World premieres happen very seldom around the University of Florida, and even less often in my own life. But I am really excited about a new work to be heard for the first time this Saturday, February 15th, beginning at 6:00 pm at the UF Century Tower, as part of the inaugural season of the 2020 Florida Carillon Festival. The theme for February is love (organized around St. Valentine’s Day), so all of the music follows this idea. 💏
My new work is a carillon transcription for cast-bell carillon of the Prelude to Act One of Richard Wagner’s Tristan und Isolde, which contains the “Tristan chord” – the most famous chord in Western musical history. Wagner’s opera is one of the most complete musical representations of love’s human facets. It has amazed music theorists and listeners alike since 1858 when the work was completed. The performer on Saturday evening will be the eminent Dutch carillonneur Roy Kroezen*, recently appointed as Carillonneur of the Centralia Carillon in Centralia, Illinois. You are invited — and will find generous seating areas, including chairs, on the north side of the tower.
*Roy Kroezenis originally from The Netherlands, where he spent 22 years as a musician and organist. He studied carillon at the Netherlands Carillon School in Amersfoort,as well in Belgium and holds a masters degree in carillon, organ and choir conducting. Kroezen was appointed carillonneur of the Centralia Carillon(Illinois) in 2016. He is also organist at the Trinity Episcopal Church in Mount Vernon, Illinois, and the Fox Theater in St. Louis, Missouri.
Willis Bodine, UF Professor of Music (1959-2003) & University of Florida University Organist and Carillonneur, emeritus, composed “Twice Twain Ten for Two: A celebratory toccata-duet for the 40th anniversary of the Century Tower Carillon 1979-2019”. The composer’s prefatory notes to the work outline multiple references to the number 40, including:“twain ten” (the early Anglo-Saxonversion of “twenty”) is doubled by “twice” to make 40; several musical themes are drawn from the 1570 motet Spem in allum for 40 voices written by Thomas Tallis (c1505-1585); the work employs a 5/8 time signature; and, the total number of fingers and toes used by the two performers number 40.
Watch the piece performed by Laura Ellis and two students: Kiko Labayen and John Kemmerer, broadcast on Facebook Live.
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.)
On June 29, 2017 Wim Ruesink will perform Willis Bodine’s UT Fanfares for Carillon at the Peperbus in Zwolle as part of the summer concert series. This composition was selected as a finalist in the 2015 composition contest of the Zwolse Beiaard Stichting.