Carillon chimes return to CSC campus
By Anders AX
Correspondent | November 14,2012
Anders Ax Photo
Castleton State College’s new carillon system sits in a small, dark closet below the Woodruff Hall steeple.
With a considerable sum donated by Castleton State College’s Student Government Association, the sound of carillon bells above Woodruff Hall, which had been out of commission for two years, ring once more.
The government board was approached over the summer by Rick Wareing, CSC’s assistant facilities director, who told the board the original carillon was damaged by a power surge or lightning strike.
“We’re always trying to make improvements and additions to campus that would be beneficial,” said Erica Bilodeau, the government association’s Vice President of Academics. “It’s not often that we have to spend as much as that on a single project.”
SGA spent $13,147.27 of its rollover funds (leftover from last fiscal year) on the project labeled “capital improvement.”
Other projects considered to be capital improvements include several automatic emergency defibrillators on campus, new water fountains, and the rock wall in Glenbrook Gym.
Director of Student Activities Melissa Paradee said the government association had decided unanimously to use the funds for the carillon.
“They’re just beautiful bells that can be used for many occasions for years to come,” Paradee said. “This was something the SGA wanted to do for the college.”
Paradee added that the carillon could be used for special occasions, holidays, commencement day, or even a wedding if it were held on campus.
The carillon chimes every hour, and at noon plays CSC’s alma mater. The unit also has the ability to play gospel tunes and Christmas carols.
Despite the sounds the carillon makes, the chiming of bells, it doesn’t actually have any moving parts. It’s simply a stereo system in a small, dark closet below the Woodruff steeple hooked up to speakers.
“It’s not exactly the most impressive thing in the world,” said Dean of Administration Scott Dikeman looking at the carillon, its tan and brown housing reminiscent of 1970s aesthetics. “The effect around campus is impressive.”
Dikeman and Jane Foley, director of creative services, both agreed that it wasn’t a hassle to hear the carillon’s chimes every hour, and that they weren’t too loud.
Foley called them “beautiful.”
“It was great to hear them again,” she added.
Rosemary Austin, waitress at the Birdseye Diner, was confused by the sounds at first, not knowing what the reason was for having them ringing. She thought of them as akin to clocks in your home, like listening to a lovely melody throughout the day.
“I think they’re really comforting,” Austin said. “I think it’s wonderful.”
Students enjoy the carillon for the most part — as long as they aren’t trying to sleep in or don’t have class in Woodruff.
“They’re loud and obnoxious,” said Andy Morgan, a sophomore studying geology. “I was in the middle of class on the second floor of Woodruff and they started at 4 p.m. and kept going. One of the teachers thought it was one of the computers on, making noise.”
“Last week they just kept going for an hour straight,” said Alex Keeley, a junior studying history and philosophy.
“They’re useful on the hour,” Keeley added. “They told me 10 minutes ago I should probably go to class, but I’m still out here.”