First, I want to express my sincere gratitude to everyone who has made this new organ possible at St. Jacobs. Thank you to anyone who participated on the organ committee, researched differences in companies, models and prices, listened to organs, contributed money, allowed money to be used from memorial funds, moved things to make room for speakers, tore out carpet and the step upstairs, installed the flooring, took pictures to capture the whole process on film, and especially everyone who has prayed for God’s guiding direction to do what is right in this place at thistime, that we may meet God in our worship!!
Introduction to the new organ: This is an electronic organ with two manuals (keyboards) and a full set of pedals. It was built by craftsmen at the Allen Organ Company in Macungie, Pennsylvania. The speakers are in cabinets strategically placed in the sanctuary and balcony for sound mixture and balance, so that they convey the warmth and voices of each of the notes. The sounds have been sampled from actual pipe organs in England, Germany, France and the Americas, and are digitally reproduced. This gives the beautiful sound and feel of a pipe organ in our balcony, without the cost and maintenance of a pipe organ. Though it is not currently installed due to delays in production, there will be a special MIDI component that will make about 70 symphonic instrumental voices available. These do actually sound like the instruments they are sampled from like trumpets, flute, handbells, oboe, harp, harpsichord, violin, cello and others. Also, the carillon will still be available to be played from a keyboard, just as it was in the former organ.
I am very excited to have the opportunity to lead us in worship and praise of God using this wonderful instrument. Of course, as with anything new, I hope you realize there is a learning curve. How many of us are dealing with new software at our work or a new computer? Remember when you got your new phone and you said, “All I want to do is call my friend and I don’t even know which button to push or where to swipe the stupid thing!” Or you are driving a different car and the windshield fogs up and you practically run into a mailbox while trying to find the defrost button. Or you get a different stove and oven right before Thanksgiving and everyone is watching and waiting for this great meal. It takes some retraining, lots of trial and error. Some of playing an organ is by feel, by touch, especially the pedals. And all of the controls for all the different sounds are in completely different places. I have played the old organ for over 30 years! This is an old dog trying to learn new tricks! Please be patient with me.
Everyone is welcome to come see all the changes in the balcony, even though it is still a work in progress. Feel free to ask any questions. And I invite your comments and helpful feedback on how things sound. May we all give thanks for God’s blessings to us, may we lift our voices in joyful praise, may we join in singing “This is my story, this is my song, praising my Savior all the day long!” and “Every time I feel the Spirit, moving in my heart, I will sing and pray!”
By: Russ Kern : November 10 2015 :