Music student Austin Ferguson played the 56 bells in the University of Texas Tower on Tuesday in a half-hour concert to honor the victims of the Boston Marathon bombings.
Ferguson was one of many carillonneurs nationwide, including in Dallas and Waco, who used the power of music to pay their respects to the bombing victims. Some, including Ferguson, ended their concerts by tolling the bells three times for the three people who were killed.
Some of the songs played were “Amazing Grace,” “Holy, Holy, Holy,” “The Star-Spangled Banner” and taps.
Ferguson said he wanted the concert to provide solace to the people affected by the bombings and let them know that Austin supports them.
“We as a student body, and as a state and as a country, can pull together with things like this,” he said. “Nothing is ever going to bring us down.”
Ferguson is part of the UT Guild of Student Carillonneurs, a group of nine students who play the UT Tower bells, known as a carillon.
Lynnette Geary, the carillonneur at Baylor University, said the concert there Tuesday was a way for the Waco campus to express its grief together.
“There is a saying that says, ‘Music expresses things when words fail,’” Geary said. “I think especially in times of great grief and great joy that applies.”
Carol Anne Taylor, the carillonneur at Cathedral Shrine of the Virgin of Guadalupe in Dallas, tolled the church’s bells three times Tuesday. Taylor is a marathoner and said she hopes to some day run the Boston Marathon to honor those who were injured or killed.
In Austin, Jennifer Berke, a UT journalism junior, said her father ran the marathon Monday and was unharmed. Berke, who listened to Tuesday’s concert from campus, said she felt music brings people together and helps them come to terms with tragic events like the Boston bombings.
“(Listening to the concert) felt quietly triumphant,” Berke said. “I think I felt a little more at peace afterwards.”