The campus came alive with the sound of music last Saturday night with an unexpected recital of the Chapel bells. In what appears to be an Ivies prank, an unidentified person entered the Chapel and set off the bells at approximately 1:30 a.m., causing them to ring for roughly 30 minutes until 2 a.m.
Concert, Budget and Equipment Manager Delmar Small wrote in an email to the Orient that the bells are set on a program similar to iTunes and that this set-up eliminates the possibility of a simple programming error.
"The controller has several 'manual' play functions like peal, toll and music," wrote Small. "If someone presses the play button, Bowdoin songs will play for 35 minutes."
Director of Safety and Security Randy Nichols would not confirm whether or not the bells were a prank, but he did comment on the symbolic nature of their ringing.
"If it was a prank it was a harmless prank," Nichols said. "I attribute it more to the spirit of Ivies."
"It was a heralding of the end of Ivies," he added. "To me, the bells were a celebration and I found joy in the bells."
Security did, however, respond to the chapel, which had been left unlocked, to try to shut off the bells.
"We didn't really know how to shut them off so we called in an electrician," said Nichols. "It took [the electrician] a half-hour to get here, and literally as he walked into the chapel to turn the bells off they ended on their own."
There will be no investigation into the culprit behind the bells and Nichols remains unconcerned about the incident.
"We don't condone messing with the bells, and next year you can be assured the bells will not be messed with, but there was no harm done," he said. "They didn't vandalize anything and they played some beautiful chimes. How often do you get to hear all 35 minutes of the repertoire?"