In the summer of 2005, representatives from Arkansas State University in Jonesboro, Arkansas, began pursuing options for an accompaniment organ in Riceland Hall, their performance venue. Initially they were interested in a smaller, two-manual instrument to accompany their choirs. As more research was done, the school decided that it might be in their interest to pursue a three-manual instrument that could also be used for solo concerts. A 50 Stop, Three-Manual Allen Quantum™ Q325 proved to be the appropriate choice for the school's needs. The unique thing about this project was that the organ and speakers needed to be portable, and also be moved in and out of a storage room.
The new Riceland Hall seats around 1,000 people and is a busy performance venue at Arkansas State. There was no way to install speakers without making significant design changes to the already existing stage shell. Special cabinet towers were designed to hold a single audio compliment for the organ, plus be aesthetically pleasing to the eye and have the ability to be rolled anywhere on stage, AND fit the dimensions of the designated storage space. Custom built quick disconnects were designed by Allen Organ so the towers could be disconnected from the organ and stored in a room next to the organ, which rests on a dolly. This organ and speakers can be moved anywhere on stage, allowing for great versatility in the use of this instrument in performances. Nicholas Bowden, Organist at Peachtree Presbyterian Church in Atlanta, Georgia, performed the dedication concert and offered a workshop the following day for local church musicians. He was received with great excitement and was successful in generating more interest in organ music in Northeast Arkansas.
Nicholas Bowden (center, in white shirt) with members of the Master Class.