The Cathedral’s Carillon

The Cathedral’s Kibbey Carillon is the third heaviest in the world. Given by Miss Bessie J. Kibbey in memory of her grandparents, the 53 bronze bells of the carillon were cast at one time and installed in the early 1960s. The carillon was manufactured by the John Taylor Bellfoundry of Loughborough, England, and dedicated on September 22, 1963.

The smallest bell of the carillon weighs 17 pounds. The largest weighs 24,000 pounds, or 12 tons, and measures eight feet, eight inches in diameter. The carillon is played via a keyboard and pedals, situated high in the Cathedral’s central tower (150 feet above the nave floor) and directly amid the bells. The keyboard controls a mechanical tracker system (similar to a tracker organ) that uses transmission wires to move the clappers. The bells remain stationary while a metal clapper strikes the inside of the casting.