I know from the many comments I hear from parishioners that the music program here at St. Mary Magdalene’s is an important component of Sunday and holy day masses. Obviously, the music ministry is also very near and dear to me and to Jason St. James, our keyboard player. Although we do a lot of modern and contemporary music for mass, the traditional hymns are still relevant and important. Those traditional hymns really shine when played on the organ. Try to envision Easter hymns like “Jesus Christ is Risen Today” without the organ. We both strongly believe that a quality church organ is a valid asset to our parish and I believe that many of you agree with that opinion.
I am sure you have noticed that we have not been using the organ lately. Repairs were done to it in April of this year at a cost of $1285, a similar problem took place in October which was repaired at a cost of $505, and something entirely different went wrong just before Christmas. Due to the busy Christmas season, we have not had a chance to have the last problem diagnosed. Because the organ is 22 years old and the company who made it is out of business, it has become increasingly expensive and difficult (maybe impossible) to maintain.
Over the past 3 months, Jason and I and two members of the church choir have researched new church organs. We have done much reading, and took field trips to area churches to see, hear and play newly installed organs similar to what we need. After comparing the cost, features and benefits of several models, we decided that the Allen electronic organ is the best fit for our worship space.
The total cost (if we commit by March 31, 2014) is $54,850. That price includes the organ console, all new amplifiers and speakers (including speakers in the rear of the church to give us quality sound everywhere), and all brand new wiring.
I know that there are many generous music lovers in our parish who want to help, but are not sure what the parish needs most. Please consider in your hearts how important a quality organ is and give some thought to donating toward its purchase.
Director of Music Ministry