ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC) — Mayo Clinic is home to the only hospital-owned carillon in the United States. It’s made up of 56 bells and weighs almost 40,000 pounds. The sounds of the carillon greet hospital visitors and patients every day during the work week.
On Wednesday those sounds were from a special music selection to remember the lives lost in the 9/11 terror attacks 18 years ago.
We spoke with Austin Ferguson who currently serves as the carillonneur of the Mayo Clinic:
What are you doing differently going into this special recital?
“Well, to turn that 30 minute concert into something special today and is a memorial concert an hour long. My carillon professor at Baylor once said, and in her words, What can one person do you know to help with the tragedy big as the scale as this one its just to play music because it has the ability to calm and kind of soothe the soul.
Do you remember what you were doing on the day of 9/11?
“It’s kind of weird to think back how long ago that was but how I can remember exactly what I was doing.”
Are you being selective about what you will be playing?
“It’s on events like this I try to be very cautious about what music I play,” Ferguson said. “Very Patriotic stuff would be appropriate.”
Is the 9/11 recital the most memorable for you?
“It’s perfectly suited for what carillon is I call it the peoples instrument because everyone hears it in there own small ways as a part of musical soundscape,” Ferguson added. “It’s well worth the effort to learn it for sure.