ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC) -- The art of playing the carillon originated more than 500 years ago in Europe. Today, there are more than 180 carillons in the United States and Canada. The Mayo Clinic is the only medical center in North America to have a carillon.
Now, thanks to technology installed this week, audiences from around the world will be able to hear and see the carillon in all its glory.
“The carillon is iconic of the mission of Mayo Clinic. We believe in medicine as an art as well as a science and the carillon has been a fixture of our campus in Rochester since 1928,” stated Mayo Clinic Heritage Days Program Chair, Matthew Dacy.
It is also known as the Rochester Carillon since the Mayo brothers intended its music to be enjoyed by people throughout the community.
Now with a permanently mounted webcam as well as a sophisticated audio system, the carillon can be enjoyed by everyone.
“It’s fun to see this historic instrument take on a 21st-century digital application,” said Dacy.
The most recent of the four carilloneurs, Austin Ferguson, has been taught how to use and perform with the new software and equipment. He is not used to being seen by his audience, but understands how unique this experience is.
"Mayo has one of the most dedicated followings of carillon that I have ever come across. It is very heartening. I think it’s been around so long it’s kind of engrained in, not just the psyche of Mayo, but in Rochester in general," said Ferguson.
The Mayo Clinic was gifted this new technology by the Sisters of Saint Francis, along with donations made by the Rauenhorst family.
An hour-long concert to premiere the livestream event is scheduled for May 14 at noon CDT.