Fifty Years of Loyalty

Walter McAnney
Walter McAnney

As a teenager, Walter McAnney played the piano at Highway Tabernacle Church, Philadelphia. One Sunday he traveled to Peckville, Pennsylvania, with the Highway Tabernacle Quartet as accompanist at the Sunday services. During the afternoon Walt discovered a small spinet organ and asked the minister's wife if he could play it until the evening service. Walt had never touched nor been introduced to an organ. Undeterred, he began to explore the instrument. Returning and hearing the beautiful music, the minister's wife asked Walt to play the organ for the evening service.

Glancing through a Philadelphia newspaper in 1954, Walt noticed an advertisement offering Allen Organs for sale. He was determined to own an organ and perfect his skills as an organist. He purchased his first Allen Organ for his home: one of the earliest two-manual Allen Organs, complete with "car choke" stops.

Later he purchased a TC-3S two-manual analog organ. During this time he was a regular supply organist at local Episcopal and Methodist churches, in addition to playing in Highway Tabernacle, his home church.

Walt's love and loyalty for Allen Organs was now deep rooted. Eager to own a System 505 digital model (with those famous cards), Walt moved on to the third Allen Organ for his personal use. This kept him happy until 1996, when he moved from Philadelphia to the Chautauqua section of Mt. Gretna, Pennsylvania. He chose to upgrade to a three-manual MDS 51-S. The console was placed in the Library alcove. Organ recitals were presented in his home by leading organists from central and eastern Pennsylvania, as well as nearby Virginia, as part of the Chautauqua cultural experience in Mt. Gretna.

After a visit to Allen headquarters in Macungie, Walt spied a beautiful sounding (and looking) four-manual, custom finish Allen - which became his fifth personal Allen Organ! The new instrument sits in the main room where all can see-and enjoy-both the artist's musical talents and the "King of Instruments."