The Singing Tower in Lake Wales is one of Florida’s original stops for visitors since 1929 when Edward Bok, publisher of the Ladies Home Journal, built one of the largest bell carillons in the world.
The attraction is called Bok Tower Gardens, but the actual tower is the Singing Tower that houses the carillon. Opened in 1929, the tower design was inspired by European gothic churches and the art deco movement but it also incorporates native coquina rock and Georgia pink marble the tower and the surrounding gardens reflect the natural world of Florida.
The 60-bell carillon is controlled by a clavier that resembles a keyboard only in function. The carillonneur hits wooden levers with closed fists to create the music.
William De Turk is the third carillonneur in the history of the tower and plays a number of live concerts each week. As he jokes that carillons are the original “heavy metal.”