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Ronald Barnes Memorial Fund

Ronald Barnes, carillonneur

Ronald Barnes, 1927-1997

Our Mission and Supportable Activities

The Guild of Carillonneurs in North America invites applications for the Ronald Barnes Memorial Fund. To honor Barnes' extraordinary contributions to the North American carillon art, the Guild established the Memorial Fund in 1998 for individuals to pursue studies, within North America, in North American carillon performance, composition, music history or instrument design. Application for the grant is open to all North Americans. The decision of the Barnes jury is announced at the annual GCNA congress held in June each year.

Grant Applications

Grant amount available for 2023 cycle: awards can range up to $14,197.40 depending on the number of successful applicants.

Application deadline: March 1, 2023. The Application Form can be downloaded here. Also see additional documents: a copy of the Letter of Agreement and information regarding Budget Considerations.

Notification to Applicants: by mid-June 2023

Project Deadline: Successful applicants have up to two years to complete the project.

For further information, contact the Co-Chairs of the Barnes Fund Committee at

Congratulations to the 2022 Grant Recipients!

The Barnes Grant Committee was pleased to award grants to the following two recipients:

Simone Browne will conduct oral history research to produce carillonneur biographies. Simone is a carillonist from Tucson, Arizona (USA). She developed a love of music from a young age and played the cello for eleven years. After moving to Chicago, Illinois for college in 2015, Simone fell in love with the carillon and became a member of the University of Chicago Guild of Carillonneurs, studying carillon with Joey Brink. She graduated from the University of Chicago in 2019, then spent a year living in Chernivtsi, Ukraine, teaching English and visiting Ukrainian carillons as a Fulbright grantee. Simone studied at the Royal Carillon School in Mechelen, Belgium as a Belgian-American Educational Foundation Fellow and graduated "with great distinction" in 2021. She enjoys studying languages and visiting carillons around the world.

Carlos Colon-Ortiz will research dances archived in his homeland of Puerto Rico to create carillon arrangements. Carlos is a biomedical engineering student at the University of Florida with a music performance minor in carillon. He learned about the University of Florida carillon studio through friends while trying to find a handbell choir on campus. His musical background is on piano and handbells. He enjoys being involved in community service through his church community and Collegiate 4-H organizations, and volunteering in research projects in the engineering department. His favorite part about the carillon is the wide musical influence of the instrument in the college community. 

About the Barnes Fund

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 The Bulletin, following which he served three terms as Guild president. From 1951 to 1962 he was University Carillonist at the University of Kansas, Lawrence. He was Cathedral Carillonneur at the National Cathedral, Washington, DC, from 1963 to 1974 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 on November 3, 1997 at the age of 70.

Past Grant Recipients

2021 - Yiqing Ma: to study Bianzhong repertoire, techniques, tunings, and scales to develop techniques for adapting this ancient Chinese repertoire to the carillon.

2020 - Laura Ellis: for a professional recording of representative carillon compositions of Alice Gomez.

2020 - Michelle Lam and Elisa Tersigni: to collect, analyze, and report results from a quantitative and qualitative survey aimed at those broadly involved in the North American carillon community.

2019 - Robin Austin, Lisa Lonie, and Janet Tebbel: for the creation of folder level descriptions of all materials in the Ronald Barnes Collection at the Anton Brees Carillon Library. A recording of their webinar presentation is available here (for members only).

2019 - Kimberly Rockness Wood: to write a young adult book about carillons – including the definition/description, history (bells to carillons), current examples of carillons in North America, and the future of the carillon.

2018 - Jaime Fogel: for the design and production of a bell founding informational exhibit. To borrow the traveling exhibit, complete this request form. To request your own permanent copy of the exhibit, complete this request form.

2018 - Benjamin Sunderlin: for research into comparative bell casting techniques.

2017 - Rachel Perfecto: for the creation of an online guide to arranging music for the carillon. A recording of Rachel's webinar presentation is available here (for members only).

2017 - Pamela Ruiter-Feenstra: for study in the preparation of a multicultural carillon composition.

2016 - Robin AustinLisa 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. Research results available here (for members only).

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. Link to Anton Brees Carillon Library catalog entry.

2012 - Ed Herrmann - for high-quality audio recordings of the Rockefeller Chapel bells for practice keyboard and other uses. Sound files available here (for members only).

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." Link to GCNA Archives catalog entry.

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

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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