Mead Chapel Bells

The Middlebury College Summer Carillon Series

The Carillon Series treats audiences to free performances on Friday evenings at 6:00 P.M. from early July through mid-August, in and around Mead Memorial Chapel. All of the concerts are free and open to the public, and can be enjoyed inside Mead Chapel or on the surrounding lawns.

About Middlebury’s Carillon

Please read an article researched and written by a Chinese School student!

  • A carillon is set up like a keyboard, with black and white keys and foot pedals that can help produce different kinds of sound. Each key is connected by wire to a bell clapper so different bells are rung depending on which key is struck.
  • It is a 75-step climb up to Middlebury’s bell tower, atop Mead Memorial Chapel.
  • The Middlebury Carillon is considered a traditional carillon of 48 bells.
  • The pitch of Middlebury’s heaviest bell is E in the middle octave. It is a 2,300-pound bell; roughly the same weight as the Liberty Bell.
  • In 1915, the instrument was begun with eleven bells by the Meneely bellfoundry in Watervliet, NY. Nine bells remain from that work.
  • In 1986, the instrument was enlarged to its present size with bells made by Paccard-Fonderie des Cloches in Annecy, France. 27 bells remain from that work.
  • In 2001, 12 bells were recast or replaced in 2001 by Meeks & Watson of Georgetown, OH.