CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — Members of the Altgeld Ringers will perform a chimes memorial concert Sunday, Nov. 10, in honor of former Altgeld chimesmaster Sue Wood, who died Oct. 6. The memorial concert will take place at Altgeld Hall, 1409 W. Green St., Urbana, from 3-3:30 p.m.
The event is free and open to the public. Guests may pay their respects and enjoy the music in the area of the Alma Mater statue or nearby on the Main Quad.
“This is a wonderful tribute to Sue Wood, the woman who provided the daily soundtrack to life at this university for so many years,” said Chancellor Robert J. Jones. “I hope everyone takes a moment during the concert to offer a smile in appreciation of the music Sue brought into so many lives on our campus.”
Sue Griffiths arrived in Champaign-Urbana in 1966 from Buffalo, N.Y., for graduate study in microbiology. She married Bruce Wood in 1970, and earned a Ph.D. in plant pathology in 1976. She worked as a scientist at the Illinois Natural History Survey and later at the College of Veterinary Medicine until her retirement.
A lifelong music enthusiast, Wood was recruited while a graduate student to play the 25-bell carillon at University Lutheran Church, an experience that led in 1971 to a regular gig on the Altgeld chimes. She took over as Altgeld chimesmaster in 1994, retiring from the musical role in 2016.
Wood played “Hail to the Orange” thousands of times; it is the one piece required in the daily concert. Her favorites included traditional folk songs: “The Ash Grove,” old time Americana and a variety of sacred and international songs, many of which she transcribed for the 15 bells. Her tours gave a running commentary about the history and traditions of the tower, as well as the stories behind the songs.