Published: Aug. 23, 2013

Bells ring for 'I Have a Dream'

Contact(s): Kristen Parker Media Communications office: (517) 353-8942 cell: (517) 980-0709 Kristen.Parker@cabs.msu.edu, Michael Sundermann College of Music office: (517) 353-2043 sunderm1@msu.edu

In commemoration of the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr.'s  “I Have a Dream” speech, MSU’s carillon will ring with bells from around the world at 3 p.m. Wednesday as part of “Let Freedom Ring” celebrations.

Schools, churches, mosques and universities will join together to recognize King Jr.’s message of freedom, justice and equality. Individuals are also encouraged to set cell phone alarms to mark the occasion.

Ray McLellan, university carillonneur, and his colleagues will play pieces such as “Lift Every Voice and Sing” and “America, the Beautiful.”

The MSU carillon, which is housed within Beaumont Tower, contains 49 bells capable of playing the full range of literature composed for the instrument. One of approximately 180 working carillons in North America, and one of 13 in Michigan, it is activated by a computer to sound Westminster Chimes every quarter hour.

Carillonneurs play music by striking wooden keys or batons using closed fists and by using their feet to depress foot pedals. Once the keys and pedals are depressed, wires move the metal clappers to strike the bells.

The Michigan Department of Civil Rights will tweet during the celebration. Twitter users can follow in real time using #mlk50.

For more information on events to celebrate King Jr.’s speech, which was delivered in 1963 in Washington, D.C., visit http://officialmlkdream50.com/.

The King Center and the 50th Anniversary Coalition are calling on people and organizations across America to help culminate the 50th anniversary of The March on Washington and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s "I Have a Dream" speech with "Let Freedom Ring" bell-ringing events at 3:00 p.m. Aug. 28, a half-century to the minute after King Jr. delivered his historic address.

The King Center and the 50th Anniversary Coalition are calling on people and organizations across America to help culminate the 50th anniversary of The March on Washington and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s "I Have a Dream" speech with "Let Freedom Ring" bell-ringing events at 3:00 p.m. Aug. 28, a half-century to the minute after King Jr. delivered his historic address.

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