tower and still produce the rich variety of tones desired.
The present chime was donated to the University in 1930 by the children of Arendt W. Hopeman in their father's memory. Payment for the new carillon will be made from a fund established in 1955 by the Hopeman family for the purchase of two extra bells for the original seventeen-bell chime and for future care or replacement of the chime.
anniversary tune debuts," Democrat and Chronicle, February
1, 2000, Page 5B
Carillon chimes at 15-minute intervals, building to a cumulative melody at the end of each hour.
Time," by Daniel Harrison, Music Theory Online 6(4) (October
Analysis of Westminster Quarters, Rochester Quarters and other chimes
2011 "Analyzing the Frequency Components of the Hopeman Memorial Carillon," by Edwin Tan (UR PhD 2010), EEWeb, June 2, 2011 | Video |
Tones," by Kathleen McGarvey, Rochester
Review :46-51 (July-August 2012) | pull
out illustration of carillon |
The bells of the carillon are pealing with renewed vigor as the University’s Carillon Society brings a new generation of students to the keyboard.
Carillon, by Steve Boerner Topography and Design
Cutaways and detailed models explain the workings of the Hopeman Memorial Carillon. The carillon, installed in the “lantern” of the library dome at the University of Rochester, is played by faculty and students on a keyboard suspended from the interior of the library dome.
and Songs," Rochester Review 78(4):23 (March-April 2016)
Hajim School undergraduates pitch in to make custom carillon parts so that student musicians can continue to hit the high notes.
2017 "Carillon bells restored after 40 years of service," September 8, 2017
2022 "What happened to the original Hopeman Chime Bells?" Rochester Review 84(3):20 (Spring-Summer 2021)
| Hopeman Chime and Carillon in Rare Books and Special Collections | Hopeman Memorial Carillon Arthur Satz Department of Music | Facebook Page | Youtube Channel | The Guild of Carillonneurs in North America | Tower Bells | North American Carillon School | Carillons (Wikipedia) | Hopeman Memorial Carillon, finding aid, Bok Tower Gardens | Documentary History of American Carillons (under construction) |
This page was inspired by UR carillonneurs Claire Janezic (UR 2022) and Molly Kilian (UR 2023), who got me interested in all things carillon.
© 2022 Morris A. Pierce