The Laura Spelman Rockefeller Memorial Carillon was a gift to The Riverside Church by the late John D. Rockefeller, Jr., in memory of his mother. It contains 74 bronze bells ranging in weight from the 20 ton (18 metric) Bourdon (hour bell) to the smallest treble bell of 10 pounds (4.5 kg). The Bourdon is the largest and heaviest carillon bell ever cast. The total weight of all the bells is over 100 tons (91 metric).
When installed at The Park Avenue Baptist Church in 1925 by Gillett & Johnston Foundry of England, it was already the world’s largest carillon, with 53 bells and a bourdon of ten tons. When it moved here, with the congregation, in 1930, it was enlarged by Gillett & Johnston to become the first carillon to surpass five musical octaves; it is the only carillon to have achieved a bourdon pitch of C, a full octave below the normal range for a carillon. In 1956, the upper range of bells was replaced by the Van Bergen Foundry of the Netherlands.
The Carillon can be heard played every Sunday at 10:30 a.m., 12:30 p.m., and 3:00 p.m., and on other special occasions.
Kamiel Lefévere (1930-1960)
James R. Lawson (1960-1989)
Joseph Clair Davis (1990-1998)
Dionisio Lind (1999-2019)
Charles Semowich (2019-present)