Published: June 12, 2019

College of Music presents the annual Muelder Carillon Summer Series

Contact(s): Michael Sundermann College of Music office: (517) 353-2043

The MSU College of Music is excited to present the 23rd annual Muelder Carillon Summer Series beginning at 6 p.m. every Wednesday, rain or shine, from July 3 to July 31.

Bring a picnic, chair or blanket and enjoy a free recital at the historical Beaumont Tower. Additionally, there will be tours of Beaumont Tower available after each performance.

This year’s performers include:

July 3: Bernard Winsemius, carillonneur from Amsterdam, Netherlands

July 10: Gijsbert Kok, carilloneur from The Hague, Netherlands

July 17: Steven Karp, carillonneur from Vancouver, British Columbia

July 24: Ray McLellan, MSU carillonneur

July 31: Sally Harwood, carillonneur from Williamston, Michigan

The Summer Carillon Series was established in 1996 through the generosity of Milton Muelder, whose career spanned more than 40 years at MSU.

“People enjoy the relaxed atmosphere of an outdoor recital and you can’t get much better than the scenery MSU has to offer,” said MSU Carillonneur Ray McLellan. “All are welcome to attend and even bring along a picnic and spread out a blanket while they listen.”

Developed in the 15th and 16th centuries in Northern Europe, carillons were often installed in church towers, even in small villages and towns. Commonly, carillonneurs would play live music on holidays and market days. The MSU carillon, which is housed within the John W. Beaumont Memorial 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, 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. A restoration of the tower took place in 1996, involving the carillon, clock, Westminster Chimes, and tower repairs.

Beaumont Tower is located in the West Circle Drive oval area on the MSU campus. It is recommended that those attending park at the Stadium Lot No. 62.

Click here for a map to Beaumont Tower.

After a long tenure with MSU, Dr. Milton Muelder established the Carillon Summer Series in 1996.