--- Maestro Hector Olivera
"This installation is a work of art! This is why the organ has such wonderful sound and presence in the room!" - (Comment live during dedication concert.)
Bethany United Church of Christ, in the center of Ephrata, is now home to the first Rodgers Infinity 361 Colonial. In a classic case of a two-manual pipe organ rebuild costing more than a brand new Rodgers Organ, the church opted for the Rodgers Infinity 361. In actuality, the search began nearly 3 years ago, when the committee was inspired by the sound of the Rodgers Masterpiece 908 organ at Salem Lutheran Church in … Kissel Hill.
There was some hesitation about a digital organ initially, but after hearing Maestro Hector Olivera on the Rodgers Masterpiece 928 TE at St. Leo the Great Catholic Church, that trepidation was put to rest. The next item was to raise the funds. By the time the funds were raised, the 908 they fell in love with had grown into the Infinity series organs.
The 361 designation means that there are 3 manuals and 61 drawknob stop positions, though the organ has considerably more resources than that would imply. It is called the Infinity series, because there is essentially no end to the possibilities of sounds and functions of this series. For example, the 361 has a total of 376 real-time, instantly available stops; however, 189 of those stops can be a base upon which the organist can create new stops.
On the features end of this, any combination, stop or “voice” you create can be saved to a combination piston for instant recall. Oh, and not to worry…with unlimited memory via USB, the organist will always have a place to store them! The features are also numerous with on-board record/playback/store, 350 hymn-player, voice palette, organ type, adjustable music desk, LED lighting, adjustable lift-lid storage bench and more.
With all of this power and convenience, the organ is still very simple to use with eminently beautiful tone. Just sit down, draw a few stops and play and be amazed at the authentic sound of winded pipes.
For this installation, Buch Organ Company obtained samples of the whites and the finishes approved by the church and Rodgers Instruments Corporation matched them. When the organ shipped, Buch Organs removed the pipe organ, renovated the chambers, specified the electrical updates and upon arrival of the organ, Buch installed the new Infinity 361 on 10-channels of audio. A seamless flow of work, even amidst some challenging weather!
For the renovation part, the old chamber walls and ceilings were 1/8″ masonite. To this was added 1/2″ medium density fiberboard (mdf), glued to the masonite and fastened to the studs. The tonal openings were expanded vertically 18-24″ and the pipe facade frames strengthened. When complete, the entire chambers were painted black. Hatches were added to the access ways for the chamber and the attic above the chambers. The new chambers tested extremely resonant – a vast improvement on the original.
The electrical work saw the upgrading of a few circuits, the installation of a stage-pocket floor box (under the organ) and conduit neatly routed from the console to chamber and from chamber to chamber.
The installation utilizes 12 speaker cabinets, 10 treble and two sub-woofers. The Swell division speaks from the left chamber with two cabinets, the Choir from the right (two cabinets), the Great from both chambers (4 cabinets), the Floating Solo from both chambers (two cabinets) and the Pedal (Bass) from both chambers (two sub-woofer cabinets). The installation also utilizes Crown Digital amps, built specifically for Rodgers Instruments, which are extremely quiet and produce very little heat.
The biggest test was going to be the first Sunday the congregation would hear the new organ. One member, Barry, who did not vote for a digital organ, said, “If you can satisfy me, you will have done your job.” We are pleased to report that when our professional voicing technician left, Barry called Buch Organs and said, “You did it…I’m a believer now!” Former organ search committee chair Michael, when asked, simply stated, “truly amazing!”
We are pleased to invite you to the dedication of this new instrument on June 8, 2014 at 4:00 pm, where the renowned Maestro Hector Olivera is slated to perform once again for the Buch Organ Company.