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College of Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences

Lamont School of Music

Lamont School of Music

Outreach, Alumni & Donors

Williams Carillon

2018 ninth Annual Carillon Summer Recital Series

Ritchie Center Lawn
Sundays at 7:00pm
No matter the weather

June 24 - Roy Kroezen, Centralia, IL

July 8 - Duets - Carol Jickling Lens
University of Denver Carillonneur
& Carolyn Bolden, Denver

July 22 - Jeremy Chessman, Missouri State

August 5 - Hunter Chase, Chicago, IL

August 19 - Margaret Pan, Berkeley, CA

The tower will be open for tours afterwards.

      Watch a video of last season's recital.

Carillonneur Carol Jickling Lens

Williams Carillon at the Ritchie Center 

Take an artful look inside the Williams Carillon Tower

Williams Carillon Facebook Page

The Williams Carillon was cast by the Royal Eijsbouts Bell Foundry at Asten, The Netherlands and was dedicated on the University of Denver campus on October 24, 1999.

The carillon contains 65 bronze bells qualifying it as a grand carillon. The total weight of The Williams Carillon is 29,500 kg or 64,900 pounds with the largest bell weighing six tons. A traditional carillon is played from a keyboard with wooden manual and pedal keys in a playing cabin located just below the bells. The playing action is entirely mechanical, allowing for musical expression through variation of touch.

The Williams Carillon was the 160th on North American soil and the second in Colorado. In 1960 the 30 bell Charles S. Hill Memorial Carillon on the Colorado Women’s College, now Johnson Wales Campus, became Colorado’s first carillon. In addition to the two traditional carillons, there are three non-traditional carillons (played from an electric keyboard) in Colorado: in Fort Collins, the Mary Lee Townsend Memorial Carillon, Van Bergen (23 bells); in Westminster City Hall, Petit and Fritsen (24 bells); in Denver, The Central Christian Church, Taylor (24 bells).

A landmark gold tower was part of the plans for the Daniel L. Ritchie Center from the very beginning. When Carl Williams first viewed the plans for the center he wanted his contribution to the project to be the tower. In addition to its stunning architecture, the tower was also slated to house a carillon to provide music for major University events and community concerts.

In the summer of 2014, the University of Denver was the site of The National Congress of The Guild of Carillonneurs in North America.  

When the university is in session the carillon can usually be heard Monday through Friday from 11:45am to 12:15pm. The Summer Carillon Recital Series invites renowned carillonneurs from across the nation to perform on The Williams Carillon. A highlight of the holiday season on campus is the annual Holiday Carillon Recital presented the afternoon of the second Sunday in December.

For a tour or more information please contact Carol Jickling Lens, DU carillonneur at [email protected].