Lance Luce - First Congregational Church, United
Church of Christ, Rochester, Michigan
Allen Organ, Model
Q325c with MIDI
Vista and 4 ranks
of pipes.  The are 6
voicing suites and
7 audio channels.  
There are also
antiphonal
speakers in the
rear of the
sanctuary.  The
main speakers are
nestled up with the
pipes and are not
visible from the
congregation's
view point.
The Following pictures were taken with a camera phone, so the quality is not as
good.  The 4 ranks each have their own cable run from the chest to the interface.
First Congregational Church,
United Church of Christ, is the
oldest Congregational Church
in Michigan and the first
church in the city of Rochester,
Michigan.  It was founded
August 1, 1827, when
Reverend Isaac W. Ruggles of
the Missionary Society of
Connecticut met with ten
people in a log building on
South Rochester Road.

The church has come a long
way since its founding. They
have grown and expanded
through the years and again
recently by adding a new
sanctuary with a contemporary
design. The new sanctuary
incorporates many interesting
design elements including
glass skylights from below as
well as above in order to take
advantage of the natural light
available.   The new and
modern concept called for the
latest in technology for sound,
lighting and a new state of the
art organ.

Kathie Bowden, long time
organist at the church, along
with Music Director Alan Lollar
and Pastor David Wheeler
made up the organ search
committee.  Their old organ, a
2 manual Rodgers, was
experiencing re-occurring
service problems which
included breaking key
contacts causing notes to
stick.  This problem, along
with poor sound quality,
caused the committee to
determine to find the best
replacement for the old
instrument.  

The 4 ranks of pipes that were
attached to the old organ,
however, still had good sound
quality and were very
attractive.   Evola Music was
ultimately contracted to supply
the new Allen organ for the
church.  A 3-manual
instrument was desired, so I
worked with Kathie to come
up with best way to use the 4
ranks of pipes on the Allen
Q325c.  The organ is
equipped with OST keys,
Allen Vista MIDI as well as an
antiphonal speaker system.

The final result is a beautiful
instrument to play, listen to
and admire.  The music
program at First
Congregational includes 6
choirs, 6 bell choirs and 2
instrumental groups.  They
now have an organ that will
lead them into the next
generation.
Pictures from the organ dedication program.  
Johnny Kash was the guest organist.  He and
Kathie Bowden performed solos as well as some
piano and organ duets.  It was an excellent
program enjoyed by a large audience.
Some additional technical
information.  The pipes were made
by the Ruffatti Pipe Organ Co. of
Italy.  The ranks include 8' Diapason
(Tenor "C"), 4' Octave, 8' Flute
(Tenor "C") and a 4' Flute.  The
lowest 12 notes of the two 8' stops
are produced digitally.

They are interfaced to the
appropriate stops on the great
manual.  Those 4 drawknobs activate
the pipe ranks.  There are two
custom stops on the organ, "Add
Digital" and "Substitute Digital."  The
"Add Digital" stop will make the
matching digital voice sound
simultaneously with the pipe stop,
and the "Substitute Digital" will make
the stops become digital only, no
pipes.

There is a temperature sensor that
raises and lowers the pitch of the
digital part of the organ to track along
with the pipes as they are affected by
the room temperature.
Back to Church page
Back to Church page
Fun Fact:  This organ was featured by the Allen Organ Company
as a "Organ of the Week" on their web site.  cool stuff!  it was
famous before it even left the factory.  
Check it out.