Tuning bells in the USA pt 1

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I was asked a few weeks ago if I would be prepared to visit Smiths Clock and Bell Inc just outside Indianapolis to help them to establish a bell tuning capability. Ben Sunderlin has been studying bell casting techniques, latterly at the University of Notre Dame in South Bend and produced a number of bells.
I flew into Chicago O’Hare and was picked up from there by Ben. The first port of call was the chapel at Culver Military Academy, where were were met by John Gouwens, the carilloneur and JJ Smith. It is a number of years since I last met John so it was really good to see him again. He gave us an excellent demonstration of the 1950 G&J carillon. Although the treble bells are really light by modern standards, in that acoustic they sing out really well. As the last generation of G&J carillons, it has many innovations that have been adopted as standard in more modern carillons.
There is also an electro-pneumatic clock chime/tune player that John maintains and repairs. Not many of these stillexist in playing condition.
There is more about the carillon and John at http://faculty.culver.org/gouwenj/organcarillon.asp
Organ& Carillon
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