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John Courter Papers, c. 1980-2010

Collection Overview

Title: John Courter Papers, c. 1980-2010

ID: RG 09/9.11

Creator: Courter, John.

Extent: 7.0 Boxes (General)

Languages: English [eng]

Abstract

John Courter was an organist, carillonneur, and professor of music at Berea College. Courter joined the Berea College faculty in 1971 as a teacher and organist. After retiring from teaching in 2007, he continued to serve as College Organist and was also the College Carillonneur. In addition, to work at the Courter was the organist at Union Church and a long-time contributor to the music of St. Clare Catholic Church, both in Berea.

A native of Lansing, Michigan, Courter earned a bachelor’s degree in choral music education from Michigan State University in 1962 and a master of music degree in organ in 1966 from the University of Michigan. He had also studied at the North German Organ Academy and held diplomas from the Netherlands Carillon School.

Courter contributed to the musical life of the college and the larger community in numerous ways during his 39 years at Berea. In the music department he taught organ, piano, chime, and carillon performance, church music, and music theory and was a former director of the Harmonia Society. As College Organist he performed frequently for official functions, at worship services in Danforth Chapel, as an accompanist for the Concert Choir and other campus ensembles, and as a recitalist. A well-known organist in the region, he was Dean of the Lexington Chapter of the American Guild of Organists.

Courter was involved in the renovation of the Holtkamp pipe organ in Gray Auditorium at Berea and the 10-bell chime in Phelps Stokes Chapel. Courter was also the driving force behind Berea’s 56-bell carillon, the largest in the state of Kentucky, and had been the College Carillonneur since 2000 when the instrument was installed.  The Carillonneur was dedicated as the John Courter Carillon in the Fall 2010.

In 1995, Courter received Berea College’s esteemed Seabury Award for Excellence in Teaching, and in 2006 received the Elizabeth Perry Miles Award for Community Service. In 1993, Courter was awarded the prestigious Berkeley Medal for Distinguished Service to the Carillon as a performer and composer. He was a Fellow of the American Guild of Organists and a member of the Guild of Carillonneurs in North America (and named a permanent Honorary Member of the Guild).

Courter, a leading contemporary composer for the carillon, won several international prizes with his original works that have been published in Germany, the Netherlands and the United States and performed on carillons throughout the world. His works have been commissioned by the Palace of Government in Barcelona, the cities of Utrecht, Kampen, and Almelo (The Netherlands), the Arts Council of Ireland, the University of Michigan and Grand Valley State University. “In Memoriam – Sept. 11, 2001,” a 3 ½ minute piece written in 2002 to honor victims of that event, has been played around the world. One of his compositions is included in the New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians and Grove online.

In 2005, Courter established the Summer Carillon Concert Series at Berea College which continues to bring international performers of the instrument to Berea’s campus. Courter passed away in his Berea home in June, 2010 at the age of 68.

Scope and Contents of the Materials

This collection contains the papers of John Courter, organist, carillonneur, and professor of music at Berea College from 1971 t0 2007.  Records and papers reflect his work at Berea College, a composer, musician, and member of the professional organizations and include photographs, correspondence, clippings, brochures, performance and recital posters and programs, compositions, arrangements and scores, personal notes, and recording (on VHS, CD, and Digital Video Cassette format) of recitals by Courter and others.

Administrative Information

Access Restrictions: Records can be accessed through the Reading Room, Berea College Special Collections and Archives, Hutchins Library, Berea College.  Please contact Archivist for information regarding media contained in this collection.

Use Restrictions: There are no restrictions on the collection other than federal copyright regulations. Cite all information.

Preferred Citation: [Item/Folder/Box], John Courter Papers, Special Collections and Archives, Berea College, Berea, KY.

Processing Information: The collection processed and finding aid was created in 2016 by Lori Myers-Steele, Collections Archivist.  Media in process of digitization; ask archivist for more information.


Box and Folder Listing

Box 1Add to your cart.
Folder 1: Guild of Crillonneurs in North America (GCNA): Correspondence and BusinessAdd to your cart.
Folder 2: Guild of Crillonneurs in North America (GCNA): Congress 2003, Berea CollegeAdd to your cart.
Folder 3: Guild of Crillonneurs in North America (GCNA): Budget and Sponsors 2003, BereaAdd to your cart.
Folder 4: Guild of Crillonneurs in North America (GCNA): Programs, Recital Schedules, GuidesAdd to your cart.
Folder 5: Correspondence: Personal letters and postcardsAdd to your cart.
Box 2Add to your cart.
Folder 1: Chimes Renovation, Berea CollegeAdd to your cart.
Folder 2: Amsterdam, 1988Add to your cart.
Folder 3: Courter Recitals, 1993Add to your cart.
Folder 4: Summer Workshops and Recitals, 1993Add to your cart.
Folder 5: Specific Information, Scores Played for Recitals 1996 by CourterAdd to your cart.
Folder 6: Grant Application, Appalachian College Association, 1995-1996Add to your cart.
Folder 7: Iowa State University Seminar Materials , 2003Add to your cart.
Folder 8: Sabbatical, 2004Add to your cart.
Folder 9: Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday Chimes Arrangements, 2001-2006Add to your cart.
Folder 10: Newspaper Clippings and Magazine PiecesAdd to your cart.
Folder 11: Miscellaneous notes and memosAdd to your cart.
Box 3Add to your cart.
Folder 1: Carillon Concert Programs and Brochures, Berea College, Recitals by Courter and Other GuestsAdd to your cart.
Folder 2: Carillon Concert Programs and Brochures, Other; International Recitals by Courter and OthersAdd to your cart.
Folder 3: Carillon Concert Programs and Brochures, Other; International Recitals by Courter and OthersAdd to your cart.
Folder 4: Carillon Concert Programs and Brochures, Other; International Recitals by Courter and OthersAdd to your cart.
Box 4Add to your cart.
Folder 1: Carillon Concert Programs and Brochures, Other; United States by Courter and OthersAdd to your cart.
Folder 2: Carillon Concert Programs and Brochures, Other; United States by Courter and OthersAdd to your cart.
Folder 3: John Gouwens, RecitalsAdd to your cart.
Folder 4: Post Cards and Pictures of Bells, Carillons and ChurchesAdd to your cart.
Folder 5: Books, Brochures and other materials on Bellfounding, Bell ringing, Bells and CarillonsAdd to your cart.
Box 5Add to your cart.
Folder 1: Compositions, Arrangements and Scores by Courter and OthersAdd to your cart.
Item 1: The New Tower and Carillon of Kampen, by John Courter (copy with handwritten notes)Add to your cart.
Item 2: Notebook of notes by Courter, first entry 1987Add to your cart.
Item 3: A Compendium of Inaugural Recitals on Cast-Bell Instruments in North America, by James B. Slater, 2001Add to your cart.
Item 4: A Compendium of Inaugural Recitals on Cast-Bell Instruments in North America, Book 2, by James B. Slater, 2006Add to your cart.
Item 5: Index to the Bulletin of The Guild of Carillonneurs in North America, 1940-1995, Volumes I - XLIV, Margo HalstedAdd to your cart.
Box 6Add to your cart.
Folder 1: Posters: Recitals and Performances1993-2010Add to your cart.
Folder 2: Photographs: World Peace Bell, Newport, KY, 2000Add to your cart.
Folder 3: Photographs: Conferences, meetings, otherAdd to your cart.
Folder 4: Photographs: Berea Carillon, Two Bells at Berea; Unloading and Blessing of the Bells, July 2000Add to your cart.
Folder 5: Photographs: Sarasota, Bak Tower, May 2004Add to your cart.
Folder 6: Photographs: Verin Factory, Berea Carillon being made, Bell Newport KY, March 2000Add to your cart.
Folder 7: Photographs: MiscellaneousAdd to your cart.
Item 1: Media Materials including VHS and other tapesAdd to your cart.
Recitals of Courter and others