Elliott Tower

Donated by longtime supporters Hugh and Nancy Elliott, the Elliott Tower is a rallying point for student activities and creates a stunning visual centerpiece for Oakland’s campus.

The carillon plays the soundtrack to Oakland’s campus with the traditional Westminster Quarter chimes, along with live performances every Friday at noon and during special occasions.

Did You Know?

  • The largest bell is a low C, weighing around 5,000 pounds and 5 feet in diameter.
  • The smallest bell is a high C, weighing in at 24 pounds.
  • Total weight of all bells is more than 30,000 pounds (over 15 tons).
  • The Elliott Tower is the last carillon to have its bells and keyboard to be cast by the Petit and Fritsen Royal Bellfoundry in the Netherlands, which had been around since 1660.
  • The Elliott Tower features a fully chromatic 49-bell carillon.
  • The clock faces are approximately 9’ 6” in diameter.
  • The minute hand from center to outside tip is 54 ¾” long.
  • Summer Carillon Concert Series: Six Fridays at 6 with Elliott Tower image
    Six Fridays at 6 Concert Series
    The Summer Carillon Concert Series is a series of outdoor concerts held on six Fridays at 6 p.m.

    The free concerts bring international carillonneurs to Oakland University'sElliott Tower.

    Bring your lawn chairs and blankets to enjoy a relaxing evening listening to the sounds of the carillon's 49 fully-chromatic bells.

    July 10 – Dennis Curry, Oakland University & Kirk in the Hills
    July 17 – George Matthew, Jr., Middlebury College & Norwich University
    July 24 – Tiffany Ng, University of Michigan
    July 31 – John Gouwens, Culver Academies
    August 7 – Ray McLellan, Michigan State University
    August 14 – Paul Stelben, Yale University
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    Friday at noon concerts
    Every Friday at noon, Oakland University’s carillonneur plays a live concert for a ½ hour. The program is selected by Dennis Curry and will generally relate to to something happening on campus or in the world.
  • Seek virtue and knowledge
    Ulysses’ Sail
    Provost James Lentini wrote a custom piece for the dedication of the Elliott Tower, which is now available to carillonneurs around the world. “Ulysses’ Sail” pays homage to OU’s motto “Seguir virtute e canoscenza” (translated “seek virtue and knowledge”).
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    Practice Carillon
    A practice carillon located in 103 O’Dowd Hall allows students to learn how to play the instrument.
  • Summer Carillon Concert Series
    Alum heads up architectural firm
    Delia Rodi (SECS ‘92) is the CEO of Niagara Murano, the company that was selected as the architectural firm for the Elliott Tower.
  • A generous gift
    Hugh and Nancy Elliott, whose philanthropy has benefited Oakland University in many ways over the years, talk about their inspiration for gifting the University with a 151-foot carillon tower.
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    Concert Series

    A new tradition

    A new tradition of summer carillon recitals — 6 Fridays @ 6 p.m — were held throughout the summer. Guest performers were recognized international carillonneurs.

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    Acquired Collection

    Music from Amsterdam

    Oakland University houses the complete collection of Todd Fair, an accomplished carillonneur who performed and taught in all parts of the carillon world, and was also the carillonneur at several Dutch cities, including the Old Church in Amsterdam.

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    An integral part of campus culture

    The Elliott Tower is the 14th carillon tower in Michigan; OU is the fourth Michigan university to have a carillon.

  • dennis

    OU's Carillonneur

    The man behind the music

    Dennis Curry, local carillonneur and longtime friend of the Elliotts, serves as the university carillonneur and is working to establish a program of education and training through the Department of Music. Contact Dennis via email at bells@oakland.edu.

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    Words of wisdom

    The 5,000 pound bell is inscribed with a quote from the Elliotts, who have provided support for a variety of capital projects, scholarships and charitable functions at OU.

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    Up Close

    How a carillon works

    How does the instrument work? When the baton on the keyboard is pressed, a vertical wire is attached to a pivoting crank which moves the clapper inside the bell.

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    Water Music

    Complementing the music of the carillon, the water feature adds to the ambiance of the Elliott Tower.