McGaffin Carillon Honors the WWI Armistice Centenary 11 November 2018


A weekend of activities honored the memory of the sacrifices made during the First World War. This year was particularly meaningful as it marked the 100th anniversary of the signing of the armistice that ended that most destructive and horrific conflict.

On Friday night, November 9, the carillon played a prelude to a collaborative concert that united the Case Concert Choir, the Church of the Covenant choir and the Case Orchestra in music of consolation and peace. A highlight of the evening was the world premier of a piece commissioned for the event by the Friends of Music at Church of the Covenant to honor the Armistice anniversary, the 50th anniversary of the McGaffin carillon, and the 10th anniversary of Jonathan Moyer as the church’s director of music. The composer, David Childs, conducted his work, Solas, that included a carillon prelude.

On Sunday morning, Solas was repeated at the end of morning worship at the church ending exactly at 11 a.m. when the bourdon bell of the carillon tolled 100 times at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, the time 100 years ago when the guns went silent.

On Sunday afternoon at 3:30 Covenant and University Circle Carillonneur, George Leggiero, played a program that included McGaffin Flourish written by Jennifer Conner for the carillon’s anniversary and two pieces written for the dedication of war memorial instruments in the 1920s, Memorial Chimes by Edward Elgar, and Fantasie in d by Bryan Barker. The concert also included Sacred Suite by Geert D’hollander. That piece was commissioned for that day’s dedication of a peace carillon in Leuven, Belgium. Carillons around the world were joining in with performances of their own.

At 4:00 at the Church of the Covenant was a commemoration in music and literature. Readings from soldier’s letters, war diaries, and poetry reflecting on the war, as well as music by composers affected by the war was a moving tribute.

Links to information about the programs.

Daniel Hathaway previewed the weekend in an article in

George Leggiero was interviewed by Mark Satola for WCLV and WCPN.

The Case Western Reserve University Daily.

George Leggiero Honored by the Cleveland Italian-American Heritage Committee

Mayor Frank Jackson and George Leggiero

Mayor Frank Jackson and George Leggiero

On October 1, 2018 the Cleveland Italian-American Heritage Committee held a ceremony at Cleveland City Hall to open Italian-American Heritage Month. Among this year’s honorees was George Leggiero, Covenant and University Circle Carillonneur. This was in recognition of his contributions to the Cleveland Music scene including his forty-five years as carillonneur at the Alexander McGaffin Memorial Carillon. Attending the ceremony were FMC donors and Board Members including Denise Horstman, Rod Keen, David Osburn, and Paul and Kate Williams. See photos and videos from the event.

Cleveland City Council Resolution of Congratulations

Cleveland City Council Resolution of Congratulations

Cleveland Classical's Daniel Hathaway Chats with George Leggiero


The McGaffin Carillon at 50: a chat with carillonneur George Leggiero

by Daniel Hathaway

As a high school student, George Leggiero enjoyed collecting chiming clocks. When he arrived as a freshman at Case Western Reserve University, he couldn’t help but notice the mammoth chiming timepiece in the tower of the Church of the Covenant — especially when he moved next door into Mather House for his junior and senior years. “My room overlooked the tower, so you either got to love the bells or you moved,” he said in a telephone conversation.

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George Leggiero highlighted in CWRU Think Magazine


The Bells of the McGaffin Carillon Photo: Nancy Hribar Matz

The Bells of the McGaffin Carillon
Photo: Nancy Hribar Matz

McGaffin Carillon's Pealing Bells Mark 50 Years
Starting in his junior year at Case Western Reserve University, George Leggiero lived in Mather House next to the Church of the Covenant, which rang its 47 carillon bells daily on the quarter hour.
"You either learned to love the bells or you moved," he said.
Leggiero (CIT '72; GRS '77, music) stayed. And decades later, he's still enamored. 
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Ideastream's Carrie Wise spent time at the McGaffin Tower and filed these reports

During the past week or so, Ideastream's Carrie Wise visited the tower several times. She took a lot of video both inside and outside of the tower and interviewed both George Leggiero and Denise Horstman. The result was an audio report that will run on WCPN and WCLV as well as video reports that will run on WVIZ's Applause and IDEAS programs.

Link to Carrie Wise's reports on the Ideastream website