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Lately, Marquette University students are taking a strong interest in the carillon. As one of only three locations in the state of Wisconsin that houses a carillon, students are enrolling in increasing numbers in the Carillon Discovery course, taught by Dr. Mark Konewko, the University’s official Carillonneur and Director of the University Chorus and Chamber Choir. Students from all majors are drawn to Dr. Konewko’s course to learn more about this unusual, complex, and beautiful instrument.
The course provides an introduction that discusses the development of the instrument during the middle ages in Europe. It covers the history of how the carillon spread throughout Europe during the Middle Ages from where it originated in the Netherlands. The carillon was eventually brought to the United States, through the Rockefeller and Rice families who became fascinated with the instrument while traveling in Europe. They then made arrangements to send American musicians to Europe so that they could learn how to play the instrument.
Two Marquette students, Peter Christian and Michael Moroney, were so taken with the carillon that they decided to learn how to play under Dr. Konewko’s guidance. It is important to note that when the bells play music on campus, they are not recordings. It is the sound of the carillon being played by Mark Konewko, Peter, or Michael. The Time Strike, that sound every 15 minutes, is automatically actuated. The Spring 2019 schedule is as follows:
Students who are interested in learning more about the carillon can contact Dr. Mark Konewko to discuss the possibility of enrolling in the Carillon Discovery Course or join the MU Carillon Guild, a new student organization.