St. Theresa Catholic Parish in New Cumberland, PA
St. Theresa Catholic Parish in New Cumberland, PA, near Harrisburg, is the proud owner of the phenomenal new Rodgers Infinity II 361 Church Organ. When the church became aware of their need for a new instrument, there was one major criteria in addition to authentic pipe organ sound and function – they needed a separate organ system to accompany the choir. The Rodgers Infinity II 361 was the solution to their quest and much more!
The architecture of the church is what some might call mid-century modern and the style of the nave is what many Catholic organists and priests alike refer to as the “theater” style. This mid-century style features a half-round nave with a very long front wall, in the middle of which is the Sanctuary. The seating slopes gently downward and the ceiling vaults upward as one approaches the Sanctuary (front wall). This style of architecture produces marvelous acoustics for organ and congregational singing, provided the proper surface treatments are in place. In the case of St. Theresa Parish, the nave will seat nearly 1100, making the front wall of the nave a full 185 feet.
Installation of Rodgers Infinity II 361
This style of architecture also featured the forward-situated organ and choir. While not the ideal acoustic placement, the previous organ installations have attempted to span as much of the long front wall as possible. With very large “window box” chambers flanking the Sanctuary, Buch Organs opted to utilize the existing chambers for the Main Organ, presented in two separate, yet complete systems on each side of the Sanctuary (Altar for Protestants). The primary functions of the doubled Main Division are to accompany liturgy, congregational singing and for the Main Organ in the presentation of organ literature.
In addition to the Doubled Main Organ is an 8-channel, separately and uniquely voiced Choir Satellite System, installed discreetly along a rear beam, with bass (sub-woofers) hidden with in the wall behind the choir. The Choir System can operate independently of the Main Organ and therefore, has as its primary function the accompaniment of the Parish’s large and enthusiastic choir – a testament to the able leadership and affable personality of Music Director Ed Smith. The Choir system consists of 16 Treble Cabinets mounted on the beam above the choir and 2 Sub-woofers mounted in the nave wall of the confessional, just behind the choir. When it was confirmed that Mr. Smith would be able to have the Choir System and the authentic pipe sound, he was enthusiastic. Having already visited another parish with the Infinity 361, he knew that if Buch could provide the choir system, this was the organ for his Parish.
But there is more! The extreme versatility and capability of the Rodgers Infinity II organ is not just in the presentation of almost 400 tone colors; the floating Solo Division and the Audio output versatility adds myriad choices for custom installations. This instrument also features a 2-channel Antiphonal Division, a split 4-channel Solo Division and an Antiphonal Positiv.
The split Solo Division was an answer to Mr. Smith’s request for added color and effect from a division or divisions speaking from the rear of the nave. The big festive reeds of the Solo Division speak from the front as do the large solo flutes. Quieter reed and flue colors speak from the Rear Solo Division.
On the Rodgers Infinity II Organs, the Antiphonal Division may feature any portion of the organ. In the case at St. Theresa Parish, the Antiphonal functions as a Rear Swell Division, for those occasions when the organ in dialogue is desired, or for more accompaniment when the nave is at capacity, or as accompaniment for a front-speaking Solo Combination.
For even more color possibilities, 5 Stops of the organ were “mapped” to the Rear of the Nave to become a Positiv Division. This division pays homage to an historic, unexpressed Positiv, featuring a charming and lovely Quintadena 8 and delicate upperwork.
Another Buch Organ success!
The Organ was inaugurated in a wedding service and the Dedication Concert featured one of America’s notable young artists, Gregory Zelek. Greg was thrilled with the installation and enjoyed a large audience in a program culminating with the monumental Psalm 94 by Julius Reubke. Buch Organs was pleased to handle the publicity for the event to make it a great occasion to bring the church and community together for the joy of music.
Other notable features of the Rodgers Infinity II 361 are its Library Access (189 Voiceable stops!), USB memory, Bluetooth access to the Organ’s Sequencers (3), AirTurn compatibility and USB charging port for iPad or tablet computers (no one wants a dead battery while in the middle of the second Mass!). See the Full Specification here.
As part of this installation, Buch Organs replaced all grill fabrics, fashioned new Antiphonal Covers, built the wall enclosure and finished the interior of the confessional. For each installation, Buch Organs will determine the musical, architectural and acoustical requirements for your church and provide the perfect instrument and installation to meet those needs and exceed expectations.
If you are in the Harrisburg area, this is an organ you must hear! Please call or email us to arrange a demonstration or tour of the organ.