Carillonneur Exam

The process for the Carillonneur examination is an annual event. The process requires approximately eight months, starting in October with application and concluding the following summer with the exam recital at the annual congress (usually in June).

2022 Examination Process

Information provided here is for prospective candidates who wish to take the exam with the goal of performing an advancement recital at the 2022 Congress. Requirements are subject to change. All such changes will be identified with revision dates. For more information, contact the Carillonneur Examination Committee Co-Chairs, Margaret Pan and Jeremy Chesman. Email them at exam@gcna.org

The jurors for 2022 are: Kipp Cortez, David Hunsberger, Jonathan Lehrer, Carol Jickling Lens and Patrick Macoska (with alternates: Mark Lee and Tin-Shi Tam).

Required pieces for 2022

Performance Notes:

  • Candidates who are preparing recordings of “Burlesca” by Ronald Barnes on a carillon without an extended bass range should transpose up one octave 1) the lowest pedal voice in measure 8 (low C, B, A, G), and 2) the low G pedal notes in measures 4, 17 (end of first ending), and 30.
  • NEW: For candidates who are preparing recordings of “Cortege and Fugue” by John Courter:
    • In keeping with the many Baroque aspects of the "Cortege and Fugue", the exam committee believes its ornaments should be performed in Baroque style. E.g., most ornaments should end on the written note; appoggiaturas should fall on the downbeat; trills should typically start on the upper note, particularly where they act as accents.
    • At the same time, we believe some freedom in execution is intrinsic to ornamentation on the carillon. Within the general parameters of Baroque style, performers should choose ornamental notes to suit the instrument being played, the harmonic/melodic/rhythmic context of the ornamented note, and their own artistic sensibilities. Literal note-for-note compliance with canonical definitions of given ornament markings is less important. Jurors may comment on a candidate's ornaments on the adjudication sheets, but disagreement between a juror and a candidate over specific realizations of ornaments (as long as some stylistically plausible embellishment is played where ornaments are indicated) is not grounds for failure of a performance.
    • As a reference, we provide below some comments that John Courter made to one of the jurors on the "Cortege and Fugue" ornaments. Again, these are intended as helpful ideas for candidates, *not* as ironclad note-for-note requirements in performance.
    • Cortege:
       - m4 : grace note is treated as dotted quarter note
       - m23 : A is treated as grace note.  Trill starts on C and continues for the full value of the note (through beat 11) with a quick LH playing of the G# on beat 10
       - m25 : chord on the beat followed by E-F
       - m26, m28 : [no specific comments from Courter]
    • Fugue:
       - m5 : D/C# trill
       - m9 : a short three note trill
       - m10 : G/F# trill
       - m11 : E flat/D four note trill
       - m29-31 : the rolled chords are like the “down bow” of a cello.  Staccato punch (bottom 2 notes) - chunk (top two notes) for chord on upbeat. Chunk for downbeat.
       - m34 : dwell on the E flat at the beginning of the trill a bit
       - m35 : slower, longer trill

Application Fee

Each applicant must be an Associate member of the GCNA in good standing with dues paid by October 16, 2021. Applicants who are not already Guild members must first apply for membership by completing this online form and paying dues by that date.

To pay the $40 (non-refundable) exam application fee, there are two options:

1) Send a check for $40 US (payable to "The GCNA") along with your Exam Application Form if you are mailing the form in.

2) Pay via PayPal using the button below. For this option, you first e-mail your application to the Carillonneur Examination Committee Co-Chairs at exam@gcna.org by October 16, 2021. The Co-Chairs will reply via e-mail and assign you a candidate number. Enter this number (not your name) in the space provided below and use the PayPal "Pay Now" button to make your payment. You must make your PayPal payment within two weeks of receiving your candidate number. 

Carillonneur Examination Fee for:
[enter your candidate number NOT YOUR NAME in this box] 

Special Needs

Candidates who have special needs may submit a written request to the GCNA Carillonneur Examination Committee Co-Chairs for special accommodations to be made. Such requests must be made by the October 16 deadline for the respective exam cycle each time a candidate applies for an examination. The President and the Carillonneur Examination Committee Co-Chairs will consider each case individually.

List of Prior Required Exam Pieces

The purpose of the List of Prior Required Exam Pieces is to inform the general Guild membership and prospective candidates alike about carillon music that has been chosen by the Committee as required pieces in past years. The list also reflects the Committee's musical expectation level needed to achieve Carillonneur membership.

2023 Examination Process

Information regarding the 2023 Carillonneur Examination will be posted here in January 2022.


Contact us: info@gcna.org

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