Project Canterbury

The Leonidas Polk Memorial Carillon

The University of the South, Sewanee, Tennessee, 1967.

Digitized by Wayne Kempton
Archivist and Historiographer of the Diocese of New York


1. SEWANEE HYMN…Traditional
2. ALMA MATER (Sewanee)… Newton Middleton ‘09
3. CAMPANELLA (For Carillon)… Georges Clement
All Through The Night… Welsh
Drink To Me Only With Thine Eyes… English
Loch Lomond… Scottish
Londonderry Air… Irish
5. FISHER’S HORNPIPE (Irish Melody)… arr. Percival Price
6. MUSS I DENN (Swabian Folksong)… arr. Milford Myhre


1. PRELUDIO #7… Matthias van den Gheyn (1721-1785)
2. BELLSONG (Theme by Sibelius)… Edwin Nielsen
3. JESU, JOY OF MAN’S DESIRING… Johann Sebastian Bach
4. EIN’ FESTE BURG (Paraphrase)… Leen ‘t Hart
5. YE HOLY ANGELS BRIGHT (Darwell, Hymn Tune)… arr. Marian Craighead
6. SOFTLY NOW THE LIGHT OF DAY (Seymour, Hymn Tune)… arr. William Lyon-Vaiden

A carillon is neither a timid nor a neutral creation. It speaks with a clear voice. It means to be heard. This carillon with singular suitability is dedicated to Leonidas Polk.

The man destined to hold Episcopal jurisdiction over Arkansas, Mississippi, Texas, Louisiana, the Indian Territory and Alabama was born April 10, 1806. He died, pierced by an artillery ball, on June 14, 1864. In those intervening 58 years there developed a career described as follows by Dr. A. Cabell Greet, who was orator at Sewanee’s 1959 Commencement: “After Alfred the Great, there has lived no one man who achieved such stature in the fields of religion, of the military, and of education as Leonidas Polk.” He was a bishop of the Episcopal Church, a lieutenant-general of the Confederacy, and the projector of the idea for a university of a comprehensiveness still unrealized anywhere in the world a hundred years after his death.

For an evaluation of his role in the founding of the University, his contemporaries on the Board of Trustees spoke in this manner in 1867: “If the great beneficial results which our University was founded to secure shall ever be accomplished, the praise, under God, will be mainly due to the wisdom and forethought, the hopeful confidence and indefatigable labors of its founder, the magnanimous, self-sacrificing Bishop Polk.”

William Dudley Gale, of Nashville, Tennessee, a Sewanee alumnus, gave the Leonidas Polk Memorial Carillon in memory of his great-grandfather, and the dedication took place on April 12, 1959.

The fifty-six-bell Leonidas Polk Memorial Carillon, ranging nearly five octaves, at the time of installation was the third largest in the world judged by number of bells. It is fortunate that the tower was designed especially for it (carillons are more often installed in existing towers), thus permitting the maximum tonal quality of the bells to be heard when they are played. Shapard Tower, rising 134 feet into the air, the gift of the Robert P. Shapard family of Griffin, Georgia, received its bells as it grew, the first being installed during the summer of 1958 and the last during the fall. The tower and carillon are a part of Sewanee’s new All Saints Chapel, even in its former state considered the most used Episcopal Church in the South.

Project Canterbury