History of Carillon

Walter F. Tilton Municipal Memorial Carillonblack and white carillon
Quoting from the original deed of gift, Walter F. Tilton says, “It is my wish that this carillon may for all time serve as a memorial to and a reminder of the patriotic service and devotion of all Citizens of Norwood who have given of their lives, their health, their strength, their thought, their comfort and means that this nation might live. It is my wish that these bells may keep fresh the memory of that sacrifice and service, and by such reminder, ever sound the call of Good Citizenship.”

The tower at the Memorial Municipal Building (Town Hall) contains a most unusual musical instrument, a 50-bell carillon. The carillon was a gift to the town by Walter F. Tilton given at the time of the original building construction in 1928. The Walter F. Tilton Memorial Carillon was cast in 1928 by Gillett & Johnston of Croyden, England. The bells, made of bronze, range in size from the largest of 71 inches in diameter and 7840 pounds to the smallest, which is 6.5 inches in diameter and weighs 11 pounds.

Technical information:
Dedicated: Armistice Day, November 11, 1928
Bellfounder: Gillett & Johnston, Croyden, England
Number of Bells: 50: Largest Bell: weighs 7,840 lbs., sounds B-flat, connected to C on Keyboard
Keyboard range: C – d’’’, pedal board range: C – c’ (one missing bass semitone).
Two bells were lost and replaced in 1983 by the John Taylor Bell Foundry.

In 1935, Gillett & Johnston recast 1 bell.

(ed. note) A 51st bell hangs in the bell frame but is unattached to the carillon. This bell is similar to the bell in front of the Firehouse.

Former Carillonneurs:
Kamiel Lefévere (1928 -1934)

Roger Walker (1934 – 1972)
Martin Gilman (1972 –1985)

The carillon is currently played by Lee Leach and other guests, which include Margaret Angelini, Thomas Lee, and Christina Meyer. Mr. Leach and Ms. Meyer are residents of the Town of Norwood.

Sally Slade Warner arranged the Monday evening Summer Recital Series 1985 - 2009. Today, this series is coordinated by Mr. Leach and include world-renowned players from the United States and other countries. 

The Summer Series begins on the last Monday in June and continues each Monday evening through the middle of August. A full schedule is posted on the Town of Norwood’s web site under Concerts - Carillon Concerts. All recitals are one hour in length and begin at 6:30 P. M.

Funding for the Summer Recital Series comes from the Town of Norwood and a special gift from the Norwood Women's Community Committee.