This week marks the twentieth anniversary of the official dedication of the Jane A. Meyer Carillon, which is connected to the Duane E. Meyer Library (no relation) on the main Springfield campus of Missouri State University.
The Jane A. Meyer Carillon was officially dedicated on April 13, 2002. The total weight of the 48 bells atop the Jane A. Meyer Carillon is 32,000 pounds, with the largest bell weighing 5,894 pounds, or nearly three tons.
Carillons were developed in the lowlands of Europe (primarily the Netherlands and Belgium) in the 16th century. Today there are carillons on every continent, except Antarctica. There are two carillons in Missouri: the Jane A. Meyer Carillon in Springfield, and Luther Tower at Concordia Seminary in St. Louis, just west of Forest Park.
Jane A. Meyer was born on April 30, 1935 in St. Louis. She graduated from high school in Butler, Missouri, and pursued a higher education at Stephens College and the University of Missouri. She came to Springfield in 1959, and became President and General Manager of radio station KTXR in 1964, part of the cluster of radio, television, and print media companies that she and her husband Ken owned. She served as organist at Covenant Presbyterian Church for 33 years, and was very active in the community, including Rotary, P.E.O., Alpha Chi Omega Sorority, the Greene County Association for Retarded Children, the American Red Cross, and the Rape Crisis and Sexual Abuse Center. She also served as Charter President of the SMS Lady Bears Fast Break Club. She passed away on February 1, 2002 at the age of 66.
Dr. Jeremy Chesman, AAGO, ChM, University Carillonist and Professor of Music at MSU, is a graduate of the University of Michigan, where he was the first person to earn a Master of Music degree in Carillon Performance.
Another series of summer carillon concerts, free and open to the public, will be held on selected Sunday evenings this summer.