On Wednesday, July 19. 2017, a group of parishioners from Transfiguration (Gary Quamme, Peter Lafford, Pat Gutsch and Bobbie Lafford) went to the San Pablo Episcopal Church in Phoenix to look over the condition of the Rodgers organ and assess the benefits of moving it to our church. San Pablo (formerly St. Paul’s Episcopal Church) acquired the organ in the late 1990s, shortly before the parish became Spanish-speaking and changed its name to San Pablo. At the time of the organ’s purchase, Peter Lafford was the (bilingual) Senior Warden at St. Paul’s, so he was aware of the existence of the organ and the fact that it has not been used in a service in almost 20 years (the Spanish-speaking service does not utilize the organ). This fact was brought to Fr. Bob’s attention and he deputized the interested parishioners to evaluate the current state of the organ and explore the possibility/feasibility of moving it to the East Valley. As Fr. Enrique was away, Deacon Sally let us into the sanctuary and Gary spent almost an hour evaluating the instrument.
The organ is composed of two parts: first, the original pipe organ that sits atop the altar canopy; and, the Rodgers electronic components, heard through speakers at the choir side of the canopy. The console is a little dirty, but, is otherwise functional. The bench is not of standard spec, and will not fit over the pedal board. The current shape and layout of the chests and case are circular, and will not function in our space. Any use of the pipework will require new chests and case.
Our options are
- To take only the electronic part of the organ, which would include the console and speakers. Installation will have some expense for correct placement of speakers at the back, and for reconfiguration and voicing of the electronic sounds.
- Or, to take the console, speakers, and pipework. The pipes can be transported and stored in boxes until they are ready for installation at Transfiguration.
Certainly installation of the pipework and electronic sounds is the ideal, adding tremendous beauty to our worship, and would provide greater opportunity for public performance in the East Valley. The general consensus of the Transfiguration group was that it was worth asking the Vestry to consider moving the organ from San Pablo to Transfiguration, as part of our goal to enhance the cultural presence in the East Valley.