Organ Delivery, Part 2….

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After 2 years of dreaming, planning, and finally WAITING, our new organ was finally delivered today (August 13, 2018)!

Fox Music House of Charleston, under the direction of George Hiatt, delivered the remainder of the components of our organ today: the console, bench, and amp rack.

Now the REAL work begins. First, all of the dozens of speakers must be meticulously connected and placed into their proper positions. Then the real artistry begins…VOICING, a process which will take up to 5 months to complete.

This journey did not end today…this organ will lead our church in worship for DECADES…this journey is just beginning!


Organ Delivery, Part 1…

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Our organ is being delivered in 2 separate shipments. Because of the size of the installation, in addition to the active renovations still taking place, George Hiatt of Fox Music House decided it would be best to place all audio into the church first, with the console and amplifier rack coming next week.

Assisting him with the installation are Mylene Suzara, Organist at Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in Goose Creek, and Taylor Keathley of Fox Music House.

Taylor has assisted George on many installations and comes from a very musical family. He plays organ and therefore understands many of the nuances which go into making a digital organ sound as pipelike as possible.

Mylene has become a very special friend to Hibben UMC during the past couple of years. Her church was in the process of ordering and ultimately installing their organ while ours was just beginning the process. She has been a great source of helpful information to us as we navigated the myriad decisions that needed to be made before our organ was even designed, much less ordered. She has become a fierce advocate for Allen organs and offers training on the many useful features of the Allen organ console.

Thank you George, Taylor, Mylene, and everyone at Fox Music House and Allen Organ Company!


Sanctuary renovations nearly complete…

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With our goal of returning to the sanctuary for worship on August 12 rapidly approaching, a flurry of activity has filled the sanctuary these past weeks as construction continues and we prepare for delivery of our new Allen organ.

The chancel area is nearly finished, and mudding and sanding of the sheetrock walls will wrap up soon as well. Painting of the chancel areas has been done this week, and work to prepare for the return of the pipes to their lofty perch above the altar will start on Saturday of this week.

The communion rail is receiving some beautiful woodworking which adds trim to match the chancel wall trim. Electrical contractors have been on site all week running wire and making preparation for installation of not only the organ but also new sound equipment.

The Antiphonal Organ chamber has been the greatest challenge of the project, and after a site visit from the structural engineer, the design has been verified and the finishing has begun, with sheetrock installed and can lighting placed under the chamber to light the entry to the sanctuary.

We anticipate delivery of the organ sometime next week, once the majority of the “dirty work” is finished and dust no longer presents an issue. Although we will return to the sanctuary on August 12, and the organ will have been installed prior to that, we will not be able to use it in worship until September 2, at which time the congregation will have their first opportunity to hear this majestic instrument.

New Chancel Flooring, and the beginning of an Antiphonal Organ Chamber!

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This has been an incredible week for Hibben as our renovation and new organ project moved forward at a dizzying pace! All eyes were on the chancel area this week as the beautiful new oak flooring was installed. The incredible detail and workmanship of this new flooring have forever changed (for the better!) the front of our sanctuary. The Board of Trustees will meet this week to select the stain color, and the floors should be stained by week’s end. The black boxes evident in the pictures are all audio/power boxes, and the large box on the right side of the floor will hold the wiring and surge protector for the organ.

The main organ chamber has received much of its custom woodwork trim and should be finished this week also. Fox Music House took advantage of the opportunity to install the largest organ speakers, the bass subwoofers, into the chamber. The construction crew also finished adding the necessary shelving for the new lower organ chamber, which is directly behind the open areas at the top of the chancel back wall. These open areas, as well as the main chamber area, will soon be covered in a handsome grille cloth.

The other big news this week was the initial framing of the new Antiphonal Organ Chamber, which is located directly above the center main doors to the sanctuary. A great deal of engineering was involved in designing this chamber, as it must be able to carry several hundred pounds of weight. Because the back wall is cinder block, this required the installation of heavy bolts ensconced in epoxy. The full weight of the chamber box will be supported by 4 heavy cables hidden within the structure.

Once the chamber is fully framed, it will be sheet-rocked and a beautiful decorative trim will be applied to match the trim detail of the chancel walls. The Antiphonal Organ will consist of the Trompette en Chamade, and will also mirror the Swell division of the organ, which is located in the main chamber.

Our new organ is Allen’s “Organ of the Week” for July 20, 2018!

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Each week, Allen Organ Company selects one organ from the many it has completed to be featured as its “Organ of the Week”. Organs selected for this distinction are chosen because they are somewhat special. Factors for this decision might include interesting cosmetic details and console design, large specifications, or interesting stoplists.

Hibben UMC doesn’t know for sure what factors resulted in ours being chosen, but we’re sure all will agree this is a very handsome organ with an incredible stoplist. We thank Allen Organ Company for this recognition, and especially our organbuilder George Hiatt, who has worked tirelessly for MONTHS designing and perfecting this heroic instrument.

To God be the glory!

Construction moves forward…

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Work on our sanctuary update and renovation is moving forward at a good pace. The new back wall of our chancel is nearly finished, the old organ pit has been framed over and new flooring placed, and the framing has been done on the chancel extension. Work on the organ chambers is nearing completion, and the organbuilder met this week with the electrician to verify location and access points for all electrical outlets, junction boxes, and organ-related wiring.

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Hibben members will also be pleased to find that the exposed plain block walls in the sanctuary are being sheetrocked over and painted. Framework for the sheetrock was installed this week. The decorative sculpted block walls will remain uncovered. This update will make the sanctuary much more inviting and will impart a much warmer feel to the parishioners’ surroundings during services.

Continued Progress in the Sanctuary…

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The Hibben family is grateful to Mashburn Construction, Bello Garris Architects, and the various subcontractors who are transforming our sanctuary into an absolutely beautiful and updated worship space!

The work this week involves the installation of the panel detail along the new back wall of the chancel area, as well as preparation and framing of the new casework for the organ chamber. Robert Stasiukaitis, who also did the chancel woodworking and suspended cross at Bethany United Methodist in Summerville, is doing an outstanding job helping us realize the vision for our sanctuary.

As we continue moving forward and prepare for the arrival of our new organ and a fresh new look for the sanctuary, we give thanks to God for his many blessings and for the opportunity to enhance our services through this project.

Framing underway in the sanctuary…

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Now that demolition is finished, the next step in Hibben’s sanctuary renovation is the framing. This will involve work on the new back wall of the chancel (shown), enlargement of the floor area of the chancel (including filling in and flooring over the old “organ pit”), and construction of the new Antiphonal Organ chamber, which will be built immediately over the main double doors into the sanctuary.

We have also been notified that the organ is completely finished at the factory. Fox Music House will coordinate the timing of shipping the organ so that it coincides with the installation. The organ installation will be near the end of the renovation process.

Once the organ is installed, the pipe facade will be returned to the front of the sanctuary and the process of voicing the organ will begin. This process will take 3 – 5 months, and will require the voicer (George Hiatt) to spend several hours at a time working to make each stop sound its very best, while also creating a cohesive ensemble for the organ’s 99 stops.

Felix Hell to inaugurate Hibben’s new organ!


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 ( 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.

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