Felix Hell to inaugurate Hibben’s new organ!

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Hibben is pleased to announce that Felix Hell, internationally-famous organ virtuoso, will play the inaugural concert on our new organ at 6:00 PM Sunday, December 2, 2018.

More details about this historic event in the life of our church will follow. Mark your calendars and make plans to attend this amazing concert!

Felix Hell (www.felixhell.com) has performed concerts on many of the world’s most important organs and in many of the great concert halls, churches, and cathedrals around the world. His mastery of the instrument has stunned audiences since he began performing at a very young age.

This concert at Hibben will showcase the vast resources of our new organ, while also providing to our church and community a rare opportunity to experience an artist of this caliber in person.

Demolition has begun!

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The construction team responsible for Hibben’s sanctuary renovation arrived at the church Monday, June 18, to begin the first phase – demolition work in the sanctuary. As shown in the photos, the ½ walls which once hid portions of the left and right chancel areas have been removed, as have the choir loft pews and the first pew in the center seating area.

We will continue to update this page as the work progresses. The work is slated to be completed in about 6 weeks.

The Sanctuary is prepped for renovations…

 

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As we prepare for the contractors to start the renovations to the sanctuary, it was necessary to remove all furnishings from the chancel area. This included removal of the temporary organ, which was returned today to Fox Music House of Charleston, as well as the removal of all exposed ranks of pipes from the original Schantz organ. These pipes are being kept safe to eliminate the possibility of damage during demolition and reconstruction of the chancel area.

Once construction has been completed and the new organ installed, the pipes will be returned to their original location and will continue to serve as a focal point, behind the cross, of Hibben’s sanctuary. It is anticipated that the sanctuary renovations will be completed by the third week of July, with installation of the new organ to begin in that timeframe. The organ will be used in service for the first time within the first or second week of August.

Final Sunday before renovations…

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This past Sunday, June 10, 2018, members of Hibben gathered for worship in much the same fashion they have since the current sanctuary was built in the 1980’s. There was one difference, however…most were keenly aware that the appearance of their beloved worship space would not look quite the same when we return here for worship in approximately 6 weeks.

Hibben has been contemplating the need to renovate and redesign the chancel area for the past two or three years, and when it was decided last year that a new organ was needed, the church Trustees made the bold decision to do both projects at once.

Led by Mashburn Construction of Mt. Pleasant, a team of contractors will begin the process of demolition and rebuilding of the chancel area on June 20th, with an anticipated construction schedule of 50 days. Near the end of this process, our new custom Allen organ will arrive and the installation of this beautiful instrument will cap the renovation of the sanctuary.

Although the front and rear of the church will no longer look like it has these many years, Hibben will continue to serve our community through our many missions and outreach programs, and we will continue to worship in this wonderful space as we realize our vision of ever greater service to God and community.

Hibben’s new organ is in Final Testing!

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The reality of how close we are to receiving our new organ was brought home this week when George Hiatt, our Allen Organ representative, shared a recent photo taken in the final test area at Allen. This is the final step in a journey that began seven months ago at the other end of the large manufacturing facility in Macungie, PA. Once the organ has been fully tested and the custom stops have been loaded, Fox Music House of Charleston will begin making plans to bring this magnificent instrument to its new home at Hibben! This grand event will be timed to coincide with the completion of sanctuary renovations. We’re almost there!

This team (minus Rodney) built our organ!

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While in Macungie, PA at the Allen Organ Company’s manufacturing facility, our organist was honored to meet those directly responsible for the construction of our new organ.

In addition to these ladies and gentleman, nearly 100 others were indirectly responsible for this amazing instrument through their involvement in Research and Development, circuit boards, wire harnessess, and production of the many subassemblies and components.

An Allen organ is an amazing feat of engineering, as evidenced by this group of people and their many colleagues at the factory. Hibben is proud we were able to partner with Allen to further our ministry, and to provide our church with an instrument that will be enjoyed for many decades to come.

A trip to the Allen factory reveals a magnificent organ in final assembly!

 

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Our organist was invited to the Allen Organ Company’s manufacturing facility, the world’s largest organ factory, on May 11 to meet our new organ. The pictures he shares reveal an instrument that is magnificent in every detail! Final assembly is projected to be finished this week, after which the organ will move to the Final Test area, where it will remain for several weeks as the custom stops are loaded, the various components are subjected to the “burn in” process, and every stop, keyboard, piston, etc. is tested.

Once final testing is completed, the organ will be prepared to make its journey to Hibben’s newly-renovated sanctuary later this summer. It was an absolutely humbling experience for Rodney to see the final result of an organ that was over a year in the planning, an instrument which will heroically lead Hibben’s traditional worship services for the next several decades.

None of this would have been possible without the visionary members of Hibben’s leadership committees, the months of research by the Organ Committee, the sound advice of our Allen Organ representative, George Hiatt, the expert guidance and hospitality shown to us by Aram Basmadjian, VP of Allen Organ, Steve Markowitz, CEO of Allen Organ, and the many individuals at Allen whose special skills created this organ from the ground up…and MOST IMPORTANTLY, the generous members of Hibben who sacrificed so selflessly toward the purchase of this organ. To all of you, we can only say, “Thank You!”.

 

Hibben’s new organ is nearing completion

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Our new organ is nearly complete! After months of planning, it is exciting to see the results of literally HUNDREDS of minute decisions finally coming together in the Final Assembly area of Allen Organ Company.

Although we had no doubt this would be a beautiful instrument in both sight and sound, nothing brings that point home like the pictures we’ve just received. The new Allen organ at Hibben United Methodist Church is an absolutely glorious instrument, one which will enhance our worship and provide first-class music for years to come.

Special thanks goes to our Allen Representative, George Hiatt of Fox Music House in Charleston, as well as Aram Basmadjian, VP of Sales at Allen Organ, for guiding us through this complicated yet rewarding process.

Console staining is now finished.

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As shown in the photos, the various parts of the console have now been stained. The exterior console is a beautiful warm Walnut stain, and the interior areas are a stunning and dramatic Satin Black. Now that the various parts of the console have been stained, the organ can now be prepped for Final Assembly.

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