Bells ring at SDSU in honor of Sandy Hook victims - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Bells ring at SDSU in honor of Sandy Hook victims

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SAN DIEGO (CNS) - The iconic bells in Hardy Memorial Tower at San Diego State University rang out an original composition Friday to honor the victims of last month's mass shooting in Newtown, Connecticut.

SDSU reported that every Friday at 9:50 a.m. the bells will ring 26 times, once for each of the 20 children and six adults who died in the Dec. 14 massacre, followed by "Tower Music for Sandy Hook" at 9:56 a.m. The tune by

Terry O'Donnell, a professor emeritus of music and theater, also will be played on the 204-bell carillon Thursdays at 9:26 a.m.

The work by O'Donnell -- the university's official carillonneur since 1963 -- began playing last week and will continue through March 29.

"In some way you need to respect and honor and acknowledge the situation in as much of a constructive way as possible," O'Donnell told CBS8. "I thought, write some music to remind people."

One of the victims of the Newtown shooting was Benjamin Wheeler, the 6-year-old son of David Wheeler, a 1985 graduate of the SDSU School of Professional Studies and Fine Arts, SDSU spokeswoman Natalia Van Stralen said.

David Wheeler went on to be a New York-based actor who also toured the area's comedy circuit for about 20 years. Published reports said he and his musician wife Francine moved from Queens to Newtown shortly after the birth of Benjamin, their second son.

An article posted by Van Stralen on SDSU's website said "Tower Music for Sandy Hook" is made up of three brief sections that include a flourish of bells based on a five-note musical motif. A manuscript copy of the composition that lists a dedication to all of the Sandy Hook victims was sent to the Wheeler family, she said.

The boy is the second victim of the shootings to have a San Diego connection. Avielle Richman, also 6, had moved to Newtown with her parents from Mira Mesa.

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