James Mayer dedicates new Rodgers organ in Oakland

Bob Tall, Jim Mayer, Reverend Michael Mautner, Blaine Ricketts

On Saturday, June 7th, James Mayer, Director of Music and Organist at St. Peter’s Church in Oakland played a dedication program on their new 3-manual Rodgers Artist Series 589. The organ is installed in the rear gallery and includes an Antiphonal division in the front of the church. Jim made good use of these divisions during his performance of music featuring the works of Pepping, Balbastre, Cabezón, Messaien, Pachelbel, Walther, Langlais, Alain and Byrd. The Rodgers 589 has the ability to play in four different genres, American Classic, English Cathedral, French Romantic and German. It can also play in several authentic tunings, all of which Jim explored during his programming of music from a wide range of composers. Jim also played Four American Folk Hymns Settings by Wilbur Held, which were a great hit with the audience. He made liberal use of the internal orchestral instruments, such as Harpsichord, Orchestral Oboe, Clarinet and Chimes.

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Dan Miller in concert at an historic downtown San Francisco church

Dan at Rodgers Infinity 361

Dan Miller, well-known concert organist and Rodgers Organ Company product manager, recently played a brilliant concert on the new 3-manual Infinity 361 installed in the sanctuary of an historic downtown San Francisco church, Hamilton Square Baptist Church. The concert was well attended and the audience responded with an enthusiastic standing ovation. The church was beautifully decorated and there was an elegant reception in the Fellowship Hall following the concert.

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James Welch in concert on new Rodgers installation in Mountain View

Patricia Eldred & James Welch

James Welch recently played a concert on the new 2-manual Rodgers Allegiant 678 organ in the chapel at Redwood Villa Park Retirement Community in Mountain View. In his entertaining style, Dr. Welch played a program including works from Bach to Wagner, taking time to please the crowd with Leroy Anderson’s Plink, Plank, Plunk, Webber’s Phantom of the Opera medley, and Porter Heaps Bach to the Old Corral. Patricia Eldred, a well-known area church organist and a resident at the Villa Park facility, donated the organ. It was installed in February this year. It is a versatile instrument being capable of playing the music of all styles. In addition to the organ voices, the Allegiant 678 has several internal orchestral voices for immediate use to the organist. Dr. Welch made good use of these additional sounds during his program.

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San Francisco AGO meets at St. Dominic’s Catholic Church

St. Dominic’s Catholic Church, San Francisco

On June 9th, the San Francisco chapter of the American Guild of Organists held their annual meeting at St. Dominic’s Catholic Church. The meeting was preceded by a dinner in the Parish Hall and followed by a member’s recital in the Sanctuary. Simon Berry, Director of Music and Organist at St. Dominic’s, is Dean of the SFAGO Chapter and not only presided at both the meeting and the concert, but concluded the program by playing Noel Rawsthorne’s very humorous, Hornpipe Humoresque. It was great fun!   Others on the program included, James Armstrong, Robert Train Adams, Jane

Rodgers Custom 4-manual Digital Organ

Rosenblum, John Karl Hirten, John Walker, Larry Marietta, James Alward, Katya Kolesnikova, and Andrew Chislett. The organ is a Rodgers 4-manual custom digital organ, which served well for a program titled, “A Program of Encores.” The Rodgers was installed in 2000, when the ventil stop action of the pipe organ finally broke beyond repair. It is planned that the pipe organ will someday be restored. St. Dominic’s Church is an historic landmark and artistic treasure serving nearly 3,000 parishioners in a hub of cultural and civic activity.

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A Special Time for a Special Church

This Easter will be a very special time for St. Paul Lutheran Church in Mountain View, California. They will be celebrating the Savior’s Resurrection with a new Rodgers organ and a newly appointed organist! Earlier this year, after an extensive research, the organ committee recommended to the congregation that a new Rodgers 3-manual Artist Series, Model 599 be installed in time for Easter Services. The congregation voted unanimously to accept the organ committee’s recommendation and a contract was signed with Robert Tall & Associates, Inc., Northern California representatives for Rodgers organs. Robert Knight, Knight Pipe Organ Company, San Diego performed the installation in consultation with Dr. Robert Tall, Allen Clapp, organ committee chairman and members of the music staff. Admirably, Pastor Aaron Smith took a personal interest in the project, as well, and, to the delight of the crew, was involved during the installation, which was completed on April 3, 2014. The organ has an 8-channel Main organ system installed in the balcony with the church choir and a 4-channel Antiphonal organ system, installed in the front of the sanctuary on each side of the Altar area. Special Oak enclosures were installed to hide the speakers and match the church décor. The organ Antiphonal system also serves as the sound system for the praise band and the public address system. Peter Ujj was appointed organist in late March and assumed his duties as organist beginning April 1st. He is a very gifted musician from Hungary, having studied with, Istvan Baroti, organist at the famed Esztergom Basilica, whose lineage traces back two generations of musicians having studied directly with Franz Liszt. St. Paul Lutheran Church started as a mission to Mountain View in 1951, worshiping first in Mountain View’s historic Adobe Building. In 1954, St. Paul moved to its present location on El Monte Avenue. The congregation established the St. Paul Child Development Center in 1987 to serve the families of the community. A new sanctuary was dedicated in 1992, with the old sanctuary being converted into a fellowship hall. The sanctuary is blessed with superb stained glass windows and high ceilings. The space is very kind to sound. St. Paul provides Word and Sacrament ministry in both English and Spanish, offers a Lutheran worship service with both organ and praise band, and continues to support the community through its Montessori-based CDC.

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