Schedule of performers: July 2: Patrick Macoska, carillonneur from St. Mary's of Redford, Detroit July 9: Helen Hofmeister, Grand Rapids, Michigan July 16: David Hunsberger, University of California, Berkeley, California July 23: Ray McLellan, university carillonneur, MSU, East Lansing, Michigan July 30: Dennis Curry, Kirk in the Hills, Bloomfield Hills, Michigan
Designed by architect John M. Davidson, the MSU Beaumont Tower was designed as a monument to teaching and as a defensive structure to preserve the area where College Hall once served as a landmark.
The tower houses the carillon, a musical instrument that features 49 bells; the first 10 bells were installed in Beaumont in 1928, and 13 additional bells were added in 1935 to complete the carillon. In 1996, restoration began on the interior of the tower, where the carillon, clock, and Westminster chimes were restored.
Carillonneurs play the instrument 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.
Faculty member Milton Muelder, whose career spanned more than 40 years at MSU, generously funded the Summer Carillon Series beginning in 1996.
“People enjoy the relaxed atmosphere of an outdoor recital and you can¹t get much better than the scenery MSU has to offer,” said Ray McLellan, MSU carillonneur. “All are welcome to attend and even bring along a picnic and spread out a blanket while they listen. It's a great opportunity for children to come to a recital, too, as they don't have to sit and be quiet all the time.”