Oral History Transcripts

The University of Florida Oral History Collection is 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.

There are two interviews with Willis Bodine:

1987 interview by Janet Graham
1992 interview by H.G. Young

Century Tower Carillon Throwback to 1979 (video)

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.

July 22, 2018 in St. Paul, MN: Requiescat in pace (Soliloquy on September 11th)

My carillon piece, Requiescat in pace (Soliloquy on September 11th will be played at 4:00 pm on Sunday, July 22nd, at House of Hope Presbyterian Church, St. Paul MN, as part of their summer carillon series. The artist is Kimberly Shafer, carillonneur of St. Chrysostom’s Episcopal Church in Chicago IL, and national editor of The Bulletin published by the Guild of Carillonneurs in North America. She has also founded Chicago Bell Associates to promote the instrument.

My composition was written in 2003 as the UF Century Tower Carillon was expanded to its full range of 61 bells, for a dedication recital on September 11, 2003.

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 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 ever heard [Chicago’s Rockefeller Chapel carillon was the second . . .].

Premiere on Saturday, April 28th: With a Voice of Singing


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.)