Founded in 1827, First Congregational Church, United Church of Christ, is the oldest Congregational Church in Michigan and the first church in the city of Rochester, Michigan.
The church recently added a new, contemporary sanctuary. It incorporates many interesting design elements, such as glass skylights from below as well as above in order to take advantage of natural light. This modern design deserved the latest sound and lighting technology--and a new state-of-the-art organ.
The old two-manual organ suffered from poor sound quality and was experiencing recurring service problems, including breaking key contacts, causing notes to stick. Four ranks of pipes that were attached to the old organ, however, still had good sound quality and were very attractive.
The Organ Search Committee, comprised of Organist Kathie Bowden, Music Director Alan Lollar and Pastor David Wheeler, was determined to find the best replacement. Lance Luce of Evola Music was ultimately contracted to supply a new organ for the church. A three-manual instrument was desired, so Lance worked with Kathie to come up with best way to combine the four ranks of pipes with an Allen 50 Stop console, equipped with OST™ (Optical Sensor Technology) Keying, Allen Vista™, and an antiphonal speaker system.
The final result is a beautiful instrument to play, hear and admire. The music program at First Congregational includes six choirs, six bell choirs and two instrumental groups. They now have an organ that will lead them into the next generation.