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Chimes Silent After John Courter Passes Away

06.22.10 02:05 PM – Andy McDonald
Internationally noted musician and professor John Courter passed away Monday in Berea. His performances on the carillon, organ and piano had delighted local music lovers since he began his career in Berea in 1971.
BEREA - Internationally noted musician and Berea College professor John Courter passed away on Monday.

Courter was perhaps best known to Bereans for his talents on the carillon, organ and piano. He established the Summer Carillon Concert Series at Berea College, and he was the long-time organist at Union Church. His carillon performances could often be heard at the close of the business day.

Courter had served as a professor of music at Berea College beginning in 1971, He retired in 1997.

A statement from Berea College noted Courter earned a number of distinguished honors over the course of his career as a musician and academic.

"John had been one of the leading contemporary composers for the carillon. He won several international prizes with his original compositions for the instrument and his works have been published in Germany, the Netherlands and the United States as well as performed on carillons throughout the world," according to a statement to the college community from Berea College Dean Stephanie Browner.

Browner further noted that Courter earned degrees from Michigan State University and the University of Michigan. He also held diplomas from the Netherlands Carillon School. In 1993, he was awarded the prestigious Berkeley Medal for Distinguished Service to the Carillon as a performer and composer. He
was a Fellow in the American Guild of Organists and a member of the Guild of Carilloneurs in North America.
Recently, the Board of Directors and membership
of that organization bestowed upon him the unprecedented title of permanent Honorary Member of the Guild.

As a tribute to Courter, the chimes in Phelps Stokes Chapel were silent on Monday.

The Berea College carillon in Draper Hall will be dedicated as the John E. Courter Carillon during Homecoming this fall, Browner stated.

Memorial arrangements for Courter are pending.
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