Tower of St. Hugo of the Hills Church  

BLOOMFIELD HILLS - In 2005 a third carillon was dedicated in the area of Bloomfield Hills in the state Michigan. Tower and carillon were a gift to the parishioners of St. Hugo's of Wilda King Tiffany. She was born on August 7, 1909, and died July 8, 2004, almost 95 years of age. The groundbreaking ceremony for the tower took place on July 12, 2004, the day of her cremation. Her ashes have been placed on a small "columbarium nitch" in the tower.

The 100-foot bell tower of St. Hugo of the Hills Church now houses a carillon of 48 bells, all cast by Bell-foundry Royal Eijsbouts in Asten, The Netherlands. The bell profile is based on the bells cast for the Main Town Hall carillon in Gdansk, the sound of which appealed to the carillon committee at St. Hugo's as they were researching different sounds and different bellfounders.

The new Gdansk bells were based on historic bells cast by Johannes Moor for the original Town Hall carillon in Gdansk. The profile and tuning were also influenced by the famous 17th century founders Pieter and François Hemony. Whereas the Gdansk carillon is in mean tone tuning, it was decided to utilize equal temperament tuning for the St. Hugo carillon to allow performance of the widest range of carillon literature.

The low C, D and F are installed as swinging bells and placed at the very top of the bellframe, where they are visible through the bellchamber openings and so that their sound carries for a great distance.

The consultant for the carillon was Patrick Macoska, Director of Music and carillonneur at St. Mary's of Redford, Detroit. The architect for the tower was Anthony Gholz. In November, 2004, the bells were blessed by Monsignor Anthony Tocco, Pastor of St. Hugo's.

The tower is clad with more than 1,600 pieces of Mankato Kasota limestone from Minnesota. The masonry panels, attached with stainless steel clips to an iron frame, were chosen to match the rest of the church. Stone masons have worked through the winter, wrestling with limestone panels that weigh an average of 150 lbs. Constructing the tower was not an easy job for the builders, since the tower is set up on a hill. Occasionally it was very windy and cold up there.

The tower has become a new landmark. It is beautiful and with the carillon not only a delight for the eyes but also for the ears. An interior iron spiral staircase provides access to the playing room, 57 steps from the ground level - about 60 feet up - and the top of the tower. A practice keyboard with options for recording melodies for the automatic playing system has been installed as well.

On July 10, 2005, the recital for the dedication of the tower and the inauguration of the carillon was given by Milford Myhre, Carillonneur Emeritus.