As the new pastor of Central Woodward Christian Church, Dr. Robert Cornwall quickly discovered that the historic 1928 Casavant pipe organ was nearing the end of its natural life. The church had to make a decision as to whether to rebuild the organ; which would likely include the purchase of a new console and removing and reconfiguring the pipes; or embark in a new direction. So, after Patrick Kuhl was appointed as the Minister of Music and Organist in January 2009, the Church began the process of discernment that led to their engagement with Lance Luce and Jim Evola of Evola Music, Canton MI.
Since the congregation had a long history with pipe organs, moving to a digital organ was not easily accomplished. As part of the process the Church engaged a pipe organ builder who was familiar with the sanctuary and the configuration of the organ as it had been built in its original location in a cathedral-sized church in Detroit. Then, in the course of further discussions with Mr. Luce; which included field trips to two congregations that had installed Allen organs; the church discovered that they could not only recreate much of the grandeur of the original pipe organ, but expand the musical capabilities in ways they considered "almost unimaginable".
Now fully installed and interfaced with 22 ranks of pipes, Dr. Cornwall says, "We've been blessed to experience the value, versatility and beauty of this organ's sound. We held two recitals; one by our organist, focusing on sacred and spiritual music; and a second, featuring Lance Luce himself, who introduced attendees to many of the other elements of the organ, especially the digital sounds. We wish for this organ to be a blessing to the community as an instrument for traditional church organ music as well as to support a full range of experiences. We are excited about where this all will lead".
Pictured left to right: Guest Organist, Lance Luce; Guest Organist, Aram Basmadjian;
Organist, Pat Kuhl and Pastor, Dr. Robert Cornwall.