Man behind the music

Bill Monroe was not only an early president of the Bell Tower Community Foundation, but also has served as the tower’s Music Man for more than 20 years.  He has been the man behind the scenes, choosing musical selections and running the equipment to make the music play.  Previously, Mike Piepel filled that role as the county auditor.  Monroe chooses and programs the programmed music pouring out from the bell tower from 8 am – 8 pm daily for five minutes after each hour.  He’s still fulfilling that role today.

How does Bill decide on what to play?  Floyd Mahanay spelled that out in his will: “I further direct that sacred and patriotic music shall represent 50% of the music to be played on this carillon”.  He also specified that special music be played for Easter, Christmas seasons, and for the Fourth of July.

In December of 2013, the Verdin Supreme, a new digital music system, was installed.  It has the capability of playing any number of real bells.  IT can store and play up to 10,000 bell songs.  A musician on the keyboard can play and record any amount of special tunes to be played later.