REVIEW: The Haunted Belfry


In the spirit of Halloween, students in the school of Music, Theatre, and the Dance hosted a performance in the uppermost room of the Lurie Tower on North Campus. As I was initially walking toward the tower, I heard the Game of Thrones theme echoing across North Campus. How I wish I could hear that every single day on my commute to classes! The sound was magnificent, the carillon is the ideal instrument to perform songs that demand a certain energy level. Game of Thrones on a piano is cool, but Game of Thrones on a carillon is as it should be: epic. I first was given a tour and history of the tower and carillon itself.

The Ann and Robert Lurie Tower was built as a dedication to alumni Robert Lurie, courtesy of a generous donation from his wife after his passing. The carillon housed within the tower is a grand carillon, meaning it has over 60 different bells. Another grand carillon is incidentally located on Central Campus, in the Burton Tower. This grand carillon allows for a wide variety of songs to be played, which may explain why I am sometimes fortunate enough to hear a Harry Potter theme being played on the Burton Tower.

Students that had been trained in the grand carillon lined up and played a selection of eerie songs, and I was incredibly impressed at how well they seemed to nail each song. The songs were executed perfectly, despite the only method of performing being hitting different wooden rods with their fists. Seriously, that is how one plays a carillon. I wished for a program, because there were a few songs I didn’t know off the top of my head and would have liked to have a name for.

The tower was decorated for the Haunted House that was to take place there later that evening, which added to the effect already given by the Halloween-esque music. Being a huge fan of fantasy, I was thrilled to hear some of my fantasy favorites being played including Game of Thrones, Harry Potter, and a song from a Tim Burton film. I was incredibly glad I went and I highly recommend it for others should the students put on another performance on the carillon. It’s an underrated instrument — especially being that two grand carillons exist on this campus — and for anyone who enjoys movie scores as I do it is a great opportunity to hear them in a truly eerie and epic setting.


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One thought to “REVIEW: The Haunted Belfry”

  1. Thanks so much for visiting! We love to know what our listeners like to hear. Tweet us at @gobluebells if you have requests. By the way, there are about 180 carillons in North America and about 600 worldwide. You may have heard the number 23 oin terms of the minimum number of bells that a carillon must have. Please correct that statistic. Thank you!

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