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In this four-part documentary, see how the Ars Sonora® project – which has been decades in the making and has involved international collaboration from Tampa to Annecy, France – came to life.

The University of Tampa, Florida

Episode 1 (13 minutes)

Explore the history and vision behind the Ars Sonora project. Learn why this project is so meaningful to Susan and John Sykes and how they worked with UT President Ronald Vaughn and his wife, Renée, to bring the project to fruition. Travel to Annecy, France, to meet the Paccard family – eight generations of bell makers in France and witness their centuries-old bell-making process.

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Sykes Plaza

Episode 2 (8 minutes)

Travel back to France to witness the initial fabrication and testing of the world’s largest and most advanced Ars Sonora. Learn why the project is a technological marvel and how the French and U.S. teams worked to invent one-of-a-kind processes and technologies. Hear the first-ever playing of the bells during a test concert in France. See the first images of the Ars Sonora fully assembled and hear what it means to construction leads Scott Gossen and Bryan Wilson.

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Ars Sonora being erected on campus

Episode 3 (11 minutes)

Watch as the Ars Sonora arrives at The University of Tampa and witness the full assembly on campus. Witness UT Department of Music faculty learning to play the instrument for the first time, as Thomas Paccard uses first-of-its-kind software to fine-tune the instrument to the musicians’ preferences. Feel the excitement and anticipation leading up to the dedication concert. 

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Ars Sonora first concert

Episode 4 (14 minutes)

Feel the excitement as music faculty, including UT’s Ars Sonora curator, Joshua Cessna, experiment with arranging and conducting the first-ever Ars Sonora concert in the new Sykes Plaza. Learn how music is composed specifically for this one-of-a-kind instrument, and celebrate as we conclude this phase of a multi-decade journey to create the world’s most advanced bell tower.

Watch Episode 4