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Thursday, May 23, 2024

Every day, Century Tower chimes peacefully throughout campus. But on Friday, Century Tower will be chiming a different, spookier tune.

UF’s carillon and organ studios will be hosting their Halloween recital at 7:30 p.m., starting in the University Auditorium. This year, the recital is a taking a more theatrical approach.

“This is at least the third year we are doing something like this,” said 22-year-old carillonneur Mitchell Stecker. “It gets people who don’t usually listen to the carillon to listen to some sort of organ and carillon music.”

Dressed in costumes, the seven  carillonneurs’ performance will be peppered with entertaining antics, which can be seen on a livestream at

“The performers will double as actors,” Stecker said. “We’ll be doing a lot of spooky, fun stuff.”

The recital will begin with the organists in the auditorium setting the mood for the event.

“For better or for worse, there’s an association that the organ is a scary instrument,” Stecker said. “The idea probably stemmed from that.”

The audience will later be led outside to hear the carillon bells for the second half of the show. A large screen will display the carillonneurs in real time on the north side of Century Tower.

“This is a much more of a low-key event. It will not be stuffy nor boring,” Stecker, a UF linguistics and music fifth-year student, said. “This event will definitely be something interesting for someone who wants to get into a Halloween mood.” 

The free event will be family-friendly.

Laura Ellis, a UF associate professor of music, is the brains behind the event and expects the audience to enjoy what they have in store.

“There are many famous organ pieces associated with Halloween,” Ellis said. “There will be some familiar tunes and a couple of surprises.” 

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[A version of this story ran on page 9 on 10/30/2014]

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