Fabulous Finds from the GCNA Archives (Part I)

Did you know that in 1949, there was bill before Congress to incorporate the GCNA?

That’s right!  On March 31, 1949, Rep. Charles Elston (R-OH), proposed H.R. 3928, a bill to incorporate the Guild of Carillonneurs in North America.  Although the bill was referred to the Judiciary Committee and was ultimately never called up for a vote (the Federal government was referring organizations to incorporate in their respective states), it is an important document of GCNA history and it can be found right here in the archives!  It clearly defines what the GCNA’s founders wanted the purpose of the organization to be, and set the framework for the organization that exists today – 80 years after its first meeting!

“That the purposes of this corporation shall be as follows:

To foster carillon music in North America.
To exchange between carillonneurs, who usually are handicapped by a distance one from another, information useful in developing and popularizing their art.
To give carillonneurs, and the public, the advantage of hearing different styles of  playing.
To find out the most practical lay-out of the keyboard, and the most useful conventions of musical notation, and to recommend their standardization.
To circulate music for the carillon, to encourage original composition, and to be available for advice on arranging.
To stimulate the use of the carillon in places where instruments and sites are good, and to advise on locations which cannot be used, or cannot be heard enough to justify their installation.
To stand as an anonymous body qualified to advise on all questions concerning the carillon.
To maintain contacts for those interested in the carillon, with carillon organizations, carillonneurs, makers, and directors of carillons throughout the world.”

Also, just FYI…

The GCNA was incorporated in 1962 under the provisions of the Minnesota Non-profit Corporation Act, and is now currently incorporated in the State of California.

Mr. Charles Elston (1891-1980), served as the Representative to Ohio’s first district from 1939 – 1953. He graduated from YMCA Law School (now NKU Chase College of Law), before serving as an aviation cadet in the US Army during WWI.  After his retirement from Congress, he resumed practicing law in Cincinnati. He passed away in Ft. Lauderdale, FL in 1980.

Historical evidence would suggest that Mr. Elston was asked to submit this bill before Congress because of his (assumed) political relationship with E. Boyd Jordan, GCNA Carillonneur Member and Mayor of Mariemont, which is in Ohio’s first district.

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