Congratulations to the First Congregational church on their new Rodgers Imagine 235 Organ! The Imagine Series 235 delivers the most stunning sounds available in digital organs along with the ability to connect to wind-blown pipes, all in a beautiful 2-manual instrument.
Installation Date: May 24, 2022
Organ Recital by Dr. Daryl Hollinger, Organist (July 10, 2022) and the Rodgers Imagine 235
Rodgers 958 Trillium Masterpiece with 19 ranks of windblown pipes. Pipes were installed by Robert Knight, Knight Pipe Organ Company, San Diego and Blaine Ricketts, Rodgers organ technician, San Leandro. Rich Confetti, St. Ignatius facilities manager, did the wiring of the pipes to the Rodgers digital interface.
St. Catherine of Siena has been an integral part of the history of Martinez, and California, since the 19th Century. Prior to the California Gold Rush of 1849, Martinez was part of Mexican territory and was a pastoral valley divided up into Spanish Ranchos. St. Catherine of Siena is one of the oldest parishes in the Diocese of Oakland. In late 2019, when St. Dominic’s San Francisco installed their new Walker hybrid organ, the existing 4-manual Rodgers Trillium organ became available to St. Catherine’s. Robert Tall & Associates, Inc. was contracted to move the organ from St. Dominic’s to St. Catherine of Siena and install it with 28 independent audio channels. In addition to the main organ, installed in the rear balcony of the church, there is a 6-channel Choir Monitor system installed above and to the right of the choir (which is located on the main floor adjacent to the altar area.) Also, there is a 4-channel Antiphonal system and a 2-channel Trumpeteria installed above and behind the altar.
In 1991 Casavant Fréres completed the construction and installation of a 4-manual, 67 rank mechanical action pipe organ, Opus 3689, in the new sanctuary at Bel Air Presbyterian Church in Bel Air, California. In 1994, the organ was heavily damaged in the Northridge earthquake. The console, tracker mechanisms and chests along with other wooden components were destroyed by water sprinklers having been set off by the severe motion of the quake.
In 1996, Robert Tall & Associates, Inc. was awarded the contract to rebuild and enhance the pipes with digital additions controlled by a new state-of-the-art Rodgers 4-manual console. Sixty of the sixty-seven Casavant pipe ranks were repaired and incorporated in the new specification. The rebuilt and enhanced instrument now contains 151 ranks, 118 speaking stops.
This magnificent instrument has lived to earn its own prestigious reputation among the most hesitant and discriminating musicians. It was featured in the 2004 AGO National Convention held in Los Angeles. We were pleased to receive this message of appreciation from Nancy Ruczynski, Bel Air Presbyterian Church organist for the past 11 years.
The Bel Air Rodgers hybrid organ remains to this date, one of Robert Tall & Associates, Inc. most visible and prestigious installations.
In late July 2012, the installation of a new organ was completed in the spacious sanctuary at the historic Mission Basilica San Juan Capistrano in Southern California. It is a large custom 4-manual (keyboard) instrument built in the USA by the Rodgers Instrument Company of Hillsboro, Oregon, the world’s leading builder of classical digital organs. Rodgers was a member of the Roland Corporation, the world’s largest builder of digital musical instruments. The specification was created specifically for this special space by Hector Olivera, world renowned organist and Rodgers tonal director, Dan Miller, Rodgers product manager and Dr. Robert Tall, southern California Rodgers area representative.
This team created the custom stoplist in consultation with Monsignor Arthur Holquin, Rector and Christine Dow, Principal Organist. As can be seen by reading the stoplist, this instrument has the capability of authentically performing the literature of all music periods with a special flare for the Spanish. Capable of filling a large space of Cathedral/Basilica dimension, this organ has 80 stop positions of which an additional 138 can be accessed through Rodgers proprietary Voice Palette™ system. All total it has 218 stops, 4 percussions, a Zimbelstern (Campanitas) and a Soprano Ah. It is the equivalent to a pipe organ of an impressive 312 pipe ranks. Of particular note is this instrument’s 62 rank Pedal Division boasting four 32-foot stops and a large scaled 64-foot Gravissima! There are 7 divisions, Great, Swell, Choir, Solo, Pedal, Antiphonal and Trumpeteria, which play through 28 audio channels. Carefully positioned around the perimeter of the Grand Retablo are 20 main speakers, which are installed in such a way as to utilize the curved apsal walls of the Basilica to “throw” the sound out into the nave area. In the Narthex or baptismal area of the Basilica, there is a high window behind which 8 additional speakers comprise both an Antiphonal Division and a Trumpeteria.
The Antiphonal Division creates a surround sound that appropriately fills the entire Basilica with the additional advantage of providing organ support for congregational singing for those seated in the back area of the Basilica Nave and Narthex. On special occasions, such as weddings and other major feasts when the liturgical procession will enter from the great doors of the Basilica, the “Trompeta San Juan” will speak from the Trumpeteria to announce the entrance of the Bride! A comprehensive MIDI (Musical Instrument Digital Interface) system offers an additional selection of pipe organ sounds as well as those sounds from instruments of renowned orchestras (London and Prague), the human voice and those of ethnic origin. Based on Rodgers/Roland cutting edge technology, Parallel Digital Imaging, the Mission Basilica San Juan Capistrano Organ is the very latest in digital sampling technology and classical organ sound reproduction. Rodgers is not only the leader in classical organ digital technology, it is the first organ company to implement lead-free manufacturing in compliance with RoHS Standards (Restrictive Use of Hazardous Substances), a European directive to reduce various know hazardous substances in products using computer electronics. A Masterpiece, friendly to both the listener and the environment.
St. Francis de Sales Parish celebrated its first Mass on November 27, 1938, with a congregation of 40 people. In 1960, due to enormous growth, the parish constructed a 14000l square foot structure which was unique with symbols of the apostles on either side of the main altar and a high bell tower which served as a beacon of hope for Christians throughout the San Fernando valley. A huge bell was cast in England and installed in 1960, making it the largest church bell in Southern California.
In 1981, Reverend Kevin Larkin was appointed pastor and quickly saw to the needs of the parish, both spiritual and material. Restoration and repair work were needed to both building and grounds and the work was begun immediately. Just as thing were beginning to take shape including a new Parish Center, the Northridge earthquake, January 17 1994, caused severe damage. Large cracks in the roof and concrete walls of the building crippled the very structure, rendering the sanctuary unusable for most of 1994. Although the building remained upright, the high tower, with its five-ton cross twisted on its frame, and the yok of the four-ton bell broke, sending the mammoth metal mass crashing to the bell tower floor. From this condition, repair of the church and tower began and a new organ was planned.
During the January 17, 1994, Northridge earthquake in Southern California, the St. Francis de sales Church in Sherman Oaks suffered enormous damage. The three-manual 71-stop organ was torn from its structural support causing it to collapse upon itself. Organ experts agreed that is was beyond repair, and the mass of twisted pipes and broken chests was removed. A contract was awarded to Robert Tall & Associates, Inc., Glendale, California, one of the organ industry’s leading firms, to provide a new instrument for the church. Together with Steve park, organist of St. Francis de Sales, Dr. Tall assembled an impressive group of consultants including Dr. Frederick Swann, director of music and organist of the famed Crystal Cathedral in Garden Grove, California, and Mr. Larry Hawkins, an expert in the field of digital research and design.
The new organ is an impressive instrument of 111 speaking stops spread over a handsome four-manual console. It was built by the Rodgers Instrument Corporation, Hillsboro, Oregon which successfully combined new pipe work with digitally sampled pipe voices and the best of the surviving pipes and parts from the former organ. Based on Rodgers highly advanced computer networking system, Parallel digital Imaging technology, the digital technology and the wind driven pipes have created the largest new instrument of its kind ever built.
A quote from the 1969 dedication program notes for the former organ is still pertinent today: “An instrument such as this makes it unnecessary to explain why the pipe organ is known as the ‘King of Instruments.’ Is it any wonder that man has seen fir to use this masterpiece of his creative genius to beautify the homage he returns to his creator.”
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