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 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

John Rothwell Slater at the Chime Keyboard Chime Keyboard Bellmen Plaque

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 lantern above new Rush Rhees Library dome 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 lantern on top of the Rush Rhees Library tower by Meneely and Company of Watervliet, New York, with Harold Gleason of the Eastman School acting as music consultant.

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 succeeded 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 evolved into the Carillon Society, which has been very active in recent years..

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 of 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  by Arie Abbenes, city carillonneur for Eindhoven, Asten and Tilburg in Holland  Its fifty bells cover four octaves and weigh a total of 6,668 pounds.  David Caldwell began playing the Hopeman Chime as a freshman in 1971 and learned to play the carillon from Abbenes, who also taught some of the bellmen the rudiments of carillon playing.  Caldwell was the University Carillonneur from 1978 through 1989.

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 seven carillons in New York State, of which only five are currently playable.

Contributed by Doris Aman, Director of Carillon Activities, Arthur Satz Department of Music, July 2022
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.

1920 "Carillon Planned As War Memorial," Democrat and Chronicle, May 21, 1920, Page 31.
Bell Music of Flanders May Be Introduced in Washington.

1921 "National Peace Carillon," Democrat and Chronicle, September 10, 1921, Page 10.

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.

1927 Rochester, the making of a university, by Jesse Leonard Rosenberger, with an introduction by President Rush Rhees. Published October 1927.
Facing page 274:  Rendering of main quadrangle of new College for Men showing library and bell lantern.

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

1928 "Dean 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.

1928 "Some 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.

1929 "Memorial Bells Given University," Democrat and Chronicle, February 22, 1929, Page 17. | Part 2 |
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

1929 "Hopeman 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.

1929 "We Are Raising the Hopeman Chimes Into the Bell Tower," Democrat and Chronicle, October 13, 1929, Page 2.
Sam Gottry Carting Co.

1929 "New 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.

1930 "New 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.

1930 "The 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]

1943 "Dr. Metzdorf And His Chimes," The Campus, October 1, 1943, Page 5.

1949 "Stealthy Footsteps In The Tower, A Clash of Bells---'The Genesee'!," by Arthur Satz, The Campus, October 21, 1949, Page 2.

1953 Correspondence between the University of Rochester and the Meneely Bell Company about the Hopeman Chime, October -- December 1953.

1956 "Hopeman 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

1956 "Two New Bells Arrive for Library Tower," Democrat and Chronicle, May 9, 1956, Page 21.

1956 "2 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

1965 Joan Margaret Hopeman (May 6, 1873 - March 10, 1965) Grave in Mt. Hope Cemetery

1965 Schulmerich Carillons at the New York World's Fair - 1964-1965, by Bradd Schiffman, NYWF64.com

1968 "Ding Dong Bell," Campus Times, November 22, 1968, Page 12 | Page 14 |

1973 "RR Expects New Chimes," Campus Times, March 16, 1973, Page 9.

1973 "College Re-Bells," Democrat and Chronicle, March 16, 1973, Page 23.

1973 "Rush 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.

1973 "Free Concert to Honor the Dedication of Carillon," Campus Times, November 28, 1973, Page 2.

1973 "Hopeman Memorial Carillon Dedication Concert," Democrat and Chronicle, December 9, 1973, Page 15E.

1973 "You Can't Be Sedate Playing the Carillon," Democrat and Chronicle, December 10, 1973, Page 29.

1974 "The Bells Toll for Thee," Campus Times, October 28, 1974, Page 3.

1977 History of the University of Rochester, 1850-1962, by Arthur J. May.  Expanded edition with notes
Chapter 22, Oak Hill Becomes River Campus
The imposing round tower of the Library soared to nineteen stories, reaching a height of 186 feet. At the summit a stone lantern held a chime of seventeen bells, played from a room on the nineteenth level, Professor Slater serving as the pioneer bellman.

1980 "Carillonist:  forgotten musicians of library tower," Campus Times, December 5, 1980, Page 19.

1993 "The Bells Toll," Campus Times, December 9, 1993, Page 9.
University Cariloneur Alan Rakov.  Rakov's music can be heard every friday from 12:30 to 1:00.

2000 "UR's 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.

2000 "Rush Rhees chimes sing new tune for UR's sesquicentennial," Campus Times, February 3, 2000, Page 3.

2000 "Tolling Time," by Daniel Harrison, Music Theory Online 6(4) (October 2000)
Analysis of Westminster Quarters, Rochester Quarters and other chimes

2002 "Remembering September 11 one year later," Campus Times, September 12, 2002, Page 1.
University Carillonneur Daniel Harrison.

2004 "The Carillon and Carillonneur," Commencement program, May 15-16, 2004, Page 9.
The Hopeman Memorial Carillon is located in the landmark tower of Rush Rhees Library. It is one of only six carillons in New York State. Weighing almost three-and-a-half tons, it consists of 50 stationary cast-bronze bells that are sounded by clappers. Each clapper is connected by a half mile of thin metal rod to one of 48 wooden keys or 26 pedals.  The carillonneur sits on a bench and plays by depressing the keys with loosely clenched hands.  The pedals, connected to the heavier bass bells, are depressed with the feet.  As with a piano, expressive playing is achieved by varying the touch. In addition to its frequent use as a performance instrument, the Hopeman Carillon has been an educational resource: Students of acoustics and physics of music have studied its reverberations, Eastman faculty and student composers have written for it, and students and alumni study carillon technique on it. The present carillonneur, Lauren Marino, began playing the carillon at Cornell University in 1999, while working toward her undergraduate degree in applied economics and management.  She is currently studying carillon performance at Alfred University.

2006 "The Carilloneur," Commencement program, May 2006, Page 27.
The carilloneur for today, Doris Aman, played her first bells when, as a precocious child, she climbed alone up a bell tower. Instead of punishment, she was invited to ring a bell. She has been privileged to play at Alfred University, Valley Forge, and the Netherlands Carillon at Arlington, Va., near the Iwo Jima Memorial.

2006 "Carillon, oh carillon," Campus Times, October 12, 2006, Pages 9 & 12.
Students have not been afforded regular presentations on the carillon in decades, since the disappearance of a student-run carillon guild in the 1970s.

2006 "A Passion for the Bells," @Rochester, December 8, 2006
Every Wednesday from noon to 1 p.m. music rings out of the Rush Rhees Tower, and most folks trekking across the quad or heading outside for a lunchtime break have no idea that Tiffany Ng is the person behind the performance. The Eastman graduate student is a seasoned carillonneur and donates an hour each week to share her passion for the carillon with River Campus residents.

2010 "Carillon Strikes a Refreshing Tune," Campus Times, October 14, 2010, Pages 1B & 5B.

2011 "Analyzing the Frequency Components of the Hopeman Memorial Carillon," by Edwin Tan (UR PhD 2010), EEWeb, June 2, 2011 | Video |

2012 "Ring 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.
Page 48: Those planning the new campus imagined installing a carillon when, in 1926, they contemplated what had been Oak Hill golf course. But costs were high—import charges, for example, increased the cost of bells bought in Europe by 40 percent—and Rochester’s ambitions were scaled back, and back again. Plans for a carillon—which must have 23 or more bells—became plans for a chime, which has fewer than 23 bells. At one point cost-conscious supporters discussed the possibility of buying just one bell.
To the rescue came the Hopeman family. A native of the Netherlands, where bells have long been popular, Arendt Hopeman arrived in the United States in 1868. One year later, he founded the construction company—later incorporated as A. W. Hopeman and Sons, General Contractors—that oversaw construction of the River Campus, the Eastman Theatre, and the Eastman School. He died in 1928, and to honor his memory and his Dutch heritage, his children—Margaret Hopeman, Class of 1903, who earned a master’s degree in 1906, Albert, and Bertram Cornelius—made a gift of a 17-bell chime forged by Meneely & Co. In the bell business since 1826, Meneely’s foundry branch of Watervliet, N.Y., had already created bells for locations such as Valley Forge, Pa., and Cornell University.
The bell lantern atop the dome of Rush Rhees library was added specifically to house the chime. The bells were so immense that they required additional heavy steel girders for the dome, a cost that the Hopeman family bore. The original bells installed in the library weighed more than 17 tons. Two more bells came in 1956, adding six more tons to the weight and giving players a greater range of tones. The largest of the bells—the second largest ever cast at the Meneely foundry—weighed 7,500 pounds. It was said to be one of the deepest-toned bells made outside Europe at the time.

2012 Rochester 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.

2013 "Rochester Carillon Society celebrates 40 years of chiming," Campus Times, April 25, 2013, Page 3.

2016 "Hammer 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

2021 "What happened to the original Hopeman Chime Bells?" Rochester Review  84(3):20 (Spring-Summer 2021)

2022 A Sound Bigger Than You, Student-made documentary video about the Hopeman Memorial Carillon 

2023 Hopeman Carillon 50th Anniversary Discussion | Presentation | Handout | Meliora Weekend October 8, 2023

2023 "Hearing bells? UR not crazy — it’s the carillon!," Campus Times, December 7, 2023, Page 3.

Links to Carillon Inventories
GCNA Tower Bells Bok Tower Gardens

| Hopeman Chime and Carillon in Rare Books and Special Collections | Hopeman Memorial Carillon Arthur Satz Department of Music | Facebook Page | Youtube Channel | Hopeman Carillon Flyer | 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 |

This page was inspired by UR carillonneurs Claire Janezic (UR 2022) and Molly Kilian (UR 2023), who got me interested in all things carillon. | Claire Janezic Performs "Lament & Alleluia" | Claire Janezic plays "Tranquility" by Ronald Barnes | Claire Janezic- Senior Showcase |

© 2022 -2024 Morris A. Pierce