The carillon is the university’s most public instrument, comprising bronze bells in a tower played via a keyboard and pedalboard. Of the approximately six hundred carillons in the world, the University of Michigan is home to two: an historic English carillon from 1936 and a modern Dutch carillon from 1996. Students learn to perform on both instruments, and have access to three indoor practice carillons. SMTD offers extensive opportunities to give public performances on the carillons. In addition to performance, students gain experience in public outreach and education, social engagement, and the performance of new music.
Tiffany Ng, PhD, Assistant Professor of Carillon and University Carillonist
In addition to weekly private lessons with the instructor, students meet for weekly hour-long studio classes to practice performing for each other and for the public on Michigan’s two world-class carillons. Occasionally, a studio class is devoted to a lecture on the history and repertoire of the carillon. Each semester also includes a field trip to perform on carillon towers in the western Michigan region.
Students get individual weekly practice times on the real carillons in Burton and Lurie Towers, where built-in recording equipment is available. In addition, Burton Tower on Central Campus houses two indoor practice carillons, and the Duderstadt Center on North Campus houses one indoor practice carillon.
Recent master class instructors include Dr. Jeremy Chesman (Missouri State University) and Joey Brink (University of Chicago).