Summertime is bell time

By Maria Castellucci
Herald Intern

“The Bells of Summer,” a weekly musical event this summer and part of the 48th Annual Rockefeller Carillon Festival, features one performance each Sunday for 10 weeks by internationally known carillonneurs at the Rockefeller Memorial Chapel, 5850 S. Woodlawn Ave.

The first event was a Sunday, June 23 performance by carillonneur Arie Abbenes. The series will continue every Sunday at 5 p.m. until Aug. 25.

The show is a tradition that has been a part of the University of Chicago community since 1965.

The inspiration for this yearly event is to relax on a summer evening and enjoy the magnificent carillon bells at the chapel, Elizabeth Davenport, the dean of Rockefeller Chapel, said.

“I don’t exactly know what inspired the creation of the series all those years ago, but I would imagine it would be the same as if we were creating it from scratch now: The potential for a delightfully lazy summer evening on a blanket on the Rockefeller lawns with the beautiful bells pealing overhead,” Davenport said.

The carillon at the Rockefeller Chapel is the largest bell instrument to ever be made, and the largest musical instrument to be constructed. The instrument contains 72 bells and is made of 100 tons of bronze, according to the chapel’s website.

The event brings the community together to appreciate the different sounds of the carillon played by an expert carilloneur, Davenport said.