Stop, Children, What’s That Sound?

Posted by at 9:18PM

The Hoover Tower Carillon

Students outside around 4 pm yesterday might have noticed two unusual things: the sun was out, and the air was filled with the ringing of bells. Hoover Tower is not typically known as a source of song, but it has recently turned into Stanford’s biggest musical stage. The cause is no automated system of chimes. Behind the bells is Dr. Timothy Zerlang, the Farm’s official carillonneur.

Professor Zerlang has played the tower’s carillon for several different occasions this spring, which include a memorial service and yesterday’s Bing Concert Hall groundbreaking. The increase in performances has lent a festive air to campus usually reserved for Commencement, in which Professor Zerlang will also give two concerts.

In keeping with the tower’s political presence on campus, the main bell in the instrument has an inscription that reads, “uno pro pace sono [I ring only for peace.]” Professor Zerlang will be conducting teaching and practicing sessions on Mondays and Fridays this quarter. As these melodies of peace spread across the Farm, perhaps the more hawkish members of the Hoover Institution will take note.

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