Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Jerusalem International YMCA carillon

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A special treat in the weeks before Christmas is to hear carols right in the middle of west Jerusalem.
They come from the high tower of the Jerusalem International YMCA ( affectionately known in Hebrew as Yimca).


The carillon has 35 bells and was dedicated in 1935.
It is the only carillon in the Middle East.

The heaviest bell is a C tone and weighs 1,500 kilos.
It carries the inscription "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will to men."

The bells remain stationary but their clappers are moved by handles and a set of cable transmitters and springs.
In the playing room below the bell terrace, the oak playing console has 35 handles and 12 foot pedals, each connected to a clapper.

The YMCA carillon is played by Jerusalem-born Gaby Shefler.
His specialty is arranging Israeli music for the carillon.

To see how he plays and to read more, please enlarge the photo above.
(Click on it once and then click on the photo that appears.)
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For more about the grand old Y you can see my previous posts:
"Angels we have heard on high . . ."  and  "YMCA, YMCA . . ."
or click on my label YMCA to see all four.
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For fun see the Y staff and friends do a flashmob at the Mamilla mall, partly to the song "YMCA.".
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UPDATE: Nice news in the Times of Israel: YMCA kids play at peace in Israel Museum
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7 comments:

Hels said...

I LOVE this architecture and am always surprised and delighted to see it in Jerusalem. That the carillon was dedicated in 1935 looks absolutely right, stylewise.

Now if only I could be there to hear it.

Dina said...

Helen, yes, I wish you could be here to hear it because I could not find a good video of the carillon being played to offer the readers.
I have never gone up the tower myself.

Ann said...

This week, Malaysia released the ban from visiting Jerusalem.

Dina said...

Ann, shalom. Good to hear that Malaysia lifted the travel ban.
The Philippines did the same a few days ago. It's a good thing because many of our Filipino caregivers were afraid to go home for Christmas, fearing their government would not allow them to return to their jobs in Israel.
About 41,000 Filipinos work here.

VP said...

One of my favorite places in Jerusalem, outside the Old City...

Spiderdama said...

How nice!:-) I would love to hear it.
This building is very impressive.

Oakland Daily Photo said...

It's pleasing to hear there is a carillon that is still being played by a real person. Many here are now recordings. BTW, the flash mob was a hoot.