On June 9, 2017, Bell Tower Community Foundation President Carole Custer presented the new four octave carillon to the Board of Supervisors. She also announced the observation deck will now be known as the Paul E. Nally Observation Deck in honor of friend and donor to the Foundation, Paul Nally.
Paul passed away ten years ago and left money through his estate to a number of great causes in the county. He made a large impact with his time and talents during his life in Jefferson. With these funds as a catalyst, the projects and fundraising leading to the completion of the Let the Bells Ring campaign came to fruition. A plaque was read and installed in the observation deck of the tower at the 2017 Opening Cermonies of the Bell Tower Festival.
Friends and family members including Bob Owens were introduced to the large crowd.
Rick Morain played the first live concert of the Mahanay Memorial Carillon Tower on Friday, June 9, 2017 as part of the Opening Cermonies of the 2017 Bell Tower Festival. Rick played a variety of tunes for the large crowd gathered around the tower from 6:15- 6:30 pm. Selections included
America the Beautiful, Ode to Joy, Green Green Grass of Home, The Whiffenpoof Song, The Water is Wide, Devoted to You, Simple Gifts (Appalachian Spring), Danny Boy, Misty, and Great Gate of Kiev.
Rick played a follow-up concert on Saturday at 3:15 pm playing some of the same selections.
On Sunday, Rick played the first Tower Tunes Daily Concert at 12:15 pm. His selections included:
Summertime, As Time Goes By, Galway Bay☘️, You’ve Got a Friend, Jamaica Farewell, The Entertainer, Sloop John B, Honky Tonk Woman, and finishing with his favorite, The Great Gate of Kiev.
The Memorial Day weekend of 2017 will be remembered for the installation of the long awaited four octave carillon. Five bells were already in place and playing the Westminster Chimes since August of 2016. The Verdin Company of Cincinnati, Ohio was the contractor to cast the 18 bells in Holland, put the strikers in all of the bells and transport to downtown Jefferson. All of the bells were engraved with donor names or messages. Those are all listed on this website.
Wade Weiss, Greene County Engineer, was the project manager overseeing this amazing project. He coordinated the large crane used to hoist the bells to the top of the tower. Verdin employees attached the bells throughout the weekend. All was completed on Memorial Day. A large number of residents and visitors enjoyed watching the show of raising the bells to the top. Many remarked being there in 1966 when the first 14 bells were put in position. This was history in the making!
The next step will be checking the entire carillon system to make sure all bells are in perfect working order. The programed recordings of bell music will now be able to play the real bells. Live Tower Tunes Concerts are being planned with local musicians providing the talent. The daily concerts will also be recorded to play on the bells again.
The Bell Tower Community Foundation has worked with the Greene County Board of Supervisors and City of Jefferson to complete this goal of the four octave carillon in Jefferson.