President McRobbie visited the Arthur R. Metz Bicentennial Grand Carillon construction site to see some of the new bells being installed as part of the relocation and renovation.
IU's Metz Carillon is being relocated to the Jesse and Beulah Cox Arboretum in conjunction with the university's Bicentennial. New York City architect Susan Rodriguez developed a new design for the tower, which will also hold four new bells once it's complete. That brings the number of bells to 65, making IU's grand carillon one of less than only 30 in the world.
The same company that cast the original carillon bells, Royal Eijsbouts Bellfoundry, crafted the new ones.
All of the carillon's original bells featured quotes about music from male authors. The new bells are engraved with quotes from four influential women writers: 5th century B.C. Greek poet Sappho; 12th century German Benedictine abbess, composer and polymath Hildegard of Bingen; American poet Emily Dickinson; and the late writer, poet and civil rights activist Maya Angelou.
The central location of the upgraded carillon will allow large audiences to once again enjoy regular performances. The Jacobs School of Music plans to revive the tradition of inviting distinguished carillonneurs from around the world to perform once construction is complete.