School of Music

Carillon Studio

Willis Bodine

Professor Emeritus Willis Bodine has composed a number of compositions for cast-bell carillon. Many of his compositions are available for perusal in UF's Architecture & Fine Arts Library.  Please visit his personal website for more information. 

Willis Bodine was a Professor of Music and University Organist and Carillonneur at the School of Music from 1959 until his retirement in 2003. He received his degrees and performance certificate in organ from the University of Texas at Austin in 1957 and 1960, and was a Fulbright student in organ, harpsichord and chamber music at Nordwestdeutsche Musikakademie in Lippe-Detmold, Germany from 1957-1959. While at UF, he was the Founding Director of the UF Chamber Singers, which have toured both nationally and internationally. He also founded and served as the Musical Director of the Willis Bodine Chorale from 1986-2004. His numerous awards include Musician of the Year (1987) from the Foundation for the Promotion of Music, Outstanding Achievement and Performance Award from the College of the Arts, Professorial Excellence Award, and the Distinguished Faculty Award from Florida Blue Key. 

Lee Cobb

Lee Cobb received the Master of Music degree at UF where he studied organ with Willis Bodine. Lee often performed in Century Tower in the early 2000s. His original compositions and arrangements are available from ACME (American Carillon Music Editions) and the GCNA (The Guild of Carillonneurs in North America). Click on "read more" to see a complete list of his arrangements and original compositions.

Click on the title name to preview and purchase his original compositions:
Fantasia PastoraleGrand SerenadePsalm-MeditationSonata for Carillon, Suite for CarillonSuite II for Carillon (Winter Carnival), Two Etudes, and Valse Capriccio

Here is a list of his arrangements: Away in a Manger, A Broadman Hymn MedleyDance of the Sugarplum Fairy from The Nutcracker, Do You KNow the Muffin Man?A Hymn Suite for CarillonHymns of Faith, Let Freedom RingSeñor Don Gato, Vivaldi's Concerto in D for Lute

Carlos Colón-Ortiz

Carlos specializes in carillon arrangements. You may find his arrangements published by the GCNA and on SheetMusicPlus. Click on the title to review and purchase his arrangements: El Coqui by José Ignacio Quintón and Colors of the Wind from Disney's Pocahontas. 

Carlos is a graduate student at the J. Crayton Pruitt Family Department of Biomedical Engineering at the University of Florida. He graduated with a music performance minor in carillon in May 2022 with over 4 years of performance experience. During the same month, he was also awarded the Sally Slade Warner Arrangement & Transcription Competition Performance Award. His work was a transcription of El Coquí, a traditional Puerto Rican Danza by José Ignacio Quintón (1881-1925). Due to this distinction, his piece was performed at the Laura Spelman Rockefeller Memorial Carillon at the University of Chicago (IL) during the annual congress of The Guild of Carillonneurs of North America (GCNA) in June 2022.

In his continued approach to contributing to the art of carillon playing, Carlos is developing a project through the GCNA's Ronald Barnes Memorial Fund. His project consists of researching dances archived in his homeland of Puerto Rico to create carillon arrangements, thus enhancing the carillon repertoire with a more diverse cultural heritage.

Geert D'hollander

Belgian-American composer and carillonneur Geert D'hollander was named Bok Tower Gardens' fourth full-time carillonneur in October 2012. He has been commissioned to write two compositions for the UF Carillon: Jubilee! (celebrating the 30th anniversary of the installation of the UF Carillon) and Variations for Wade (for the 2024 UF Carillon Festival). Click links below to download the scores! The photo to the left was taken during a Spring 2015 Carillon Studio visit to Bok Tower -- Geert is in the center!

Michael Dixon

Tide-swept by Michael Dixon was commissioned by the 2024 UF Carillon Conference. Click the link below to download his work! 

Michael Dixon is a third-year student at the University of Florida, majoring in music composition. He has been a member of the UF Carillon Studio since August 2022. He is also a member of the UF Horn Studio under Dr. Paul Basler and performs in the UF Wind Symphony. With a musical background in both French horn and piano, he studies carillon to broaden the scope of his experience as a composer and performer. His hobbies include hiking, baking, Dungeons and Dragons, and rhythm games such as Dance Dance Revolution; he co-founded the University Rhythm Game Enthusiasts, a student organization at UF that focuses on rhythm video games.

Cherise Leiter

Born in Florida, Cherise Leiter received a Bachelor of Music degree in Music Theory and a Master of Music degree in Composition from the University of Florida where she studied with Dr. Budd Udell.  She relocated to Colorado and is currently Professor of music at Metropolitan State University of Denver, where she teaches music theory and composition. While at the University of Florida, she performed in Century Tower and composed for carillon! Read more about Cherise on her personal website & click on the links below for downloads of her scores for carillon.

A composer with works for choir, piano, opera, voice, carillon, orchestra and assorted chamber ensembles; her compositions have been performed in the United States, Canada, Scotland, France, Italy, Romania, and Japan.  Her works have been finalists in the Ithaca College 25th Annual Choral Composition Contest, the Outside the Bach’s Competition, the Flute New Music Competition, and the Columbia Summer Winds 2016 Composition Contest. She won the Braintree/Nashoba Valley Chorale choral competition with Three Songs for the Soul, and the Ars Nova Composition Competition with Sister Maude. Her cycle Love Letters from a War was a vocal winner in the Boston Metro Opera competition and received an Honorable Mention from the 2010 NATS competition. American Folk Suite, a cycle for soprano and flute received a Merit Award from Boston Metro Opera in 2014, and The Life in a Day for flute, guitar, and cello won the Flute New Music Chamber Music competition in 2017.  She was a featured composer at the New Music Symposium in Colorado Springs, the University of Central Missouri’s New Music Festival, the Aspen Composer’s Conference, the Hartford (Connecticut) Women Composer Festival, the Atlantic Center for the Arts, the Music By Women Festival, Brush Creek Foundation for the Arts, and at June in Buffalo. She is a member of ASCAP.

​In her spare time, she is an avid knitter, hiker, swimmer, cook, and bibliophile. She also has a vested interest in anything made of chocolate.

Thaira Sommer

Thaira was a member of the UF carillon studio from 2021-2022 and has a number of arrangements available on SheetMusicPlus. Click on one of the titles listed to review and purchase: Chim Chim Cher-eeMister Sandman, Over the RainbowPure Imagination, and Skylark

Mitchell Stecker

Mitchell was a member of the UF carillon studio from 2011-2017. His compositions for carillon include (click link to preview & purchase):  Spiraclum Vitae ("Breath of Life"), Triskaphobia, & Wellesley Nocturne.

Mitchell Stecker serves in a full-time capacity as Director of Music & Liturgy at Mt. Lebanon United Methodist Church in the South Hills of Pittsburgh. He is an alumnus of the University of Florida, holding the degrees of, BMus, BA (Linguistics), and MMus (historical musicology with a concentration in sacred music). Additionally, Mitchell has pursued studies at the Royal Carillon School “Jef Denyn” (Mechelen, Belgium).

Additionally, Mitchell also serves as the artistic director of the Washington Festival Chorale, a 60-voice community choir. Previously, he has held positions as organist and choirmaster of St Mark’s Church (Episcopal) in Palatka, FL, as Carillon Fellow at Bok Tower Gardens in Lake Wales, FL, as Director of Chapel Music and Carillonneur at the Citadel in Charleston, SC, and as Chapel Musician at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary.

Mitchell is also active as a composer, and his works have been premiered throughout the United States and Europe; in December 2019, he published a collection of the entire biblical Psalter set to music from the shape note tradition, in a work entitled The Psalmist’s Harp.

When not at the podium or keyboard, Mitchell can be found singing shape-note music, collecting American reed organs, 3D printing, or working with his wife Sarah on house projects in their 100-year old home.

Budd Udell

Dr. Budd Udell (1934-2006) joined the faculty of the University of Florida School of Music in 1977. Over the years he served as chairman of what was then the Department of Music from 1977-1985, head of composition and music theory, and director of graduate studies. Notably, he composed "Florida Chimes," the tune that signals each quarter hour from the campus carillon in UF's Century Tower. His composition "Florida Chimes Voluntary" is an extended composition that incorporates UF clock-strike melody. Both compositions are available for perusal in UF's Architecture & Fine Arts Library.  

Jorge Variego

During his time on the UF campus, Jorge composed "Three Pieces for Carillon." Click on the link below to download the piece and try it on your own carillon!

Jorge Variego was born in Rosario, Argentina. He is a former Fulbright Scholar and is currently on the Music Theory/Composition faculty at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville and is the director of the composition program at the Sewanee Summer Music Festival.

His music can be heard in the Parma, Albany Records, CMMAS, Centaur and Naxos libraries.

In 2018 his book on algorithmic composition was released by the National University of Quilmes, in Argentina ISBN-10: 9875585025. During that same year he received the support of the Swedish Arts Grants Committee to be resident composer at the Visby Centre for Composers and was guest lecturer at the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, in Spain. Among his recent research endeavors, his book “Composing with Constraints” was published by Oxford University Press in 2021. In 2023 he was the guest in many festivals, including the inaugural Festival de Música Algorítmica y Modular hosted by the Universidad Nacional de Musica de Perú, in Lima.

Jorge is the founder director of the Domino Ensemble a non-profit organization dedicated to the promotion, commission, and performance of new music with improvisation. The group released its first album “Purple Ego” (Centaur) in 2019 and the EP “Drunken Raccoon” in 2020. In 2023 the ensemble performed at the Big Ears festival in collaboration with British author Geoff Dyer.

He is also the founder director of the UT Electroacoustic Ensemble, a student group dedicated to free improvisation with electronic media and is member of the Society of Composers National Council.

Zachary Zaroogian

Zach was a member of the UF Carillon Studio from 2021-2022. Click on Toccata to preview and purchase his work that won a performance award in the 2023 Composition Contest of the Johan Franco Composition Fund adminstered by the GCNA!

Zachary Zaroogian is a musician and composer who studied viola and carillon at the University of Florida, graduating in 2022 with a Bachelors of Music, Bachelors of Science in Chemistry, and a performance certificate in viola performance. He pursued viola studies with Dr. Lauren Hodges for his four years in the School of Music alongside carillon studies with Dr. Laura Ellis throughout his final three semesters of undergraduate studies. Since graduation, Zaroogian has moved to New York City to work at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center as a research technician and will begin an MD-PhD program this summer; he is also the current carillonneur for Saint Thomas Church, Fifth Avenue.

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