Porter Memorial Carillon
The magnificent 48-bell carillon in the church’s tower is played daily and for special events by a team of those who serve carillonneurs. The Porter Memorial Carillon was a gift to the church by two longtime HPUMC members, Alicia Porter Washam and Rufus (Buddy) Porter. It was dedicated “to the glory of God” and given to honor the memory of their parents. The Porter Memorial Carillon is the only carillon in the North Texas area that meets the requirements for a concert carillon: a minimum of 48 bells, played mechanically by striking batons.
What is a carillon?
- A set of 23 or more cast bronze bells (Our carillon is more than twice this size)
- Tuned similarly
- Arranged in chromatic series
- Played from a keyboard permitting control of expression through variation of touch.
Our bells are located in the tower of the church.
How many bells are at HPUMC?
We have 48 bells, the largest weighing slightly over 5100 pounds, and the smallest weighing approximately 26 pounds.
Who made our bells?
The Paccard Bell Foundry in Annecy, France. They were installed in 1984 and first heard in an evening service on December 16, 1984.
How is the carillon played?
The performer (carillonneur) plays with closed hands on baton-like keys and with both feet on the pedal keyboard. The clappers are connected through a series of direct mechanical linkages to the keyboard. Our carillon includes a practice console that simulates the sounds of the bells, sounds not heard beyond the practice room.
Where do you listen?
The Carillon is best heard from outside the Sanctuary on the South or East side or in the Margaret Jonsson Garden. It is played regularly on Sundays following the 9:30 and 11:00 worship service, midday during the week, and often around 5:00 pm in the afternoon. The Carillon is usually pealed (not played) at weddings and after funerals; however, arrangements can be made to have musical selections played on the Carillon on these occasions.
Who plays the Carillon?
Our Carillon is played by dedicated helpers and occasionally by artists from other parts of the world. Gretchen Ryan, John Acker, and Carmen McMillan are current carillon helpers. If you are interested in playing, you may contact Katie Scheetz.