Featured Chime Projects

St. Francis of Assisi Episcopal Church, Ooltewah, Tennessee
The Linnie M. Barger Memorial Chime

Later expanded to be a carillon, this original comprehensive chime of 19 bells is an example worthy of being studied and adopted elsewhere. Here, in a small church, planted only 10 years or so before, and with no tower, there was a desire for a real chime of bells, rather than an electronic imitation. Early on, after initial consideration of an 11-bell electric-action set, the decision was made by Music Director William Barger that this would be an expressive, manually-played instrument; the concept grew to become an instrument of 1 1/2 octaves, chromatic except for the lowest semitone, and based upon a tenor of G4, 260 lbs. The tenor was placed in swinging mountings, to use as a regular church bell. With the collaboration of the church’s architect, and Meeks, Watson & Company designers, a simple steel frame tower was developed, with a gable roof on top, and a shingled playing room at ground level, tying the tower into the style of the existing church building. A 1 1/2 octave manual only baton keyboard was initially furnished for playing the bells. The chime was installed in early April of 2003, and first played at Easter. Later, the lowest semitone bell was added, bringing the total to 20 bells, and at the same time, pedals were added to provide additional versatility in playing the lowest 10 bells. (For the continuation of the story, see the article on this church in the “Featured Carillon Projects” section.)

19-bell Chime Closeup
The Original Baton Keyboard
Baton Keyboard with Pedals Added