Anonymous instrument rings out at DU

11:40 AM, Jul 26, 2010   |    comments
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It is called the carillon, and it looks somewhat like a piano and an organ, but with a far bigger reach.

In North America, there are 170 carillons, and the University of Denver's Ritchie Center tower is home to one of them.

It houses a series of 65 bells, the biggest weighing six tons. The rare instrument is played by musicians with their fists and feet.

"A lot of people have no idea, they think it's all automatic," said Carol Jickling Lens, who usually plays the bells on DU's campus around noon every day.

However, Sunday was her time to shine. Jickling Lens played an hour-long recital on DU's campus for about 20 people who came to hear her play.

Jickling Lens doesn't do it for the notoriety.

"One day when I really felt like I did a nice job," she said. "I came down the stairs, not a soul around, and so I just did a little nod and said 'thank you.'"

Those who heard her play Sunday seemed extremely impressed.

"I'm working on a school assignment right now," said University of Denver student Jeremy Kerbs. "I definitely didn't have a great attitude spending my Sunday going to a concert, but I've found that I'm really relaxed right now."

Jickling Lens received a standing ovation at the end of her recital Sunday.

DU will host one more carillon concert August 8, and in December during the holiday season.

(KUSA-TV © 2010 Multimedia Holdings Corporation)

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