Altgeld Chimes Music and Records

Overview

Scope and Contents

Biographical Note

Administrative Information

Detailed Description

Chimesmasters Personal Papers

Administrative and Operational Records

Photographs and Memorabilia



Contact us about this collection

Finding Aid for Altgeld Chimes Music and Records, 1903-2019 | The Sousa Archives and Center for American Music

By Joshua Altshuler, Kou Chery, Sylvia Figueroa Ortiz, Kelda Habing, Mary Heisley, Naja Tia Morris, Katie Peterson, Meredith Sproull, Lee Whitacre, and Nolan Vallier

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Collection Overview

Title: Altgeld Chimes Music and Records, 1903-2019Add to your cart.View associated digital content.

ID: 12/5/9

Primary Creator: Albert Emmett Marien (1911-2002)

Extent: 5.0 cubic feet

Arrangement: Chronological

Date Acquired: 11/09/2020

Scope and Contents of the Materials

Consists of papers, photographs, music, correspondence, and ephemera documenting the activities of the Altgeltd Chimes and its first chimesmaster, Albert Marien, ranging from 1903 to 2019. The collection is organized into three series. Series 1: Chimesmasters Personal Papers; Series 2: Administrative and Operational Records, and Series 3: Photographs and Memorabilia.

Collection Historical Note

The first set of chimes at the University of Illinois was installed in Altgeld Tower in 1920. The bells were cast by McShane Bell Foundry in Baltimore, Maryland and were the memorial gift of the senior classes from 1914 to 1922. When they were installed, the largest bell cast by the foundry weighed a little over one and half tons and was dedicated to Dr. Edmund Janes James, President of the University from 1904-1920. Between 1956 and 1957, the tower was renovated and the chimes remained silent. In 1957, Albert Emmett Marien approached the director of the School of Music, Duane Branigan, about performing on the chimes once more. In 1958, he and Branigan established a regular noon-time concert series in Altgeld Tower. For nearly forty years, Marien served as chimemaster. He was assisted by various undergraduate assistants and volunteers, who developed their own arrangements of popular and classical music for the chimes to perform on the daily concerts. In 1990, Marien began raising funds to transform the Altgeld chimes into a full carillon. After raising nearly $500,000 it was discovered the tower was not structurally sound enough to support the weight of additional bells. The University altered their plans and errected a campanile on the South Quad, a tower which remains to this day. Marien was followed as chimemaster by Sue Wood, who served from 1995 until 2017. Wood was replaced by Jonathon Smith, who served between 2017 and 2019. The current chimemaster, Christina Horton, has served since 2019.

Biographical Note

Albert "Al" Emmett Marien was born in St. Louis, Missouri in 1911. He began his undergraduate studies at Washington University (St. Louis) but transferred the University of Illinois in 1931. He graduated with a degree in commerce and law in 1933. In 1942, he earned a masters degree in statistics and marketing at the University of Denver. The following year, he became a professor of Business Administration at Berry College in Rome, Georgia. It was here that Marien began performing on the College's electric carillon. In June 1948, he moved with his family to Champaign, Illinois, where he worked as a principal at Westview Elementary School. Soon after he was hired by the University of Illinois and became an instructor of marketing and advertising.

In 1956, the bell tower of Altgeld Hall was renovated. Marien approached the director of the School of Music, Duane Branigan, about his performance ability. In 1958, Marien became chime master and was performing two fifteen minute noon-hour concerts in Altgeld Tower each week. By 1959, he had persuaded his department to award two graduate assistantships to assist him in performing daily concerts in Altgeld. These assistantships were eventually dissolved and he instead sought the assistance of student volunteers.

Marien served as the University Chimemaster until 1995, when Sue Wood, his assistant, took over for him. In his three decades of service to the University, Marien contributed numerous articles to the American Guild of Carillioneurs. He was also instrumental in raising funds to upgrade the chimes to a full carillon. In 1990 and after raising nearly $500,000 for the upgrade, it was discovered that Altgeld Tower could not support the weight of the new bells. The University decided to construct a free standing campanile on the South Quad instead. Marien died before seeing the campanile constructed.

Administrative Information

Repository: The Sousa Archives and Center for American Music

Acquisition Source: Tina Horton, Chime Master

Acquisition Method: Transfer


Box and Folder Listing


Browse by Series:

[Series 1: Chimesmasters Personal Papers, 1963-2019],
[Series 2: Administrative and Operational Records, 1931-2019],
[Series 3: Photographs and Memorabilia, 1930-2017],
[All]

Series 1: Chimesmasters Personal Papers, 1963-2019Add to your cart.
Consists of personal papers of the Altgeld Chimes' chimesmasters, organized into two sub-series: Albert Marion's papers and Susan Woods's papers.
Sub-Series 1: Albert Marien's Personal PapersAdd to your cart.
Consists of Albert Marien's personal papers, which include the Guild of Carillonneurs in North America's bulletins, correspondence, financial records, and carillon restoration plans. Arranged chronologically.
Box 1Add to your cart.
Folder 1: Guild of Carillonneurs in North America bulletins (Marien), 1963-1969Add to your cart.
Folder 2: 1964 Guild of Carilloneurs June 14-17 Conference (Marien), June 14 - 17 1964Add to your cart.
Folder 3: Guild of Carillonneurs in North America - Membership (Marien), 1965-1979Add to your cart.
Folder 4: Albert Marien's Correspondence, 1966-1981Add to your cart.
Folder 5: Albert Marien Expenses, 1967-1991Add to your cart.
Folder 6: Guild of Carillonneurs of North America bulletins (Marien), 1970-1975Add to your cart.
Folder 7: Carillon Expansion Project (Marien), 1975-1990Add to your cart.
Folder 8: Guild of Carillonneurs in North America Bulletins (Marien), 1976-1980Add to your cart.
Folder 9: International Carillion Congress - Amersfoort, 1978Add to your cart.
Folder 10: Guild of Carillonneurs of North America Bulletins (Marien), 1981-1987Add to your cart.
Folder 11: Peace Tower Summer Programs (Albert Marien), 1983-1997Add to your cart.
Folder 12: Carillon Newsletter of the Guild of in North America, Fall 1986 - October 1990Add to your cart.
Folder 13: Guild of Carillonneurs of North America Bulletins (Marien), 1988-1991Add to your cart.
Folder 14: Guild of Carillonneurs of North America Bulletins (Marien), 1992-1994Add to your cart.
Folder 15: Bicentennial Edition: "Who's who in America" (Marien), 2019Add to your cart.
Sub-Series 2: Susan Wood's Personal PapersAdd to your cart.
Consists of Susan Wood's awards, memorial service pamphlet, and correspondance Arranged chronologically.
Box 1Add to your cart.
Folder 16: Sue Wood's Correspondence, 1989-2015Add to your cart.
Folder 17: Sue Wood Memorial Service, November 10, 2019Add to your cart.

Browse by Series:

[Series 1: Chimesmasters Personal Papers, 1963-2019],
[Series 2: Administrative and Operational Records, 1931-2019],
[Series 3: Photographs and Memorabilia, 1930-2017],
[All]

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