Published: July 20, 2010

Muelder Summer Carillon Series wraps up summer season

Carillonneurs are traveling from as far away as France, Denmark and the Netherlands to perform at the 14th annual Muelder Summer Carillon Recital Series at Michigan State University.

At 6 p.m. Wednesdays, from June 30 to July 28, performers from across the globe perform outdoor concerts to the sound of MSU's carillon, housed in historic Beaumont Tower. The performances last around an hour and the public can tour the carillon following every performance.

Ray McLellan, MSU's carillonneur, said the series has been successful this year.

"We've been having great attendance. We had more than 350 the first week," he said. "People just love to come here and spend the time outside."

The Summer Carillon Series was established in 1996 through the generosity of Milton Muelder, who worked at MSU for more than 40 years and passed away in May.

The carillon was developed in northern Europe in the 15th and 16th centuries.

"The way it developed is that they had towers with bells," McLellan said. "Those bells were used for telling time and also for announcing a storm was coming or a war is starting or something like that. They kept adding bells as they got more money and they decided they could tune the bells to be played in harmony."

McLellan gives carillon lessons to students who have keyboard skills. Students practice on the first floor of Beaumont Tower on an electric Carillon.

The public is welcome to take a tour of the Beaumont Tower and watch McLellan play at noon on Tuesdays throughout the academic year.


Click to enlarge

Bells ringing in Beaumont Tower. Photo by G.L. Kohuth

Bells ringing in Beaumont Tower. Photo by G.L. Kohuth

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