Carillon Bells to Toll at Wellesley and Across the World in Honor of Martin Luther King Jr.

The keyboard of the Wellesley carillon with a photo of Martin Luther King Jr. speaking at a podium.
Image credit: AFP/Getty Images
April 3, 2018

The Wellesley College Guild of Carillonneurs will participate in the MLK50 Bell Toll on Wednesday, April 4, to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the death of Martin Luther King Jr. Part of the National Day of Remembrance hosted by the National Civil Rights Museum in Memphis, Tenn., the bell ringing will both mark the loss of the great civil rights leader and celebrate his accomplishments.

Bells will ring first at the museum at 6:01 pm CST, then around the nation at 6:05 CST (7:05 pm on Wellesley’s campus) and across the world at 6:07 pm CST. The bells will toll 39 times—once for each year of King’s life.  

The Wellesley carillonneurs will also perform a concert following the bell tolling, culminating in “Lift Every Voice and Sing” to honor King.

“When we are up in the tower playing the carillon, we feel a bit removed from the rest of the world,” said Margaret Angelini ’85, director of Wellesley’s Guild of Carillonneurs. “But our sound goes out everywhere, and our music makes a difference.”

With reporting from Lucy Norton ’21.