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Culver Military Academy John Gouwens CD'S Organ & Carillon  

John Gouwens: Organ & Carillon John Gouwens, organist and carillonneur at the Culver Military Academy in Culver , Indiana, and long-term OHS member, presents four CDs featuring both the 1951 M. P. Möller organ (3-54) in the Chapel and the 51-bell carillon by Gillett & Johnston of London

Gouwens: Organ & Carillon, Vol. 1 - John Gouwens plays the organ and carillon at Culver Military Academy ORGAN: SOWERBY: Carillon: MASSENET: Meditation from Thaïs -ROGER-DUCASSE: Pastorale - ELGAR: Imperial March- WIDOR:Final from Symphony No. 8. CARILLON: - JOHNSON: Victimae Paschali - ALLARD: Image No. 2 - BARNES: Procession from Serenade - ME ulEMANS: The Cathedral - GOUWENS: Prelude, Adagio & Fugue; Improvisation on Slane 
John Gouwens Plays Organ & Carillon, Vol. 2 "Christmas" -John Gouwens plays the organ and carillon at Culver Military Academy, Indiana. CARILLON: GERKEN: Paraphrase on O Come, Emmanuel - ALLARD: >With the Holy Angels; Come, Shepherds - JOHNSON: Good Christian Men, Rejoice (3 settings); Away in a Manger - MYHRE: Masters in this Hall; Unto Us a Boy is Born - GOUWENS IMPROVS: Ding Dong, Merrily on High; Come, Divine Messiah; Good King Wenceslas. ORGAN: KARG-ELERT: O Come, All Ye Faithf ul; Good Christian Men Rejoice - GUILMANT: Prayer and Cradle Song - DAQUIN: Noël IV - FRUHAUF: Prelude on Of the Father’s Love Begotten - GOUWENS IMPROV: See, Amid the Winter’s Snow - Organ & Carillon Christmas  
John Gouwens: Organ & Carillon, Vol. 3 "A Summer's Night" John Gouwens plays the organ and carillon at Culver Military Academy, Indiana. CARILLON: GOUWENS: Carillon at Twilight, op. 17 - PA ulUS: Bravo Bells - JOHN POZDRO & GOUWENS: A Summer’s Night -WENDELL WESTCOTT: Toccatina Silver Bells - POZDRO: Triptych - Intermezzo, Variations-Fantasy, Slavic Dance - LIBBY LARSEN: Pealing Fire - IMPROVISATION: St. Clement.ORGAN FRANCK: Fantaisie in C (Version 1) -CHADWICK: Theme, Variations, and Fugue  
  Organ and Carillon of Culver : Vol. 4 "Orchestral Color"John Gouwens continues his engaging and approachable series of performances at Indiana’s Culver Military Academy using the school’s fine carillon to grand effect as well as showing the orchestral dimension of the school chapel’s recently enlarged Moller organ. CARILLON GOUWENS: Nocturne, Improvisation on "In Babilone," Sicilienne Ronde - COURTER: Gaudi's Chimneys: Whimsical Dances for CarillonMOMPOU: Jeunes filles au jardin - JOHNSON: > Winter Song ORGAN ELGAR: Larghetto, from Serenade for Strings - MOMPOU: Cancion y danza no. 15: Pastorale, for organ - DEBUSSY: Two Arabesques for piano - MENOTTI: Ricercare - JONGEN: Prelude and Fugue, Op. 109

Raised in Fort Wayne, he studied piano with Jack Ruhl and organ with Richard Carlson. Subsequently, he pursued college studies as an organ major at Indiana University, the University of Michigan, and the University of Kansas, with B.M. and M.M. degrees, respectively, from the latter two schools. His college organ instructors included Clyde Holloway, Robert Clark, and Robert Glasgow. He studied carillon extensively as well, notably with Albert Gerken at Kansas.

Gouwens began his carillon studies at Indiana University with Linda Walker Pointer, playing his first carillon recital on the Metz Carillon in 1977.

John Gouwens has been Organist and Carillonneur of The Academies (in addition teaching piano students) at the Culver Academies since fall of 1980.

In 1989-90 and again from 1996 to 2004, he also served as Choir Director of The Academies.

He has been a featured recitalist and lecturer at ten congresses of the Guild of Carillonneurs in North America, and hosted the 1985 and 2004 congresses at Culver

He has four CD recordings of the organ and carillon at Culver available at present (with more in the planning stages).

He also plays and teaches carillon on an adjunct basis at Indiana University (Bloomington) and Ball State University (Muncie).

He is on the faculty of the North American Carrillion School for the Indiana Region which consists of three renowned American Carillonists. Gouwens trsches Composition, Improvisation and Campanology/Carillon History.

He was a finalist in the National Organ Competition at First Presbyterian Church in Fort Wayne in 1979, 1984, and 1989, and holds numerous other contest honors in organ and in carillon. In 1990, he won first prize in the International Organ Performance Competition held by the University of Michigan.

His organ and carillon playing have been included in five programs of Pipe­dreams, broadcast nationally on American Public Media. Gouwens is also very active in the carillon field and as a composer.

In 1992, he won an international competition for carillon composition in Belgium, and his winning piece (published by the Royal Carillon School of Mechelen, Belgium) was required for finalists in the Queen Fabiola Competition in 1993. He won another composition competition in 1993, writing a choral piece for the Bicentennial of the City of Fort Wayne, which was performed at the opening festivities of that city's celebration by the Fort Wayne Philharmonic Choir.

John Gouwens has served in many leadership positions in the Fort Wayne and Saint Joseph Valley chapters of The American Guild of Organists. In addition, he has given several presentations on improvisation, hymn playing, and musical interpretation matters for various American Guild of Organists chapters. He is also active as an organ recitalist, having given recitals at many notable venues around the country.

In 2003, John Gouwens is the author of the first American carillon teaching book written (and the only one currently available), (revised and expanded in 2010) for teaching beginning students on the carillon. The book, "Playing the Carillon: An Introductory Method," is the first American carillon method book, and is to date the only one published in the US. It is published by the Guild of Carillonneurs in North Americaa, now in its third printing.

Mr. Gouwens also served as consultant in the planning, design and adjustment of The Children's Carillon, located at the entrance of The Presbyterian Church of La Porte, and also played the dedication recital on May 16, 2004.

Gouwens is noted for his improvisation skills, on the organ and on the carillon, and has given presentations for several chapters of the American Guild of Organists and for annual congresses of the Guild of Carillonneurs in North America on this subject. He also won a carillon improvisation contest at the 1983 Guild of Carillonneurs in North America congress, the first such competition held by that organization.

In the fall of 2002, he was appointed Visiting Lecturer in Carillon at Ball State University, offering recitals and instruction as requested by the University.

In 2004, he hosted the annual congress of the Guild of Carillonneurs in North America at Culver, having done so also in 1985.

Gouwens has toured extensively, playing recitals throughout the United States and Canada, also making six European concert tours, most recently in 2005 He is active as a composer, primarily for carillon, with works published by the Royal Carillon School Jef Denyn in Mechelen, American Carillon Music Editions, and The Guild of Carillonneurs in North America. He has some vocal compositions to his credit also.

2009 - This is the "Jan de Mulder Suite" (1972) composed by Jos D'hollander, a Belgian carillonneur, organist, music teacher, composer, and conductor. It is played here by John Gouwens on the Metz Carillon at Indiana University in April, 2009 - Goggle "John Gouwens Plays the Metz Carillon - YouTube"

In 2010, he was commissioned by the Lexington, Kentucky chapter to compose a work in memory of their colleague - a distinguished carillonneur and composer - John Courter. Gouwens premiered the resulting work, "Suite No. 3" for carillon, at the Lexington Regional AGO convention, on the carillon at Berea College, where Courter served with distinction until his untimely death. He has several competition honors to his credit in carillon, improvisation (on carillon), composition, and organ performance, and is widely-travelled as a recitalist on both organ and carillon. His carillon compositions are published by the GCNA, by American Carillon Music Editions, and by the Royal Carillon School of Mechelen, Belgium.

He made his seventh European recital tour in the summer of 2012.

His course book on Campanology, specifically written for the North American Carrillion School courses, hit the market in May 2013.

Kirk in the Hills • 8-9-15 • Summer Carillon Series • John Gouwens - Guest Carillonneur - On Vineo Google
John Gouwens Carillon Arthur R. Metz Memorial Carillon Saturday, April 2, 2016 4:00 p.m.; program - (PDF)

He has played recitals on many important carillons throughout the United States and Canada, including performances at 10 congresses of the Guild of Carillonneurs in North America (GCNA), as well as at several carillon festivals and at a congress of the World Carillon Federation.

In the Guild of Carillonneurs in North America, Mr. Gouwens has served for many years as chairman of the Composition Committee, which sponsors composition competitions and commissions new carillon compositions. He also has served for several years on the Music Publications and Student Examinations committees.

He served for 28 years as chairman of the Johan Franco Composition Fund Committee, which sponsored composition competitions and commissioned new carillon compositions

He is instructor in campanology (the historical and technical study of bells), composition, and improvisation at the North American Carillon School, Springfield, Ill.

He is very active as an editor and arranger of music for Guild of Carillonneurs in North America publications, as well as a contributing composer.

Carillon brings musical charm to Shafer Tower
by Casey Smith / The Daily News / 12:00 p.m. Sep 16th, 2016
John Gouwens isn't a typical musician.

As a carillonneur — someone who performs on bells in churches or towers — his musical talents aren't as traditional as most others.

"A lot of people got into this profession by accident," Gouwens said. "But not me.

From a young age, Gouwens said he was enticed by the musical capabilities of church organs while growing up in Fort Wayne. Oddly, he was also an avid clock collector, and he found the idea of bell towers to be "a beautiful combination."

"I, myself, have had quite an interesting mix of interests," Gouwens said. "My family and I used to go on lots of trips when I was younger, and I found these big, grand carillons to be so fascinating, and that's when the idea sparked that I could play those."

Gouwens began his carillon studies at Indiana University, playing his first recital on the Metz Carillon in 1977. The bells, he said, were unlike any other instrument he could get his hands on, and he was committed to anything he could do to in order to get better at the musical art.

"I was dedicated to the music and to the art of the instrument," he said. "I went and studied where I felt I could get the most training. I had my passion set on becoming a carillonneur."

After graduating from the University of Michigan with a degree in organ performance, Gouwens began looking for jobs and eventually made his way to The Culver Academies in Culver, Indiana. He started volunteering with the bell tower there, hoping his efforts would land him a permanent position at the school.

"I fell in love with the carillon there," Gouwens said. "It has a unique sound, and it was really a great place to start professionally."

His work was well received, and Gouwens joined the faculty of The Culver Academies in the fall of 1980. He began serving as organist and carillonneur of The Academies, playing both instruments for Sunday religious services, as well as presenting recitals on both instruments. He also began teaching piano students and teaching carillon and organ students on occasion. Gouwens continues to work at The Academies today, and this marks his 36th year there as faculty.

In fall 2002, he was also appointed visiting lecturer in carillon at Ball State University, performing the instrument's first recital that same year.

Ball State's Shafer Tower, which includes a 150-foot-tall free-standing bell tower with a carillon and chiming clock, sits in the middle of the campus and is one of Gouwens' favorites, he said.

The carillon tower houses 48 custom-made bells covering four octaves, making it an instrument capable of playing most historic and contemporary carillon music. It's played by striking a keyboard – the stick-like keys called batons – with the fists and by pressing the keys of a pedal keyboard with the feet. The keys mechanically activate levers and wires that connect to metal clappers that strike the inside of the bells, allowing the carillonneur to vary the intensity of the note according to the force applied to the key, Gouwens said.

"You don't get a good idea of what's happening up there," Gouwens said. "It's challenging to know what the sound is going to be like when it comes out. Is the melody good? How loud is it? I have to make sure I'm asking myself these things while playing and hope that my work is bringing out the right stuff."

Gouwens is responsible for assisting with the upkeep at Shafer Tower, but on the side, he also spends time arranging musical pieces to perform on the carillon.

"Writing music for the instrument also gives me the ability and the opportunity to explore other aspects [of the carillon]," he said. "There's so much to think about and consider – I think putting the pieces together makes me more well-rounded with the bells."

For most of his performances around the state, Gouwens arranges a set of four pieces. In an attempt to get varying sounds from each carillon he plays, Gouwens said he chooses pieces that allow each instrument to showcase what it's best at — Shafer Tower's being its strong, higher-pitched tones.

"It's always fun seeing how the sound is going to translate from one carillon to another," Gouwens said. "Shafer Tower is very tall, and it's not very soft. But every instrument is different, even with these carillons. It makes me go off of instinct when playing them a lot, which makes it all the more fun, I think."

Although Ball State has a fully-functioning carillon, musicians only play the instrument on special occasions or for concerts. At all other times, the bells are programmed by computer to play the Westminster Quarters to announce the time between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m.

Gouwens will perform a free bell tower show Sept. 17 at 11 a.m. as a part of Family Weekend. After the performance, he will also take small groups on exclusive tours to the top of the bell tower.

"It's so much fun," Gouwens said. "For students and families or anyone else who thinks it might be interesting, it would be a great experience. If not, that's okay – I'll make sure you'll hear the sounds of the bells around the campus, anyway."