Ronald Barnes (carillonist)

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Ronald Barnes (carillonist)
Native name
Ronald Barnes
Lincoln, Nebraska
DiedNovember 3, 1997
San Francisco, CA
Years active1952-1975, 1982-1995

Ronald Barnes (1927 – 3 November 1997), was a carillon performer, teacher, composer, and arranger throughout the 20th century. He was a major force in establishing an American approach to carillon performance, composing and arranging.[1]

Barnes' style revolved around the carillon as a concert instrument, requiring an intense focus on the sound of the bells. He began playing the carillon at First-Plymouth Congregational Church, earning his B.Mus. in 1950 at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln and his M.A. at Stanford University in 1961.[2]

Barnes joined the Guild of Carillonneurs of North America (GCNA) in 1948, serving as the publisher of the Guild's Bulletin and president for three terms. From 1952 to 1963 he was University Carillonist at the University of Kansas, Lawrence. He was Cathedral Carillonneur at the National Cathedral, Washington, DC, from 1963 to 1975 and University Carillonist at the University of California, Berkeley, from 1982 until his retirement in 1995.[1]

Much of Barnes' music is considered to be standard playing for carillon students. At Berkeley, he founded the Berkeley Carillon Institute, and in 1988 he was awarded the GCNA's Certificate of Extraordinary Service.[1]

Barnes died of leukemia on November 3, 1997 at Coming Home Hospice in San Francisco. He was 70.[3] In 1998, the GCNA established a memorial scholarship in his name to support the future of the carillon art in North America.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d "GCNA - Ronald Barnes Memorial Scholarship". Retrieved 2017-01-09.
  2. ^ "11.07.97 - Former UC Berkeley carillonist Ronald Barnes dies at age 70". Retrieved 2017-01-09.
  3. ^ "OBITUARY -- Ronald Barnes". SFGate. Retrieved 2017-01-09.

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