Carillon Silence May Soon End
By Jody Record, Campus Journal Editor
February 7, 2007
The carillon that was silenced during the T-Hall renovation
project may soon fill the air with song again now that the
bell system’s memory box has been shipped to California.
Located at the Elliot Alumni Center, the 246-bell computerized
system is wired to eight speakers at T-Hall that broadcast
its music across campus.
According to music professor Peter Urquhart, the carillon
is undergoing major repairs. The amplification system has been
brought upstairs in the Alumni Center, where it had been housed
in the basement. The clock controller is being replaced. And
the music controller is in now the hands of a California company
that will download its memory into a new box.
Urquhart estimates that 250 songs have been recorded on the
carillon. He alone is responsible for some hundred classical
tunes, many played with bells. In October, when Urquhart was
asked to prepare a concert for the dedication of T-Hall, he
found that while he could get the carillon to play, he couldn’t
record any new songs.
“It was like it was frozen,” Urquhart says. “I’m
hoping they can put the old memory in a new machine and that
we don’t lose anything.”
He described the system as having a very complex sound.
“I’m told we’ll get it back sometime this
month,” Urquhart says of reports he has received from
the bell technicians working on campus. “But time is
passing so we’ll see. It would be nice to have it playing
Urquhart also wants the carillon back in working order so
he can use it in a bell-oriented class he is teaching. For
more than fifty years, the carillon has rung out over campus,
even playing holiday music at Christmastime.
< go back