Bells ring for 'I Have a Dream'
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/.