BEREA - A new carillon has been installed at Berea College, Kentucky, and was dedicated on October 27th. There are 56 bells: 52 were cast by Petit & Fritsen in 1980 for the John Hall Carillon of Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania, and purchased by Berea College in 1992, 4 were cast by Petit & Fritsen in 1999.
The bourdon is an E-flat bell of 2750 lbs. (1250 kg), connected to pedal B-flat. The instrument transposes up a fourth. The compass is B0flat, C1, D1 - chromatic - g5. The practice keyboard has a five-octave compass, beginning on G0 chromatic to g5, using digitally sampled recordings of the actual Berea bells. New, heavy cast iron clappers were made for all the bells. The bellframe and entire mechanism were built by the I.T. Verdin Co. of Cincinnati, Ohio. Richard Strauss, new head of Verdin's Carillon Division, designed the keyboard. It is built to Strauss's newly designed 'world standard' dimensions, which use the manual spacing of the European keyboard, combined with the concave and radiating American-English pedal board of 2½ octaves.
The carillon is played on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays at 5:00 p.m. You can also see some pictures of the Berea installation by looking at Berea College's web page, clicking on Carillon Project 2000 on the home page www.berea.edu. People wishing to play the instrument may contact John Courter.