Ronald Barnes Memorial Scholarship

Ronald Barnes, carillonneur

Ronald Barnes, 1927-1997

The Guild of Carillonneurs in North America invites applications for the Ronald Barnes Memorial Scholarship.


For nearly fifty years, Ronald Barnes (1927-1997) was a major force in establishing an American approach to carillon performance, composing and arranging. His numerous compositions and arrangements for the instrument altered the standard of the modern carillon repertoire, not only in North America but throughout the world.

Barnes began his carillon career in 1946 at the First Plymouth Congregational Church in his native Lincoln, Nebraska. He received his Bachelor of Music degree in organ from the University of Nebraska in 1950 and his Master of Arts degree in music history from Stanford University in 1961. His only formal training in carillon performance was a summer spent with Dominion Carillonneur Robert Donnell in Ottawa in 1948, the year he also joined the Guild. Between 1957 and 1961 he edited and published the Guild's Bulletin, following which he served three terms as Guild president. From 1952 to 1963 he was University Carillonist at the University of Kansas, Lawrence. He was Cathedral Carillonneur at the National Cathedral, Washington, DC, from 1963 to 1975 and University Carillonist at the University of California, Berkeley, from 1982 until his retirement in 1995. His Berkeley tenure was marked by the founding of the Berkeley Carillon Institute, the establishment of a program of carillon performance instruction, and a prolific period of composition. In 1988 he was awarded the GCNA's Certificate of Extraordinary Service. He died of leukemia on November 3, 1997 at the age of 70.

To honor Barnes' extraordinary contributions and to perpetuate the carillon art as it is developing in North America, the Guild established the Ronald Barnes Memorial Scholarship Fund in 1998. It simultaneously announced a capital campaign to establish a permanent endowment that would provide perpetual financial support. The Guild saw the campaign as an opportunity to make a lasting impact on the future of the carillon art in North America.

All contributions are invested, with a percentage of the earnings available annually for awards. Through a generous lead gift, additional major gifts, direct support from the GCNA itself and contributions from many Guild members and friends, the fund grew steadily, and the first scholarship was awarded in 2007.

While many North Americans have taken advantage of various scholarship opportunities to study in European carillon schools, no fellowship program has existed in North America solely to promote the growth and vitality of the North American carillon culture. The scholarship honors Barnes' passion for American carillon music by helping to provide an opportunity to pursue studies, within North America, in North American carillon performance, composition, music history or instrument design. Application for the scholarship is open to all North Americans. The decision of the Barnes Scholarship Jury is announced at the annual GCNA congress held in June each year.

Scholarship Requirements for 2017

The 2017 requirements and application form for the Barnes Scholarship are available in two formats: application form (pdf) and application form (doc).

For further information, contact either of the Barnes Scholarship Committee co-chairs: Andrea McCrady or Ray McLellan.

Scholarship Recipients

2016 - Robin Austin, Lisa Lonie, and Janet Tebbel: for the creation of folder level descriptions of all materials in the Arthur Bigelow Collection at the Anton Brees Carillon Library.

2016 - Mitchell Stecker: for study of the compositional techniques of Roy Hamlin Johnson, with a focus on the Carillon Book for the Liturgical Year.

2015 - Joey Brink - for researching the design and fabrication of an affordable practice keyboard.

2014 - Frances Newell - for study of the method of carillon arrangements and transcriptions.

2013 - Andrée-Anne Doane - for compilation of a comprehensive inventory and catalogue of the carillon music of Émilien Allard.

2012 - Ed Herrmann - for high-quality audio recordings of the Rockefeller Chapel bells for practice keyboard and other uses.

2012 - Tiffany Ng - for research at Washington Memorial Carillon, Valley Forge, PA and the Netherlands Carillon, Arlington, VA on a comparative study of the recitals of Frank Péchin Law.

2011 - Sharon Hettinger - for development of a "Carillonneur Family Tree for North American Carillonneurs."

2010 - Carol Anne Taylor - for development and production of a book of carillon music appropriate to the Spanish liturgy.

2009 - (No award.)

2008 - Carol Anne Taylor - for intensive advanced study in carillon performance.

2007 - Kim Schafer - for work on doctoral thesis, "Remembering and Performing the Ideal Campus: The Sound Cultures of Interwar American Universities."

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