The bells of Mueller Tower are again echoing across the University of Nebraska–Lincoln’s City Campus.
Located between Morrill and Bessey halls, the octagonal-shaped, corn-adorned bell tower started broadcasting again Oct. 14 after an upgrade of its internal sound system.
“Mueller Tower had not been functioning since spring when the old sound system went down,” said Jim DeCamp, manager of special projects for the building systems maintenance branch of Facilities Management and Planning. “We were actually alerted to the issue by a groundskeeper who came to us and asked why the tower was no longer working.”
UNL replaced the sound system — an Embassy Digital Autobell Carillon machine — with a modern Schulmerich g5 Electronic Carillon. The new system, which includes eight new speakers inside the top of the tower, can be controlled remotely by facilities management employees and allows for the use of 750 songs.
“The previous system was so limited and old,” DeCamp said. “It really was time to get something that was more flexible and reliable.”
The old carillon system could only play songs on one preprogrammed routine, which aligned with UNL’s Monday-Wednesday-Friday class schedule, which differs from the Tuesday-Thursday schedule. The new system offers expanded programming options and will play songs between classes every weekday.
“We also have the ability to hook a keyboard up to this new system and record songs or play them directly through the tower,” DeCamp said. “If someone wanted to, they could play a song on the keyboard right outside the tower.”
The new system was purchased through Schulmerich Carillons of Cincinnati, Ohio. It went into service with the same songs the old one played, including “Hedwig’s Theme” from the Harry Potter movie series.
“We’re going to start with the original songs and make decisions on what to add at a later date,” DeCamp said.
For more information on the history of Mueller Tower, click here.