Associate Carillonneur Exam

I. Introduction

The Associate Carillonneur Exam is designed for current GCNA Associate Members who are already playing the carillon regularly and who would like to have professional feedback and recognition from the GCNA. The candidate's performing instrument may be of any size, including a two-octave instrument. The level of the music is of moderate difficulty. The exam cost is US $20. The candidate may contact the committee chair for answers to questions that may arise at any point of the exam process.

To avoid an overload of applications, only candidates from North America will be accepted at this time. Since all of these procedures are fairly new, the committee will refine the actual process, as necessary, from time to time. There are changes in this text from what was originally published in 2010.

II. Requirements

A. The Music

Playing the Carillon: An Introductory Method, 2002 or 2010 edition, by John Gouwens, is the required book for those candidates who play three- and four-octave carillons. The book contains specified choices for the required pieces, useful sections about many aspects of performance and a carillon history section. The 2010 edition of the book is preferred because it has all the music choices. However, a candidate who already has a copy of the 2002 edition may use the older book. The handling, pedaling and tempo marks placed by the editor in the required music need not be followed.

Required Pieces From Playing the Carillon – For those who play four-octave instruments (choose two from here, or choose one from here plus one from the three-octave list)

*Sarabande, by Ronald Barnes, p. 22
*Slow Dance, by Roy Hamlin Johnson, p. 24
*Pastel in Bronze, by Albert Gerken, p. 38
*Suite No. 1: Sonorities, by John Courter, p. 64
Seven Modal Pieces: Mixolydian Mode, by John Courter, p. 70
Seven Modal Pieces: Aeolian Mode, by John Courter, p. 72
Toccata for 42 Bells, by Robert Moore, p. 87
Prelude V, by Matthias Van den Gheyn, p, 91

Required Pieces From Playing the Carillon - For those who play three-octave instruments (choose two from here, or choose one from here plus one from the four-octave list)

*Second Prelude, by Theophil Rusterholz, p.14
*Pedal Aria, by John Gouwens, p. 20
Three Short Pieces: Waltz, by John Gouwens, p. 48
De Gruytters Carillon Book: Andante, by Joseph-Hector Fiocco, p. 62
De Gruytters Carillon Book: Giga, by Fran├žois Couperin, p. 76
Allegro (Anonymous), p. 103

*This piece may be found in both editions of the book.

The Belmont Carillon Book, Volume II, compiled and edited by Beverly Buchanan in 1994, offers a choice of required pieces for players of two-octave instruments, as well as other two-octave pieces a candidate might find useful. The handling, pedaling and tempo marks placed by the editor in the music need not be followed. Copies of the John Gouwens book history information will be available to the candidates who play two-octave instruments. Notify the committee chair if you play a two-octave carillon and need the history information.

Required Pieces from The Belmont Book, Volume II - For those who play two-octave instruments
(choose two)

Coronation March, by Clifford Ball, p. 40
Belmont Suite: Prelude, by John Knox, p. 44
Belmont Suite: Final Flourish, by John Knox, p. 48
Festival Prelude, by Gladys Watkins, p. 50
Muss I Denn, Swabian Folk Song, arranged Percival Price, p. 54
Stillness, Russian Folk Melody, arranged Percival Price, p. 62
Marche en Rondeau, by Marc-Antoine Charpentier, p. 77
Rondo, K-13, by W.A. Mozart, p. 86

Both books are published by the GCNA (order from the Guild: Playing the Carillon: An Introductory Method, 2010 edition or The Belmont Carillon Book, Volume II). In addition to the two required pieces, candidates may choose another piece or other pieces in order to perform and record 10-15 minutes of music.

B. Audio Recordings

Choose two of the required pieces corresponding to your carillon’s range and other music of at least medium difficulty for 10-15 total minutes of music. None of the recorded submissions is to be a composition, arrangement, transcription or improvisation created by the candidate.

  1. If you are unsure if music you choose to record is of medium difficulty, compare it with the difficulty of the required pieces.
  2. You may choose pieces that are more difficult than the required pieces to complete your recording time.
  3. Record the pieces you choose on a digital recorder and burn them individually on to a CD or DVD, identifying the pieces by your and the composer’s last names (i.e., Smith/Mozart).

Recording Tips

Place the microphone in an area where there is good balance for the bell sounds. To avoid keyboard noise, do not place the microphone in the playing room. However, the video may be recorded in the playing room.

Before finalizing your recording, listen to each piece carefully with the music in front of you. Ask yourself:

  1. Will the judges be able to hear the details of my performance on this recording?
  2. Is my playing musical?
  3. Does the piece actually sound the way I intend it to sound?
  4. Are marks on the music reflected in the recorded performance?
  5. Are the rhythms, dynamics and tempi accurate?
  6. Where might my performance be rated on the Standards For Carillon Performance sheet?

Depending on your answers, you may decide to record some pieces again.

C. Videotape Recording

All or a part of one of the two submitted required pieces must also be videotaped. That video may be burned onto the same DVD as the audio recordings or emailed separately to the committee chair. We think that almost everyone owns or has a friend who owns a smart phone or a video camera. The video camera may be moved around to show the candidate's head, body, hands and feet. Since the judges will have an audio recording of the same piece, the microphone for the video recording may be in the playing room. The committee realizes that no more than 5 MB (not an entire piece) of a video may be sent by email from some smart phones, and so it is all right to send a partial video recording if head, body, hands and feet are clearly shown at some point in the video.

D. History Requirement

Candidates are to read the carillon history pages in Playing the Carillon: An Introductory Method by John Gouwens (two-octave carillon players are to contact the committee chair to receive the history pages) and then create one of the following:

  1. A brochure for their own instrument, including a history of their own instrument and a general history of the carillon,
  2. A website for their own instrument, including a history of their own instrument and a general history of the carillon,
  3. A short summary of carillon history (the length of the summary should be no more than three double-spaced pages),
  4. A short outline of the carillon history information, or
  5. A time line of carillon history.

Perhaps the candidate will have a different idea to propose. Contact the chair to make the proposal. The history project may be scanned and submitted on the recorded music disk.

E. Program Requirement

Along with the application include two sample carillon concert programs you have created of music you know or of music you think would make a good program. Each program should be at least 30 minutes in length. Include a short personal bio for use with the programs.

Programming Tips

  1. Instead of listing single pieces one after another, decide if several could be grouped together using headings such as "Three Folk Songs," "Two Hymns," "Three Dances," "Two Twentieth Century Pieces for Carillon," "Two Pieces by French Composers," etc. You are free to think of other groupings.
  2. Remember that variety in programming helps create interest. One way to provide variety is to avoid programming successive selections in the same key.
  3. Similarly, when possible, program music with different rhythms, keys and tempi.
  4. Plan the beginning and ending pieces of a program carefully. The first piece will set a certain mood: perhaps dramatic, perhaps meditative, etc.
  5. Place on the program information about the pieces: composers' names and birth and death year dates (if known) and arrangers' names.
  6. Pieces familiar to general audiences are effective in drawing your listeners into your performance.
  7. Another good idea is to have program notes in a different section of the program. However, program notes are not required for the two programs to be submitted.

III. The Application And Judging Process

A. Application

At any time of year any Associate Member in good standing with the GCNA (i.e., whose dues payments are current) may submit an examination packet to the committee chair. The information in the packet must include:

  1. A completed application.
  2. A U.S. $20 payment.
  3. A list stating what has been recorded on the CD or DVD,
  4. One CD or DVD containing individual pieces digitally recorded by the candidate totaling 10-15 total minutes of music,
  5. A videotaped recording of the candidate playing all or part of one of the two chosen required pieces,
  6. One photocopy of any recorded music that is not in the required book,
  7. Two concert programs created by the candidate, as well as a short personal biography to be used with the programs, and
  8. The candidate's carillon history project.

(Note: Items 1, 3, 6, 7 and 8 may be scanned and also burned on to the audio or videotape disks.)

New as of June 2017: all elements of the application including payment can now be submitted electronically. Contact Roy Lee, committee chair, for more information.

B. Judging

  1. Committee members will listen to the audio recordings, watch the video and read the history project, the two programs and the biography. Standards for Carillon Performance is the internal guideline used by the judges to evaluate candidates' performances, but will not be used as a template for the final reported performance evaluation.
  2. The candidate will pass, fail or be invited to resubmit some parts of the exam material.
  3. Each candidate will receive comments and suggestions, if needed, from the judges.
  4. Only the names of those candidates who pass will be released to the GCNA membership.
  5. Candidates who meet the standards set by the committee will receive a certificate, suitable for framing, an "AC" code in the GCNA membership directory and a special announcement of their accomplishment to the membership.

Associate Carillonneur Exam Committee
Linda Dzuris, James D. Fackenthal, Tin-Shi Tam
Roy Lee, Chair

Associate Carillonneur Exam Committee Chair contact information:
Roy Lee
#207-500 St Clair Ave W
Toronto, ON M6C 1A8

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