The McLane Carillon in Full Swing for Christmas

Nov. 24, 2009

Follow us on Twitter: @BaylorUMediaCom

The Waco and Baylor communities are welcomed to join in Christmas festivities and listen to the McLane Carillon bells at a recital. The recital begins at 5 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 2, in the McLane Carillon in Pat Neff Hall.

Though the ringing can be heard throughout the campus, the best place to listen to the recital is at Founders Mall, said performer Lynnette Geary, assistant carillonneur.

The recital will feature Doxology; Ding Dong! Merrily on High; Lo, How a Rose E'er Blooming; The First Noel; Greensleeves; Angels We Have Heard on High; Carol of the Bells; and Adeste Fideles.

The McLane Carillon in the tower of Pat Neff Hall is a gift of the Drayton McLane family and the McLane Company, Inc. of Temple, Texas. Dedicated on Nov. 4, 1988, the instrument was built by the Paccard Bell Foundry of Annecy, France. The weight of the bells ranges from 29 pounds to 4,370 pounds, with a total weight of over 22 tons.

The carillon is a musical instrument of at least 23 cast bronze bells and a mechanical playing keyboard with a pedal board. Carillonneurs use closed fists and both feet when playing, sending clappers to the stationary bells by striking dowel-like keys. Playing is made possible through mechanical wire links between the key and the clapper.

The 48 bells of the McLane Carillon provide a range of four octaves. The lower two octaves of bells have electrically activated clappers controlled by a computer. These are used for the Westminster chimes, which strike the hour, and for melodies played at regular intervals throughout the day. Three of the largest bells are mounted as swinging bells for ringing as a celebratory peal.

by Colton Wright, student newswriter, (254) 710-6805

Looking for more news from Baylor University?