Havelte, Hervormde kerk in the tower of the church

1996: Construction by S. de Wit & Zn of a so-called Chamadron in the tower of the Hervormde kerk.

Website of the Chamadron.

What is the ‘Chamadron’?

The Chamadron is an organ-like instrument with 50 copper pipes. In 1988 it was installed in the tower of the church in Havelte (Province of Drenthe, the Netherlands). In 1996 the instrument was completely revised. The technical concept was perfected.
The pipes vary in length from 10 to 230 cm (25.4 in – 57 ft) The pipes with the wind-chest are constructed on rails. In that way the pipes can be rolled through the louver-holes of the church tower so that they are able to sound far over the landscape.
The pitch is a' = 440 Hz and well-tempered, but one can quickly realise a different (older) pitch. The organ has a manual and a pedal. The manual's range is from C to g'''. The pedal has 31 keys: from B' to f'. This is exceptional. A traditional organ pedal begins, as the manual does, at C. The name 'Chamadron' comes from the word 'chamade', which originally was a stop on Iberian organs.




Cees Roubos, Inventor of the Chamadron

Cornelis Roubos was born in Leiden on December 2nd 1955. He received his qualification as an organist at the Royal Conservatory of Music in the Hague and his qualification as a pianist after passing the Dutch State examinations. He is active as church-organist in Zweeloo and accompanist for several choirs in South-East Drenthe. Cees also teaches piano and organ lessons at the 'Musikschule Niedergrafschaft' in Uelsen (BRD). As a young boy he dreamed of the Mediaeval 'Turm-musik', fanfare music that was played from the top of towers and sounding far over the fields. Since the eighties he has endeavoured to realize his dream. He has invented a musical instrument and called it the 'Chamadron'. It has been built, at considerable cost to Cees, who has spent more than a year’s salary since 1988, by De Wit’s organ builders in Nieuw Vennep.


Back to the silence of the past

Since 1988 Cees has been playing his Chamadron every Saturday afternoon from 4 to 5, beginning the season on the Saturday before Whits Sunday, through the summer months, and ending on the last Saturday in September. The 'Chamadron' surprises the tourist with its music pouring forth from the old church-tower. The sight of the 50 copper trumpet-pipes protruding from the louver-holes, sending their sonorous sound over the fields, is in harmony with the surroundings. The sound of the instrument, which in the lower region reminds one of the sound of the Krummhorn, recalls the atmosphere of ancient times. Mediaeval fanfare music is superbly suitable for the instrument. The search for suitable repertory for the Chamadron is continuing. Cees has uncovered music from former centuries and has (personally) financed the composition of music specially written for the instrument by Johann Th. Lemckert.
Cees Roubos achieved an unique position in the history of music by constructing a novel instrument that is perfectly in tune with old traditions. In the landscape of sounds (quoting his brochure) he "carries us back to the times when trumpets were sounding and hunters were blowing their horns instead of cars honking and hooligans howling. The Chamadron deafens wailing whining whistles and shrill sirens with fugue-fantasies and sparkling sonatas."
The Chamadron is to be found in the Netherlands, in the small village of Havelte in the province of Drenthe.
Chamadron concerts take place every Saturday afternoon from 4 to 5, beginning the season on the Saturday before Whit Sunday, through the summer months, and ending on the last Saturday in September.

We ask for sponsors.

We ask for short compositions (between 2 and 3 minutes)

The following compositions were made especially for the Chamadron:

- Chamadron Johann Th. Lemckert (b. 1940) The Hague (NL)

- Eventide Jaap Dragt (b.1930) Zwolle (NL)

- Fanfare for the Chamadron Michael J. Starke (b. 1955) Portland (USA)

- Air for the Chamadron ,, ,,

- Amanecer Dorado/Golden Dawn Jack Gibson (b. 1950) Springfield (USA)

- Trompetten en klaretten Folgert Zwaving (b. 1931) Hellendoorn (NL)

- Chamadronade Dick Dijk (b. 1929) Roden (NL)