Macalester College, St. Paul, MN
Mairs Concert Hall, Janet Wallace Fine Arts Center
58 Stop Three-Manual Allen Digital Organ
Macalester College has completed a monumental reconstruction project of their primary music facility, the Janet Wallace Fine Arts Center, which included the Janet Wallace Auditorium, now the Mairs Concert Hall. The hall housed an older Aeolian-Skinner pipe organ that was in unfortunate disrepair. The college decided that the costs of repair and for relocation within the new hall were prohibitive. Experience and respect for the quality and sound of Allen, combined with the desire for organ accompanied choral works and potential solo organ concerts, became a driving force in obtaining a new 58-stop, three-manual Allen.
The audio is laid out conveniently over two levels, allowing for ample tonal spread and defined divisional locations, not dissimilar to certain ideals of the German Werkprinzip. The new hall, with a seating capacity of c. 375, offers a warm, rich oak wood aesthetic, and the acoustic environment is fantastic with controllable sound curtains following the circumference of the room. The console moves/stores easily on an Allen split-dolly on either side of the stage. For performance flexibility, custom cannon plug connectors on either side of the stage were installed, and the console has a generous custom wiring harness.