Trip Planner: USA / Illinois / Springfield / Rees Memorial Carillon
The Thomas Rees Memorial Carillon is the gift of Senator Thomas Rees, publisher of the Illinois state register from 1881-1933. During World War I, Rees served on the International Board of Arbitration for newspapers and later for unions, providing him the opportunity to travel Europe and beyond. Rees attributes his great interest in bells to visiting carillons in Belgium and the Netherlands- though his initial interest was the result of reading articles in National Geographic, the Musical Quarterly, and Art & Archeology by William Gorham Rice.Make your Springfield itinerary with Inspirock to find out what to see and where to go.
Rees provided a bequest to build his instrument, leaving specific instructions in his will regarding number of bells and its location. Robert Stuart, Springfield Park District President (1959-1975), carefully implemented the Senator's vision by consulting and hiring the architects, designers and the bell foundry when the carillon was constructed in 1962. The quality of the instrument coupled with size and location in the century old Washington Park distinguishes Rees Carillon as one of the world's finest instruments.
The Rees Carillon boasts 67 cast bronze bells covering a range of 5 1/2 chromatic octaves. Total weight equals 82,753 lbs; the largest (bourdon) bell weighs 7 1/2 tons with the smallest weighing 22 lbs. The instrument was cast by the 300-year-old bell foundry of Petit & Fritsen, Ltd., in Aarle-Rixtel, Netherlands. All of the bells are played manually from a World Standard Keyboard installed in the year 2000.
Rees Memorial Carillon reviews
Botanical garden and park around the bell is really beautiful. Another free activity in the area and stretch out your legs.
Botanical garden and park around the bell is really beautiful. Another free activity in the area and stretch out your legs. more »
We were visiting Washington Park when we heard the bells. The park is very nice and hearing music was a pleasant surprise.
We were visiting Washington Park when we heard the bells. The park is very nice and hearing music was a pleasant surprise. more »
It was a great experience seeing how the carillon worked and meeting the person that plays the music. First time visiting and its right in my backyard. Nice piece of history to visit.
Cool history of a guy going to Europe during WW2 and wanting a carillon for hisa home town like the ones he experienced in Belgium
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