St. Colmans' Cathedral  

COBH - During the 13th WCF World Congress held in Cobh (Ireland), hosted by the British Carillon Society, the Committee of Delegates met twice. On the agenda were the reports of the committees and the reports of the secretary and treasurer. The Committee of Delegates also took a vote on the location for the World Congress 2006.

For an organisation like the WCF a home page is the ultimate way to publish information that can easily be accessed by all carillonneurs and the general public. The current home page starts with a welcoming page, giving the visitor the opportunity to choose between the version in French, English or Dutch texts. Apart from a list of member organizations, the Statutes and By-Laws of the WCF and the members of the Excecutive Committee, news items of universal interest are published.

Also a list of CD-recordings and a world-list of carillons is available. Last named list now also includes carillons in countries that are not directly represented within the WCF. A list of officially published carillon music will be added in the near future. Currently information about travelling carillons is being collected as well as information about bell museums.

The chapter 'Instrument' is still missing. It should contain a short history of the development of the carillon as an instrument, a simple technical description of the functioning of the instrument, and some pictures of towers and bells.

The WCF Keyboard Committee had in the last two years only one member: Bob van Wely. The activities of the Committee were minimal. Timothy Hurd has offered to join the Committee.

After the introduction of the Keyboard 2000, the new design by Richard Strauss, the Committee arranged a questionnaire via the GCNA mailing list ascertaining the demand for a world standard carillon keyboard. The results were reported in the article 'Towards a new world standard'.

In February 2002 a meeting was organized in Utrecht by the boards of the NKV and the VBV about the new keyboard design. Since there is no Keyboard 2000 installed yet in Europe, it is quite difficult to judge its qualities in an accurate way. Three cities in The Netherlands are considering the installation of the K-2000 keyboard. The choice of the keyboard depends on the budgets made available by the city governments.

The official location of the WCF Archives is the building of the Netherlands Carillon School in Amersfoort, The Netherlands. To improve the monitoring of the incoming flow of magazines and other publications of WCF members, secretary Hylke Banning has offered to act as an archivist. In order to be able to organize the archive properly a new cupboard will be bought and placed in the school. Member guilds which did not send a copy of their magazine or other publications last year will be asked to forward these.

In 2000 and 2001 a WCF Bulletin was published by the Editorial Board. All three bulletins (Dutch, English, French) were edited by Liesbeth Janssens. The English translation was supervised by Adrian Gebruers and the French translation by Jacques Renders. Both issues contained a section "News of the world". Short news items that are relevant for people in other countries too were received from representatives of most guilds. A few articles were also published. The number of booklets produced was about 450 Dutch, 750 English and 250 French. During the CD meeting in Springfield it was decided that it would be too costly to print the Bulletin. Therefore the Bulletins were photocopied as before and do not contain any pictures.

The idea is now to use the home page of the WCF in future for publishing news. At the end of a year all published news items can be collected and issued in a paper bulletin, since not everyone has yet a good connection to the internet. Eventually the home page may take over the function of the WCF Bulletin as a medium for publishing news.

For the next two years the Editorial Board consists of Alfred Lesecq, Geoff Armitage, Timothy Hurd, Liesbeth Janssens, Adrian Gebruers and Wylie Crawford. Hylke Banning will co-ordinate the activities.

In May 2000, a first official edition was presented of the booklet Worldlist of carillons / Address list of carillonneurs. All 1,500 copies were distributed among the (at that time) eleven guilds. The booklet mentions the full address of every carillonneur in an alphabetical list that follows the inventory of carillons. Meanwhile, the complete worldlist of carillons (without the addresses of the carillonneurs) has been published on the WCF home page.

Since a hard copy of the list is still appreciated, the Committee of Delegates has decided that a new issue of the booklet - which is quite costly - should be published not every two, but every four years. The new version should include a list of travelling carillons. In order to keep the data on the list up to date, the WCF secretary will urge every member guild to nominate a responsible person who is expected to inform the WCF of address changes of carillonneurs.

Both the Nederlandse Klokkenspel-Vereniging and the Polskie Stowarzyszenie Carillonowe offered to host the WCF World Congress in 2006. Representatives of Utrecht (The Netherlands) and Gdansk (Poland) presented their plans as possible future hosts.

Utrecht is well known as a centre for the carillon art with an instrument in the Nicolaļ Church and a large historic carillon in the Dom Tower. This tower also houses a peal of 14 bells. About 30 more swinging bells can be found in towers in the immediate vicinity. In the past, the local organisation has organized many special concerts during which the carillon is played in combination with other instruments. Utrecht, situated in the centre of The Netherlands, would be a good starting point for day trips including a visit to the two Dutch bell founders.

The first carillon in Gdansk dates from the 16th century. It was the first city outside the Low Countries to own a carillon. Unfortunately, both historic carillons of Gdansk were lost during the war. Recently, two new instruments were installed. The congress organization proposes to pay attention to the the relation between the Low Countries and the Baltic states, and the archives of Gdansk (history of bells). A bell founders' forum, a composers' forum and boat trips can be included in the programme too.

By secret ballot, the Committee of Delegates chose Gdansk as the city where the Polish Guild is going to organize the WCF World Congress 2006.

Three members of the Executive Committee were at the end of their term: Wylie Crawford (USA), Alfred Lesecq (France) and Adrian Gebruers (Ireland). After some consideration all three retiring officers agreed to be re-electable. As customary, the members of the Committee of Delegates were given the opportunity to nominate new candidates. Eventually there were no new nominees. Therefore, the composition of the Executive Committee as not altered. Adrian Gebruers was re-elected as President of the WCF.

The date for the next meeting of the Executive Committee is set for Friday, June 27, 2003 in Oslo. The Committee of Delegates will also meet in Oslo, one year later, in the evening of Saturday, June 26, 2004.

Since the congress in Springfield, the Congress Guidelines Committee, consisting of Alfred Lesecq, Wylie Crawford and Geert Stubbe, has drafted a text partially based on the congress guidelines of the GCNA. The text will be worked up in the coming year and if possible outlined during the next meeting of the Committee of Delegates in Oslo in 2004. A few of the proposed guidelines are:

  • A proposal to organize a congress should always originate from the guild that is the actual member of the WCF and not from a person or local association
  • It is required that future congress organizers have attended at least one WCF congress
  • The maximum duration of a congress is 5 days
  • All WCF member guilds are to be contacted with regard to presentations
  • Carilloneurs performing during the congress should be a member of the guild that represents the country where they live
The committee is aware of the fact that it will of course be rather difficult for the WCF to apply sanctions to these guidelines.