Two Chicago Bell Festivals in May

Friends, we have two bell festivals, one on change ringing and one on the carillon, coming up here in the month of May. First, the 6th Annual Illinois Tower Bell Bash will take place May 19-20. Ringers will gather to ring changes (what else?) at the Mitchell Tower at the University of Chicago on Saturday […]

Madonna della Strada Chapel, Loyola University, Chicago

Steve Betancourt and John Paul from the Madonna della Strada chapel at Loyola University kindly showed me their magnificent four swinging bells. First off, check out that view of Lake Michigan! This tower had a lot of ladders. We screwed up our courage and climbed up there. The ladders didn’t give Steve the heebie jeebies […]

Change Ringing Illinois Bell Bash

In Chicagoland for Memorial Day weekend? Itching to see some change ringing in action? Check out the fourth annual Illinois Bell Bash! Hosted by the University of Chicago Guild of Change Ringers on Saturday, May 28th, guests may see and hear the bells in Mitchell Tower. Public tours will leave at 1 and 3 p.m. […]

Mitchell Tower, University of Chicago

If you had to name American universities that are especially pro-bell, the University of Chicago would be near the top of the list. First, it has the stunning Rockefeller carillon which I had the great pleasure of performing on for years. Second, it has a ring of ten bells in nearby Mitchell Tower. (These bell […]

Tsar Bell Finally Rings

Update 4.18.16–and here is how the Tsar Bell sounds! The folks over at UC Berkeley have done it again–they’ve dreamed up a scintillating, beautiful project with bells at the core. See their “Natural Frequencies” and “Polartide” performances from recent years. And this project is happening TODAY at 12 p.m. PDT. You can catch it live […]

“The Bells of Stanford”

I’ve been thinking about Jonathan Sterne’s audiovisual litany and auricular beliefs lately, and it’s something I hope to post more about soon. But whether or not sound is more directly connected to our emotions, it can’t be denied that the sound of bells elicits emotions from listeners. This poem by a Stanford alum (class of […]