President's Blog

Toledo-Area Campus Carillon

Posted on November 22nd, 2017

All of our campus locations are closed today, Wednesday 11/22, through Sunday, 11/26 for the Thanksgiving break. As we enjoy a few days away from campus, I thought I would share one of the many things that I am thankful for here at Owens: the beautiful carillon music on campus.

Up On The Roof

Those of us who work on the Toledo-area campus are familiar with the bells, chimes, and melodies emanating from Health Technologies Hall. Because of my deep love of music, I have always enjoyed listening to the tunes that ring out across our campus. Over the years, I have been curious about the carillon that makes this music. Recently, I asked Mike McDonald, Executive Director of Operations, to take me up to the tower in Health Tech to see where the music comes from, and I thought I would share what I learned with the campus community.

Maas-Rowe Digital Chronobell III

The source of the beautiful music on our campus is a Maas-Rowe carillon. The actual carillon “brain” resides in a closet the Business Affairs Office in Administration Hall. The rack-mounted Digital Chronobell III and CD25 Compact Disc Carillon communicate through our campus network to a speaker array on the top of Health Tech. Based on the equipment present in the rack, it appears that the system was upgraded in the early 1990s, but previously may have run on 8-track audio tapes. It is possible to program a year’s worth of music on the carillon.

The actual sound comes from an array of wide dispersion horn loudspeakers mounted on the very top of the brick facade of Health Technologies Hall, five stories above the ground. It was very windy the day we went to the roof to inspect the speakers. Roof access is from a 5th floor boiler room. I took some photos with my phone to give everyone a look at where the sound is made.

As an amateur musician and lover of music, I always like to know as much as I can about the composers and performers of the music I enjoy. By poking around with the carillon, I learned this and a lot more, and I am happy to share.

The musical selections were performed on an actual carillon by carillonneurs Cynthia Crenshaw and Lynn R. Kuhn. (Yes, the official name for a carillon player is carillonneur.) The performances were recorded from this instrument direct to digital. The recordings are stored on CD-ROM media (not compatible with standard audio CDs). The documentation has this to say about the instruments used to record the music:

“In the Maas-Rowe Symphonic Carillon, two bells are provided for every note on the keyboard. One of these bells is tuned “minor,” and the other “major.” This makes it possible for the carillon to sound perfectly “in tune” for any musical key. The Flemish Carillon Bells are tuned with a distinctive minor quality like the bells of European Cathedrals. The Harp/Celeste Bells have a pure, delicate sound similar to an Organ Harp. In some selections, combinations of bells are used to create extra-heavy bell sounds or add sparkle and interest.”

Musical Selections

  1. Are You Lonesome Tonight
  2. Aura Lee
  3. Autumn Leaves
  4. Born Free
  5. Climb Every Mountain
  6. Deep Purple
  7. Edelweiss
  8. Everybody Loves Somebody Sometime
  9. Everything’s Coming Up Roses
  10. Fascination
  11. Fiddler on the Roof
  12. Harbor Lights
  13. I’m Always Chasing Rainbows
  14. Indian Love Call
  15. I Wonder Who’s Kissing Her Now
  16. Misty
  17. Mona Lisa
  18. Moon River
  19. O What A Beautiful Mornin’
  20. Once in a While
  21. Over the Rainbow
  22. Ramona
  23. Red Roses for a Blue Lady
  24. Singin’ in the Rain
  25. Smoke Gets in Your Eyes
  26. So In Love
  27. Some Enchanted Evening
  28. Somewhere, My Love
  29. Stardust
  30. Sunrise, Sunset
  31. The Shadow of Your Smile (Love Theme from ‘The Sandpipers’)
  32. The Song from ‘Moulin Rouge’
  33. The Sound of Music
  34. Tie a Yellow Ribbon Round The Ole Oak Tree
  35. Tomorrow (from ‘Annie’)
  36. Trees
  37. Tubular Bells
  38. Yesterday
  39. You Light Up My Life
  40. You’ll Never Walk Alone (from ‘Carousel’)
  41. When You’re Smiling (The Whole World Smiles With You
  42. Whispering

I have fond memories of listening to the bells from the carillon at Michigan State University during my time as a college student. Unlike the instrument at MSU, our carillon is digital. The University of Toledo also has a digital carillon (that carillon has an actual keyboard for live performance, which can be seen in this video). As you walk across campus and enjoy our beautiful carillon, now you will know more about the music and musicians that make it possible.

Steve Robinson, Ph.D.
Interim President

TV Ad Campaign

Posted on November 17th, 2017

Your Success Starts Here

Our Marketing Department has worked with Hart, Inc. to develop one of the best community college ad campaigns I have ever seen. We launched this campaign back in March of 2016, and three of the spots have been airing in select markets since then. Those three are called “Dream,” “Hard to Define,” and “Sounds Like Success.” All three of these are still fresh and on-message, so we have added a fourth spot to the rotation that will begin airing this week. It is called “Jobs.”

What I love about this ad campaign is that it features our real students and graduates, as well as our many employer partners here in Northwest Ohio. The new “Jobs” spot also features a faculty member; this was a suggestion made by employees. The faculty member is Janine Rosenthal, Associate Professor of Accounting. She joins the growing list of “faculty celebrities” that have been featured in our TV commercials over the years.

Our Marketing Department maintains a web page listing the students and alumni who appear in our ads:

It is extremely difficult to tell a story in a 30-second TV commercial. Over the years, I have had numerous conversations about our marketing efforts with faculty staff. We know that marketing particular programs in 30-second spots does not work. The primary role of electronic advertising is brand awareness and top-level messaging.

I especially like the scripts for these ads. All of these ads utilize the same voice talent as the “Narrator,” who asks questions or makes observations. Here’s an excerpt from the most recent “Jobs” spot:

Another element I really like about the campaign is that it builds upon decades of brand identity that we have worked so hard to establish in this media market. The tagline “Your Success Starts Here,” for example, is such an efficient way of communicating what we do as an institution. And if you grew up in Northwest Ohio, you can sing along to the completion of that musical phrase: “Owens Community College.”

Special thanks to Denise Grupp-Verbon, Adjunct Music Instructor and Internships Coordinator, for transcribing the jingle for me!

In addition to the new 30-second spot, the Owens Marketing Department has been working to develop short web videos for sharing on social media. We have also developed student profiles and short videos that highlight key initiatives or programs. Video is an important part of how we tell our story. I am very impressed with the efforts of our Marketing team, as well as our partners like Hart.

Steve Robinson, Ph.D.
Interim President

NJCAA Region XII District F Champions!

Posted on November 6th, 2017

I Drove to Port Huron, Michigan and All I Got Was This Lousy T-Shirt

That is a joke of course. A big one. I drove to Port Huron and returned with this AMAZING t-shirt. Our Owens Express Women’s Volleyball team are NJCAA Region 12 District F Champions! This means that these exceptional student athletes with travel to Charleston, WV for the National Championship.¬†They will face off November 16-18, 2017 at the Charleston Civic Center in Charleston, WV.

I took these photos with my phone, which has become a major PR device for the college! The shot on the right is of the actual t-shirt.

Way to go, ladies! District F Champions!

Watch the Games Live Online

Because of the great efforts and excellent technology skills of the team parents, it is possible to watch the volleyball matches from the comfort of your home or right on your phone (I have done both). My schedule did not permit me to attend the first part of the tournament in Port Huron, so I watched from a distance on the Owens Express YouTube Channel, here:

I streamed the game to the TV in my living room, and it was great! The games stream in HD, and you will be amazed at how much fun it can be to watch at home. But I was there at Saint Clair Community College for the big game (that’s me on the balcony with the big Owens flag!)

On behalf of everyone at Owens, I want to congratulate this very special team for an amazing season. On to Nationals!

Steve Robinson, Ph.D.
Interim President