upcoming organ installations in Holland


Yesterday I was in a rather long meeting. It was about the organ installation at our church. Rev Jen gathered the architect, the sound system people, the acoustic consultant and some parishioners who have been involved this project. It was interesting to be present. The most striking thing was the difference between the vision of the sound system people (who are quite good) and the acoustic consultant.

When I first met the sound system guy he said that organists give him trouble. In essence he sees reverberation as an enemy to intelligibility and sound reproduction.

You can’t blame him. I envision that the ideal in the minds of many in his line of work is the sound studio, where vibrations are the enemy and are ideally sucked up by absorbent surfaces so that the sound can be completely controlled.

Thank goodness for our acoustic consultant, Dawn Schuette.

As Jen later pointed out, she was the only person in the room who was truly cross disciplined and spoke the language of all present.

She gently led the sound people into what we need from them (I think).

The next step will be very interesting. All three people will be conferring and creating computer models of our building. This is necessary for their work. I’m hoping that this will also enable us to create materials to help the community understand the inevitable changes to the worship area.


We have about two years to do this, since the organ arrives in late 2016.

Here’s an older article about Hope’s upcoming installation:

Older article about hope college installation

There was an article in the Holland Sentinel yesterday in which David Roossien and Huw Lewis were quoted extensively about the impending installation of an organ in a new building at Hope.

Simon Courture (L), Vice President of Casavant Freres; David Roosien (center), major donor of the new Casavant organ; and Huw Lewis (R), Professor of Organ at Hope College

I can’t get the article to load this morning. The Sentinel has decided I have reached my limit of articles I can read online. Weird.

Apparently there  have been some problems in arriving at the decision on which instrument to install in the new Hope building.

The instrument will be weirdly entirely enclosed. In the Sentinel article Lewis talks about an organ that is primarily designed to accompany orchestra and presumably chorus. I have never heard of this sort of thing before this discussion and suspect it is language to deal with an unfortunate compromise.

It’s probably a bit of a mistake. But Lewis (as mentioned in the article) recently traveled to the organ workshop and played the new instrument. He told his students  who told me (he doesn’t really talk to me) that he was happy with the quality of the sounds.

This is good news.

I wonder though how Hope will continue to attract organ faculty of the quality of Lewis and his predecessor, Roger Davis, with this installation.

Hey what do I know? I’m just an old rock and roller.

Rise in Suicide by Black Children Surprises Researchers – NYTimes.com

Disturbing statistics about the suicide of children.

Episcopal Church Fonts – Progressive Solemnity

Geeky blog post about fonts. My boss passed this one along on Facebooger.


4 thoughts on “upcoming organ installations in Holland

  1. Wow – that’s actually super interesting – to have those folks all together in the same meeting, make them talk with one another, and try to get them to work together to come up with a solution that fits all your needs (and not just the ones they like…)
    I’d like to hear more about that sometime.

    1. This was a pretty interesting meeting. Dawn was amazing in her ability to bring along the sound system people. Jen did an excellent job of leading us. Many interesting ideas on the table.

  2. I think this was a test… You posted that link about episcopal fonts on the 18th already 😛 I know, because I clicked on it. See? Your audience does pay attention.

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