Christmas Music Nixed at University Clock Tower

There is a bit of controversy surrounding the sounds coming from the Southern Illinois University clock tower. This time of year, the Pulliam Hall clock is known for playing Christmas music every hour. But the music has been off the past few days.

Westminster Quarters is all that you hear on the SIU Campus. That is after university leaders decided to pull the plug on playing Christmas music from the clock tower.

“People said they liked the music, but they thought it should include other kinds of music rather than the Christmas music that was playing,” SIU Spokesperson Rod Sievers said.

“If it was Jingle Bells or White Christmas or something like that, I think it would be a lot more respectful,” said Christine Stowell, an SIU Master’s student.

Thoughts about silencing the Christmas music were mixed on campus Thursday night. John Ferguson lives just north of the clock tower.

“I walk my dogs a lot, so it is very nice to hear in the winter time when you are walking by,” Ferguson said.

Beth Freeburg gets to hear the chimes as she works. Her office is just below the clock tower.

“I think it’s just a wonderful, inspirational thing that adds to the specialness of our signature building,” Freeburg said.

Sievers says the bells will ring again, and soon.

“We’ll begin with a mix of non-religious music while our people work with folks over at the School of Music to get an appropriate mix of music from all faiths and traditions,” Sievers said.

“I just hope, whatever it’s going to be, that it comes back right away,” Freeburg said.

Sievers says the clock should resume playing music some time Friday. Holiday music will return soon after that.

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