The University of Florida Oral History Collectionis part of the Samuel Proctor Oral History Program and is an affiliated program of the University of Florida’s Department of History. Its collections include approximately 4,000 interviews and more than 85,000 pages of transcribed material, making it the largest oral history archive in the South and one of the major collections in the country.
Report on the Spring 1979 installation of the Century Tower Carillon on the campus of the University of Florida, made possible by UF Student Activity fees accumulated over several years. Some of the installation process is shown, including hoisting bells into the tower. Willis Bodine, UF Professor of Music and University Carillonneur, briefly demonstrates the method of playing a carillon. He says the role of this carillon in campus life could best be described by a Latin inscription cast into the “bourdon” bell (69” in diameter, weighing over 3½ tons) — the translation is: “Call together those who are studious of all good things both human and divine.” Bodine is shown with Budd Udell, Chair of the Department of Music, and Joseph Sabatella, Dean of the College of Fine Arts, as they view this largest bell on the ground in front of the tower. The completed instrument was dedicated on Monday, May 14, 1979, in two recitals given by Milford Myhre, longtime Carillonneur of the famous Bok Tower Carillon in Lake Wales, Florida.
Special thanks to the University of Florida Digital Collections at the George A Smathers Libraries for providing this footage.
My composition was written in 2003 for my September 11th dedication recital, as the UF Century Tower Carillon was expanded to its full range of 61 bells. Although I had already retired from UF, Laura Ellis kindly invited me to play this program.
Shafer was a graduate student at The University of Texas at Austin (2002-10). While there she greatly expanded activity for the UT Kniker Carillon, for which I had played the dedication recital in 1987. Since my father, my sister, my wife Anna and I are all “Texas Exes,” and since Austin is my home town, I now especially enjoy all these “small world” family connections. My sister-in-law and her husband still live in south Austin; and the UT tower chime in the ’30s was the first bell instrument I had ever heard [Chicago’s Rockefeller Chapel carillon was the second, when we lived in its shadow during 1941 . . .].
On April 27, 2018 Richard Drake interviewed Willis Bodine on WUFT’s Magnum Opus program, and discussed his legacy at the University of Florida, his composition activities since retiring, and the April 28 premiere of his new composition by the Voices Rising Community Chorus.
With a Voice of Singing (my new choral song for choir S.A.T.B., youth choir, solo clarinet, and piano) will be premiered by Voices Rising Community Chorus (VRCC) on Saturday, April 28th at First United Methodist Church Gainesville during two concerts conducted by Ruth Lewis, with special guest artist Bess de Farber (clarinet). This is the final program of the VRCC 5th anniversary season.
Here is a clip from the April 2018 Ilene Silverman Show in which Ruth Lewis and I describe the composition process from its inception. (View the entire program.)