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Spring 2004

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The Cosby Principle

The Wildest Place in Boston

Manhattan's Hottest Property

Setting the Record Straight

Around the Pond

Music to Our Ears

Dick Nathhorst
Project manager Richard Nathhorst ’79. (photo by Ben Barnhart)
ALMOST ANY CHURCH STEEPLE HOLDS a chime or two (or three), but it takes a set of at least 23 carefully tuned, cast bronze bells to make up a carillon. UMass Amherst’s Old Chapel Tower is now home to a 42-bell carillon, one of only a handful in New England. Listen for its melodious, distinctive music ringing out across campus—and take a moment to thank Henry Vincent Couper ’37; a gift from his estate made the installation possible.

Master craftspeople from the Netherlands installed the bronze beauties in the chapel tower in early April. They worked with the new keeper of the bells, project manager Richard Nathhorst ’79. “This gives us a world-class carillon,” said Nathhorst, who is the university’s expert on the subject. “Not only will members of the campus community be able to learn how to play, but now we’ll be a stop on the international tour of players.”

The bells will be dedicated June 5 during Alumni Weekend with a performance by one of the country’s premiere bell ringers, known as a carillonneur. That weekend also marks the kickoff of two endowment funds: one to procure a practice clavier (a keyboard for aspiring carillonneurs) and one to maintain the new bells.


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