Brees the Carillonneur for the world famous Bok
Singing Tower since
1928, was found dead in his apartment shortly after 3p.m. Tuesday.
Mr.Brees, age 69, had failed to appear at the Mountain Lake Sanctuary for his daily 3p.m. recital. Police were called to the apartment when Ralph Harwell, an employee at the Mountain Lake Sanctuary, found the body.
Police say they found lights burning at the apartment and believe Mr.Brees had passed away sometime during Monday night. Mr. Brees lived alone.
His death was listed as natural causes.
Mr.Brees was born in Antwerp, Belgium on Sept 14,1897. His father has been Carillonneur at the Notre Dame Cathedril in Antwerp for 50 years.
Mr.Brees was cited as one of the worlds leading carillonneurs, he first came to the United States in 1924, appearing as a guest artist at several recitals before going to England.
After a short stay in England, Mr.Brees returned to America where he was invited by John D.Rockefeller to serve as carillonneur at the Church in N.Y., Mr.Brees however,disliked the sound of the Carillon Bells in large cities and soon moved to Pennsylvania where he met Edward W.Bok , a noted philanthopist ,and accepted Bok's offer to serve as bellmaster at the Singing Tower, then under construction.
Brees was at the construction site while the tower was being built and was the tower's only official carillonneur since its dedication by President Herbert Hoover in 1929.
Mr.Brees became an American Citizen in 1932, and he had often expressed his love for the Singing Tower and the sound of the bells at the famous Wildlife Sanctuary.
Mr. Brees had only missed 2 recitals since the opening of the tower, and had been playing the carillonneur at Duke University.
Mr. Morrison, director of the Mountain Lake Sanctuary stated, the regular schedule of recitals would continue uninterrupted through the use of taped recordings made by Mr.Brees over the years.
Requiem Mass set for Mr.Anton Brees, Carillonneur, will be
celebrated at 9a.m. Saturday at the Catholic Church of the Holy Spirit
in Lake Wales at the famed Singing Tower.
Rev. Thomas F. Kelly, pastor of the Holy Spirit Church will be celebrant.
Mr.Brees spoke with his music, he came to Lake Wales on Dec. 2, 1928 when Edward Bok, along with President and Mrs. Calvin Cooledge, dedicated Bok Tower.
Mr.Brees was in his late 20's and already widely known as a carillonneur, he had begun playing the bells in Antwerp, Belgium where his father was official City Carillonneur.
Mr.Brees had played the bells in what was once known as the Park Avenue Baptist Church in N.Y.City, however the big city was not for the young Mr.Brees and his family. They longed for space, fresh air and greenery.
The Lake Wales new Bok Tower was a happy choice and Brees remained for nearly 39 years, where he became a beloved citizen as well as a musical artist who brought joy into the lives of millions of visitors.
|Anton Brees' Father is Dead
Lake Wales, Oct. 31, 1936
The father of Anton Brees, carillonneur at Bok Singing Tower . He reciently died in Antwerp, Belgium.
First news of the elder Brees' death was contained in letters recieved today from Mrs. Anton Brees, who reported she and her husband learned by radiogram of the death while aboard ship approaching Antwerp.
The father had been a carillonneur for the city of Antwerp for more than 50 years.
( Lakeland Ledger,Nov.1,1936, pg.7-A )
Singing Tower Program Given
LAKE WALES, April 29, (AP)---The final regularly-schedule recital of the 1941-1942 season will be presented at noon tomorrow by Anton Brees, carillonneur of the Mountain Lake
A special program honoring alumni of the University of Florida will be offered Friday evening.
Tomorrow's program follows:
"America;" 1. (a) "The Missing Boat" (Welsh air), (b) Carry Me Back to Old Virginny" (J. Bland), (c) " The Bonnie Banks of Loch Lommond" (Scottish song); 2."Minuet: (Mozart); 3. (a) "Rock of Ages: (Theo Hastings), (b) "God
Be With You Till We Meet Again" (W. G. Tower), (c) He Leadeth Me, O Blessed Thought" (W. B.
Bradbury); a 4. Request number (5) "Souvenir" (Franz Drdia); "The Star Spangled Banner."
Florida Times Union