Interview with Ray Ebert
Mr. Ebert is the University’s Carilloneur. He is a graduate of the class of ’60. He currently teaches carillon
lessons and sometimes plays for dance classes at Wake Forest.
Q: As a student or staff member, what is the most memorable experience you have had at
*A: Taking a class taught by the former Provost, Dr. Wilson. It was a great experience,
taught by a brilliant man. I remember everyone, including myself, loved to hear him speak.
He had a gift for the English language. This one time a freshman student and I went to go
listen to him speak to an audience. He had such a way with words. The student also had a
way with words. Afterward I asked Dr. Wilson how he learned to speak in such a proficient
manner. He said, “I believe that if one fails to respect, meddle with, and personally craft
one's own voice in the English language, then the world will face a death of potential
Hawthorne’s or Hemingway’s or Strait's (yes, George Strait) as a result.”
Q: Would you say that someone in particular had a large influence on your decision to go
*A: No, I wouldn’t say so. I actually intended to be a math major but saw the pipe organ and
instantly knew I wanted to do something music related in the future. I actually played the
sousaphone in the band and I remember buying a cowbell in a hardware store in Hickory to
take to basketball games; I was obnoxious.
Q: That’s awesome. So who would you say had the most influence on your life?
*A: Definitely God. I actually have a funny story about a Memorial Service this past Alumni
weekend. There was only one parking space left, directly behind the chapel. That meant I
had to enter Wingate through the Divinity School entrance. As I entered, the Chaplain
seemed excited and asked, "Ray can you play the organ right now?" The organist who was
going to play was not present. The Chaplain later called it "Divine Intervention".
Q: Did you always know that you were going to come back to Wake Forest after
*A: I don’t think anyone knows their intentions when they’re in college. I had no clue I was
going to come back. After graduation I served 2 years in the Army. After that, I worked at a
church in Georgia for 3 years.
Q: Why did you come back to Wake Forest?