- By Dennis Douda
Striking the Right 'Note' For Mayo Clinic's Sesquicentennial
Since its dedication on Sept. 16, 1928, the Rochester carillon has become a Mayo Clinic landmark. In honor of its 85th anniversary, long-lost chimes and songs will return to the original 23 bells of the Rochester carillon, and many new musical selections will become possible — all through a computerized clock function.
The computerized clock makes it possible for the carillon to play — for the first time in many years — the Westminster (“Big Ben”) Chimes at the quarter-hour, which William Mayo, M.D., originally requested for the carillon. The new chimes will officially ring in the Mayo Clinic sesquicentennial on Monday, Sept. 30. The sesquicentennial recognizes 150 years of continuous service to patients, since Dr. Will’s father, William Worrall Mayo, M.D., opened a medical practice in Rochester in 1864. This is a gift of benefactors John and Lillian Mathews.
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The Westminster Chimes will begin on Sept. 30 at noon CDT, followed by a concert by Jeff Daehn, carilloneuer, until 12:20 p.m. CDT. The concert will feature the premiere of new work by Lee Afdahl, director of music and organist of First Presbyterian Church in Rochester and president of the Handbell Musicians of America.
The best place to hear the concert is in Annenberg Plaza, the pedestrian mall between the Mayo, Plummer and Siebens buildings. In conjunction with Heritage Days, there will be an informational display about the carillon in the Mathews Grand Lobby on Sept. 30.
In addition to restoring the Westminster Chimes, the clock will be programmed to play "Sicilian Mariners (Lord, Dismiss Us With Thy Blessing)" daily at 6 p.m. CDT and "St. Clement (The Day Thou Gavest, Lord, Is Ended)" at 9 p.m. CDT. These songs were part of the carillon’s original repertoire, but, like the chimes, became “lost” when the previous clock function — an electronic model installed in 1953 — went out of service.