Thursday, May 24, 2012

Field Trip -- The Carillon in Naperville

I wrote a recent post about going back to college for one class session.  Well, it happened again:  I just sort of went to college again.  Jacob's music class had a field trip to the Carillon in Naperville, and his professor encouraged the students to bring whomever they wanted along with them.  For $3, I was happy to tag along, knowing that I would get to climb up the carillon and probably see some awesome views of the area.  I was not disappointed, either.  :)

The $3 was even more worth it, since I learned a lot about the carillon itself, its construction, and the carilloneurs who play the carillon bells (it's not done by a computer!).  Below is the practice carillon, where they work (up to two years) to become certified carilloneurs.

The carilloneur plays by using his fists to press the knobs down to make the bell sound.

One of the students got to play, too.  Having played keyboards, he knew what to do.

There are 72 bells that were constructed for the carillon.  In the below, I'm looking up at Big Joe, the biggest bell, which weighs in at just under six tons.

Partway up the tower, which is open to the outdoors, I took the below shot.

Below is the view from partway up.  You can see the steeple of Sts. Peter & Paul Church in downtown Naperville.

Downtown Naperville

Here is the carilloneur playing the actual carillon.  Music rang out all around us.  No paper sheet music here!  This part of the carillon is enclosed, protected from the elements.

Several of the smallest bells.

Peeking between the pillars, I saw the Martin Mitchell museum at Naper Settlement.

Even though it was overcast and gray, I managed to get some great scenic shots.  Oh, for a wide-angle lens!

More of the 72 bells.  Love this shot.

And yet more scenic views, looking east.

I had just my kit lens with me (17-85mm), so I zoomed in as much as I could and actually spotted the Chicago skyline!  The darkest building is Willis Tower.  The city is about 30 miles away.  Pretty cool, huh?

They have an anemometer up there at the top.  They close the tower to visitors if the wind speed is 30mph or higher.  It was blowing briskly the day we went up, and it was freezing.

Back on the ground, I shot a Canada goose and we went home.  (You know what I mean.)  They're great for photographing, but I do not like their mass invasion of our area.  Go away and give me ducks!

Been anyplace interesting or new?  I hope you have!

Treasuring life's moments,

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1 comment:

  1. What a very interesting place, you took some great shots up there. We have a lot of geese too around the river. But some lovely ducks also. :)