Here at Immaculate Conception, we are blessed with a beautiful tradition of exemplary music, whether it is in our choirs, our music ministers, or even the students of our school. One of the most vital tools that enable this ministry to happen is the beautiful Schantz pipe organ, which is prominent in the design of our sanctuary. This prestigious instrument has been serving our parish very well for decades.
As is the nature of this instrument, with the course of time, this utilization during the past forty years has left many parts of it struggling to hold up to the demands that need to be met, largely within the control console itself. Many integral parts that need to be reliable for the ease of use for the instrument have started to fail, and as a result need to be replaced. In addition, this console, which is essentially a forty year old computer, needs to be updated, to ensure more reliable and flexible operation for our music ministry for many decades more into the future.
Extensive research has been done by both our Director of Sacred Music, Mr. John Barnes and Fr. Belken (who is an organist himself). They both have a great deal of experience in pipe organs, which has helped them in selecting an appropriate route to take with our instrument. Therefore, in taking their recommendations, and after consulting with our parish pastoral council and parish finance council, and with Bishop Edward M. Rice’s approval, we are pursuing the necessary steps to renew and renovate our current organ. Please note, this is not a replacement of our current pipe organ. Though many things may look new, including the console (the organist’s controller for the organ), the pipes and appearance of the organ will remain the same and in use. The inner components and linkage of the organ are what will change. In addition, to add to the current patrimony of the instrument that is here, this renovation will add some resources and sounds that have largely been missing from our organ, including a variety of digital “stops” (or sounds), which even includes digital chimes! It will also implement usability upgrades that will assist in ensuring our organ is easily playable by organists of any skill level, or will even aid young organists who may be learning to play.
The question that likely arises from this is: can we help with this project? The answer: absolutely! We are seeking your help as a parish family to contribute to the success of this project by praying for its success, but also contributing to it financially, if you feel called to do so. This is not simply one project amongst many, but one that will contribute greatly to our worship as a parish family, now, and in generations to come. To contribute, please contact the parish office, or you may write “Organ Renovation” on the memo line of a check. No amount is too small to help with this great cause.
Thank you, as always, for your support!