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

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 3: Photographs and Memorabilia, 1930-2017Add to your cart.
Consists of photographs, portraits, and memorabilia of the Altgeld Chimes. Loose photographs are arranged chronogically where available. Larger items are arranged seperately.
Box 5Add to your cart.
Item 1: Sue Wood 45 Years of Volunteerism Plaque, April 24, 2017Add to your cart.
Consists of  a plaque conmemorating Sue Wood's 45 years of volunteerism
Item 2: Law Building - University of Illinois Plaque, undatedAdd to your cart.
Box 9Add to your cart.
Folder 1: Chimes Associated People, 1930-1970Add to your cart.View associated digital content.
Consists of photos of the Altgeld Chimes, Chimes Players and Chimes Masters including: Sue Wood and Albert Marien. Personal photos of Albert Marien.
Folder 2: Chimes Interior/Exterior, 1981-2015Add to your cart.View associated digital content.
Consists of photos of the Chimes, the Chimes masters and Chimes players as related to the Chimes building.
Folder 3: Certificates, 1972-1979Add to your cart.
Consists of certificates of Albert Marien for: Who is who in America?, publication certificate, the Two Thousand Men of Achievement Diploma, and a fraternity certificate.
Folder 4: Sue Wood, undatedAdd to your cart.
Consists of a photo of Sue Wood in black frame.
Folder 5: Albert Marien, undatedAdd to your cart.
Consists of a photo of Albert Marien in a black frame.
Box 10Add to your cart.
Folder 1: Albert Marien, undatedAdd to your cart.
Folder 2: Altgeld Chimes, undatedAdd to your cart.
Box 11Add to your cart.
Item 1: Altgeld T-Shirt, undatedAdd to your cart.
Altgeld Chimes t-shirt. White text reading "Altgeld Chimes est. 1920" and logo on light blue cotton fabric.

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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