St. Olaf’s Memorial Chime Tower was featured on MPR’s new Minnesota Today service this week in a Minnesota Sounds piece titled Northfield: Memorial wind chimes ring through St. Olaf.
A wooden tower on the quad at St. Olaf College houses 21 sets of wind chimes. Built in 2003, the tower and its chimes memorialize students who have died while attending the college.
The chimes are tuned to D, the key of the hymn "Beautiful Savior." On windy days, the sound of the chimes reaches almost every corner of campus. Pastor Bruce Benson tells the story of the college’s memorial wind chimes and what their sounds signify.
When the sun came out on Tuesday, I took some photos of the Memorial Chime Tower. I tried to capture the sounds but the noise of jets, trains and nearby construction machinery kept interfering.
There’s a poem on a placard attached to the tower, written by Mac Gimse, Professor Emeritus of Art. I found the text of it online in his speech for the Delta Chapter of Phi Beta Kappa at St. Olaf College on April 21, 2006: