April 22, 2004
The "Het Schipke" is a historic white house that supports the school. The entrance hall contains a small carillon keyboard. Jo Haazen, the current director of the institution, is an impeccably dressed gentleman who promptly plays an inspirational tune reminiscent of a college football fight song. The school is proud of its six-year study program, which includes for its students access to practice keyboards, a school carillon, a library and archive, and a collection of historic bells and accompanying items.
The "Hof van Busleyden" contains the carillon and school museum along with a municipal museum. This old red brick mansion dating from 1507 features its own belfry and a gated courtyard. Currently the complex is undergoing some renovation. The main display room of the museum features old and historic bells, artworks, photographs, documents, programs, carillon keyboards, and a colorful range of gifts to the school from around the world. Glass cases contain old letters from notable admirers, including John D. Rockefeller, who was one of the institution’s earliest supporters and donors.
The Jef Denyn Royal Carillon School has helped to organize the prestigious Queen Fabiola International Carillon Competition, along with carillon composition contests. It has certainly done its part to promote the art of the carillon.
From journal Bill in Belgium - MECHELEN (side trip from Antwerp)